General Motors Is Getting Tesla-Style Over-the-Air Updates Thanks to New, Way Faster Electrical Architecture




  • In Science
  • 2019-05-21 21:45:00Z
  • By Andrew Wendler
 

From Car and Driver

With the development of digital-based electronic technology, infotainment, and even electric propulsion systems showing no signs of slowing for the next decade or several, it comes as little surprise that manufacturers have begun to address the methods and speed with which data and impulses move throughout a vehicle's subsystems. This recently announced system from General Motors, which will hit showrooms later this summer in the 2020 Cadillac CT5, claims to be capable of managing up to 4.5 terabytes of data processing power per hour-that's five times as fast as GM's current electrical architecture can manage. Perhaps more interesting, the system can do over-the-air (OTA) system and software updates, not unlike those that Tesla uses.

A GM spokesperson told Car and Driver that while "wiring harnesses and sensors are invisible to customers (we want them to be) . . . the features that run on these architectures are everywhere." He cited examples such as screen resolution and electric vehicles' battery-management systems that affect warming, cooling and range, along with over-the-air updates. "They all are influenced one way or another by the vehicle electronics. How information is processed, how active safety or driver assist sensors speak with different modules; it's all interconnected." The same spokesperson also confirmed that the system is robust enough to support 48-volt operation should the maker ever decide to go that route. Additionally, the architecture is developed with the future in mind and can "evolve for years to come," adding that GM is laying the foundation today for EVs and autonomous driving in the future.

Inquiries addressing the rumor that the arrival of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 has been delayed by hiccups in this new electrical architecture elicited a "no comment" from GM.

GM's Security-Breach Bug Hunt

Well aware of the potential of cyberthreats and security breaches, the system is said to include protective features at the hardware and software levels. that reflect the company's foresight in this regard. GM is quick to point out that it was among the first automakers to create a worldwide product cybersecurity organization, which has branched out to create a "bug bounty" program. GM has asked a small number of security researchers to search for security vulnerabilities in its products and will give them a cash reward for each "bug" they find. Think of it as a modern LAN party but your rich uncle is buying the pizza and Mountain Dew.


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