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Signs of Maturity in Automotive OTA

by Ian Riches | Oct 19, 2021

The Automotive Software Survey 2021, conducted by Strategy Analytics and Aurora Labs, has now been published.

One of the key findings was that there was significantly more agreement this time on the expected number of OTA updates per year.  When we asked about this in 2020, we got a very wide range of responses.  A similar percentage of respondents (just over a quarter) expected 2-6 updates as did 6-12 updates.  17% expected more than 24 updates per year.

As can be seen in the graph below, the 2021 response was very different.  There was a strong convergence on an expected 2-6 updates per year, with that option being chosen by almost half of respondents.  Those expecting more than 24 updates per year almost halved, from 17% to 9%.

2021 Survey OTA Updates Image

To Strategy Analytics, this suggests a noticeable and significant change in the maturity of OTA solutions over the last 12 months.  The industry seems to be arriving at a consensus that an approximately quarterly update frequency is somewhere about right.

A new question for this year showed markedly different attitudes as to how transparent OTA updates should be to the user.  Respondents felt very differently about updates for bug fixes as opposed to feature enhancements.  They also expected different behavior for safety systems and infotainment.  The clear conclusion is that a “one-size-fits-all” approach to how the user should consent to OTA updates will not meet expectations.

More details on that question, as well as much more on OEM software development and software quality management can be found in the full report.  It can be downloaded for free (registration required) from either Strategy Analytics or Aurora Labs.
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