While General Motors has been in the news a lot for not-so-great things, regarding EVs. It’s not letting the Bolt EV/EUV recall get them out of the EV space. It has announced that with the “Ultifi” platform, it will be able to push out OTA’s to its EVs in the future.
Ultifi is a play on the name of “Ultium” which is the new battery architecture that GM is using for its future EV models. It’s going to allow for OTA updates, in car subscription services, and “new opportunities to increase customer loyalty”.
GM is thinking of having Ultifi powering everything in the car, from weather apps to some controversial features like in-car cameras for facial recognition and even the ability to detect children and automatically trigger the child locks. It will also allow third-party developers to create apps and other features for GM customers.
Ultifi will run with Android Automotive
GM says that Ultifi will be available on GM vehicles beginning in 2023. And this won’t be exclusive to EVs. Gas-powered cars will also get Ultifi, but by 2025, GM plans to be all-in with EVs anyways.
By 2023, it will also have a number of vehicles running on Android Automotive. GM says that it will work “alongside” the new Ultifi platform in some vehicles. Not every GM vehicle will get Android Automotive surprisingly. But we do know that the new Hummer EVs will run on it.
GM claims that Ultifi would be an umbrella of software in the car, whereas Android Automotive is just for a subset of features in the car.
OTAs is a big deal for EVs and GM isn’t the only one that is planning to do this. Currently, to update your Bolt EV, you need to take it into the dealer and have them perform the update. Even if it’s a small update. But that also means that most updates don’t get applied right away. Ford is doing OTAs with the Mustang Mach-E, and is actually testing one that will increase the charging speed right now. Which would be huge for the Mach-E. Tesla also does OTAs already for its vehicles, and does it pretty easily.