Update your computer to the latest firmware to wipe out bugs, get it ready for new software, make it energy efficient and, generally, just look nicer and cleaner. As you all know, you have to update your smartphone and tablet firmware for that, too. Last but not the least, update your car firmware to give it more horsepower and make it more efficient, overall. What?
You read that right. Electric vehicles (EV) can be optimised through firmware updates that can tweak the overall performance of the vehicle, mostly to improve it, although, seemingly not in the case of the Ludicrous+ update for the Tesla Model S 100D that makes it the fastest EV and the second fastest car, by acceleration, in the world.
The Ludicrous+ update was made available to existing Tesla Model S owners over the air (OTA) after the Faraday FF91 claimed to have taken away the crown for the fastest EV in the world through acceleration from Tesla. Musk, being Musk, didn't waste time in innovating and sending out an update to recover the crown from Faraday, fair and square. Where the Faraday stood at 0-97kmph in 2.4 seconds, the Tesla after the Ludicrous+, knocked it over clean at just 2.28 seconds! Musk did it and did it with cheek, asking owners if they were babies wanting to cling to Mommy or if they were daring enough to ride the refreshed instant-torque tide. All of that through an OTA firmware update-- now that's when you thank the heavens for nerds who studied hard at school and visionaries for having the will to make 'awesome' happen.
© TeslaHow are these updates reaching owners though?
OTA connected-vehicle updates are mostly being pushed out through third party cloud service agents, for now. For example, Tesla is pushing out their updates through Harman, Samsung's agile infrastructure leg (yup, these are the same guys that bring Harman Kardon sound to you). Harman is a super-secure and reliable cloud update gateway company bringing firmware updates to EV's, maintaining stringent standards and protocols, ensuring that the safety of your EV isn't compromised and information is end-to-end encrypted. Another entrant into this field is Airbiquity with its OTAmatic multi-ECU OTA software and data management solution. This is expected to "significantly reduce recall expense, improve cybersecurity response time, increase product quality and operational efficiency, and deliver post-sale vehicle performance and feature enhancements"-- in short, simplifying the lives of EV makers and owners all the same.
Is Tesla the only one rolling out these updates?
Well, Ford seems to be sending out updates for its vehicles too, but as of today, it's limited to updating the existing infotainment system, OTA. It is a similar story for General Motors, BMW, Volvo and Mercedes Benz, pushing out in-vehicle app updates OTA. It appears that even Volkswagen is equipped to update cars to control their NOx emissions, but this isn't done OTA, the vehicles have to be brought in to the service centres for the update.
Wonder if they will be sending OTA updates to remodel cars or recolour them as the possibilities are truly endless. Guess we can count on Musk for that and more?