Firmware Update Over The Air (FOTA) for Automotive Industry 2007-01-3523
This paper deals with automotive software update (re-programming), describing the process as of today and suggests some alternatives, based on experience from the telecom industry. Specifically we analyze the Firmware Over The Air (FOTA) technology and its applicability to the automotive industry.
Software update in the telecom industry has gone a great deal forward in providing an efficient FOTA solution. Today, all tier I mobile operators as well as device manufacturers are either providing a commercial FOTA service, or using FOTA in deployment phases. Some of them have already performed millions of firmware update transactions over the air, reducing costs, avoiding recalls and increasing customer satisfaction.
Software in the automotive industry is growing quickly to become a significant part of the vehicle BOM. This growth and the exceptionally high warranty/recall cost could suggest a demand for FOTA. FOTA technology however, is currently not applied in the automotive industry; however, it is being evaluated by some industry players. Using FOTA in commercial vehicles may have additional benefits, since sometimes it is difficult to bring the vehicle to the dealer and the downtime cost is usually higher.
This paper describes the existing update process, where a tethered connection is used to re-flash embedded device software, and the alternative FOTA technology. It analyzes several use cases and provides the significant benefits as well as the expected challenges which this new technology offers