In keeping with its “next-gen” status, the Chevy Bolt will feature the ability to upgrade system software “over the air” as Tesla does with the Model S and the Model X (and Apple, etc., do with your smartphones, tablets, etc.). This information is based on comments made recently by GM exec Pam Fletcher at the Citi 2016 Global Technology Conference.
This is in contrast to the situation in many current models, whereby vehicles need to be taken into the shop to have the software upgraded. The over-the-air approach simplifies things greatly for both owners and manufacturers — making quick fixes a possibility when needed, rather than having to rely on physical recalls when issues pop up.
Though, it’s unclear how much this would be the case in practice with regard to the Bolt, as previous comments by execs inferred that safety-critical systems wouldn’t be updated over the air.
Here are some select quotes from Fletcher (coming to us via “Breezy” on the GM Volt forum):
“Good question, so DC fast charging you get about 90 miles in 30 minutes.
“Yes over-the-air programming, and so the Bolt EV will have over-the-air software download capability.
“…we take (cyber security) very seriously and we really wanted to get where we have got all necessary safeguards in place to do so that we would do over the air programming safely and securely and so that will come out on the Bolt EV.”
It’ll be interesting to see what the company ends up deciding to update over the air. Simply infotainment systems? Will the company move towards the rollout of adding new features over the air?
Overall, this seems to be a great move. As our first electric car report noted, many consumers have a strong preference for over-the-air updates. They are certainly easier and more time efficient for customers.