Upgrade your car over the air

classic car, wikimedia commonsOver the air software updates for PCs and smartphones are ubiquitous but we’ll see them become common in cars in times to come.

That’s the prediction from IHS, a market research company that covers most major industries including automotive and tech.

IHS believes that over the air (OTA) software updates have the ability to reduce warranty costs, improve customer satisfaction and to add features to cars’ entertainment systems.

The company believes that cost savings from OTA software are set to grow from a market worth $2.7 billion this year to $35 billion in 2022.

Such updates will cover firmware, maps, apps, entertainment, telematics and electronic control units. Right now there are 1.2 million vehicles that have in-car mapping but that will grow to close to 32 million vehicles by 2022.

There’s some evidence that Mercedes-Benz has already started using OTA in its most recent telematics systems.

Colin Bird, who is an IHS senior analyst of software, apps and services in the automotive sector said that software expertise is now central to car original equipment manufacturers and bolstered by strong software development. “OTA updates have the ability to fundamentally transform the sales and customer retention models for OEMs by allowing these companies to maintain their relationship with customers directly,” he said.