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Over-The-Air Updates...For Cars?

For years, cars have been getting more and more technological. Once the fodder of nuts, bolts and grease, the various systems in the average car are now operated and coordinated by onboard computer systems. Hard drives store music, directions and travel information, and advanced infotainment systems are bringing technologies like Wi-Fi and voice-activated text messaging to the automobile.

Well, one day, according to an interesting Detroit News article, the car may one day benefit from another common piece of technology: over-the-air (OTA) updates. You might recognize this type of update from your computer software or mobile phone; it basically allows for your software to be updated automatically without having to manually download anything. 

According to the article, engineers are already working to develop flexible vehicle platforms that can be upgraded via software rather than complex hardware changes. So car companies could do things like recalibrate the brakes or retune the suspension without requiring the owner to leave his driveway. Like software, cars would be able to instantly incorporate newer technology and fixes.

Think about all the different things that you can do with an iPhone. Now imagine your car as a giant iPhone. You could upgrade the car's function with various apps and updates. You could add intuitive functions like back-up sensors, blind-spot detection and traffic updates. 

We've already seen some in-vehicle apps such as those that let you remote-start your car or listen to Pandora in it. Seeing as how quickly and steadily cell phone apps exploded, it reasons that car apps should experience growth of their own.

A representative for Cisco even went so far as to postulate that in-vehicle computer technology may one day allow different drivers to automatically change the shape of the car and paint color based on their preferences.

I'll take a red Lamborghini Aventador -shaped car, please. 

Via: Detroit News