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[YesAuto Connected Travel] OTA can be Online Travel Agency (online travel service), Orthopaedic Trauma Association (Orthopaedic Trauma Association), or Overflying-Top Attack (overflying-top attack), but today, almost everyone will Recognize the same explanation-Over the Air Technology (remote online upgrade).


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1. OTA design mistakes have caused more than one embarrassing accident, but it has also helped car companies create “miracles”.

2. FOTA and SOTA, “F” stands for Firmware (firmware); “S” stands for Software (software).

3. Every OTA update is actually quite complicated, and the “ECUs” on the car are all the objects of the upgrade.


Does OTA really matter?

However, because cars have completely different attributes from smart hardware such as mobile phones, it is many years later for cars to use OTA to upgrade in-vehicle systems than smart devices. After all, problems with mobile phones can cause inconvenience or property damage at most, but in the automotive industry, no problem is a minor problem, and most of it is a matter of life .

These two incidents have shown that, for automobiles, OTA is not only a tool that “successes and fails”, it is closely related to car driving safety . For car companies, its meaning is not to keep your car closely following the “fashion trend”. Your mobile phone can already be OTA, so you don't need to replace it every year.

The value of OTA is mainly reflected in: On the one hand, the car owner does not need to go to the 4S shop to upgrade the system alone ; on the other hand, it is necessary to know that whether it is a system upgrade or a recall, the OEM must subsidize the 4S shop for working hours and other expenses. Yes, through OTA, car companies have saved a lot of money .

Does it matter? It is also important. It is important that car companies must repeatedly verify and test the “stupid-proof” design in every link and even the upgrade process. A little deviation may lead to a big mistake , and it is not afraid of losing a little reputation. It is true that there is a hidden safety hazard. Called terrible.

The past and present of OTA

The first OTA online upgrade in automobile history was the Tesla Model S. It was in 2012. In that year, my Polaris had only one radio and CD player. There is nothing to upgrade for these two things anyway. I am not “satisfied.” “.

Friends who are familiar with new energy vehicles should know that the power management system is one of the “three major parts” of electric vehicles, involving the power and driving of the vehicle . At a time when most of the so-called “Internet cars” can only upgrade the entertainment system functions through OTA, Tesla has been able to upgrade the core parts of the vehicle through OTA many years ago. Of course, this is still pediatrics.

When people wondered how Tesla would respond to Consumer Reports, in less than a week, Tesla released an OTA upgrade. The upgraded Model 3 was retested by Consumer Reports at 60mph ( British system, about 97km/h) The braking distance is shortened by 5.8 meters.

Americans’ “blood” is always reflected in this kind of things. They like “face-slaps” and dramatic transitions. It seems that only in this way can their stories be “widely spread.” I heard this story for the first time. I was thinking: Why did you go (expletive)?

As we said, even today, there are still few car companies capable of OTA upgrades to their power systems. On the one hand, car owners may increase their happiness a little because of the faster power response after the upgrade, but they are accompanied by cars. The enterprise itself is quite risky, and a single mistake can do bad things with good intentions.

But even so, OTA still brings huge potential and vitality to the automotive industry. In 2018, McKinsey released a report analyzing that: Zebra (Zebra Zhixing) OTA upgrade is a landmark event for smart cars in China.

Similarly, nowadays, if a new car from a Chinese brand that puts “smart” as one of its selling points on the market, if there is no OTA function, would you be embarrassed to greet people when you go out? Coupled with the previously mentioned development of V2X and other car networking functions, after ESP has basically become a “standard”, OTA is expected to become the next “standard”.

FOTA and SOTA

Car companies sometimes pay attention to mavericks, do not follow the trend, and publicize that we are not OTA, we are FOTA! In fact, the common OTA should be called SOTA strictly speaking, the “S” stands for Software, and the “F” in FOTA stands for Firmware .

These two terms are more inclined to the internal classification of engineers. The firmware package actually delivered to the car often covers the content of FOTA and SOTA. Of course, the technical strength of car companies and suppliers that can do FOTA will not be too bad.

An artistic journey of an OTA upgrade package

Let’s also briefly talk about the process of a car's OTA. First of all, as mentioned above, car companies need to design, write, and repeatedly test the content to be updated. After ensuring that it is foolproof, the packaged content will be distributed to each car to be updated through the network operator.

After that, Gateway (OTA Manager, OTA Manager) will be responsible for managing the update process of all ECUs. It is responsible for distributing firmware to ECUs and telling ECUs when to perform the update. In the case of multiple ECUs that need to be updated at the same time, the deployment of Gateway will be Especially important.

Under normal circumstances, a car will be equipped with multiple ECU electronic control units responsible for controlling different modules. According to the functional classification, you can refer to the following two diagrams.

Closer to home, after all ECU updates are completed, Gateway will send a confirmation message to the server. The whole process is a complete OTA update.

Summary: Does OTA matter? Is the Internet of Vehicles safe?

Finally came to the summary part, the value of OTA, how important, I think you have your own judgment after reading an article. If you want to ask about security, unfortunately, nothing in this world is absolutely secure. Your phone with Face ID and fingerprint recognition in your hand looks safe, but it’s just that hackers don’t bother to spend time hacking your phone.

The technology is as strong as Tesla. In 2016 and 2017, the on-board system was hacked by Tencent's Coen Lab twice to achieve non-contact and arbitrary remote control of Tesla in parking and driving conditions. Tesla also gave Tencent Cohen Laboratory publicly thanks.


At this point, the car networking noun annotation series is over. It was also during this time that I had the opportunity to talk about the details that I didn't have energy or space to explain in detail in the article. The Internet of Vehicles itself is a tool to serve car owners. You don’t need to take it too important. However, as the “tool” and “toy” attributes of cars become more and more clear, in the next few years, the Internet of Vehicles Will become more and more important.

The Internet of Vehicles will change people's perspective on cars, the way people “drive” cars, and the pace of life around cars. The process of receiving a new thing is painful, but when a person adapts to a thing and is suddenly deprived, it is really uncomfortable. I believe you who “meditate” at home these days should feel deeply. (Photo/Zheng Xu from the home of the car)