Upgradeable Cars – using software to improve performance

A New York Times article (January 30, 2011) describes the role of software upgrades to improve car performance. Several trends – cars being held on for longer periods by customers, increased use of computer technology to improve performance of cars, links to web connected applications – all demand the flexibility to update software as the technology or local conditions change.  Upgraded software may enable optimal charging as batteries evolve and local pricing changes, for example.  A key question is who will control the upgrades – the manufacturer or the customer ? Also, how will security of the software be ensured to prevent viruses from affecting the software ? How will the ability to upgrade through software impact demand for new cars ?

About aviyer2010

Professor
This entry was posted in Operations Management, Service Operations and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Upgradeable Cars – using software to improve performance

  1. Selling software instead of physical products in the dealerships is a major change in the automotive retail business. A possible scenario could be that with the physical product, the car, a software licence is sold and the upgrading is managed by the retailer. The organizational structure in a dealership will probably change es more and more IT specialists will be required. An good example are software developers. Provideng the security of the software more precisely prevent viruses from affecting the software can be a major issue. Today we already have situation were cars broke down because of electronic defects, in future the reason for defects could be a virus. I don’t think that the ability to upgrade through software will reduce significantly the demand for new cars because the majority of the customers decide on criteria like design, brand image, technical futures. By contrary, it could be an opportunity for the After Sales business to increase revenues.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s