Manufacturers have spied a handy revenue stream by delivering upgrades ‘over the air’, but are car owners prepared to fork out?
When a customer said they had driven across three US states, from Texas to North Carolina, to get their car fixed, Tesla servicer Jason Hughes knew something must be up. It turned out to be an unusual problem: the Model S had lost a third of its battery range in an instant, while it was parked on a driveway.
One of the US electric carmaker’s big selling points is that it is constantly connected to its vehicles via mobile networks, offering software updates and entertainment downloads “over the air”, or OTA. That remote connection could be revolutionary for the industry, opening the door for self-driving features to be downloaded and TV shows to be livestreamed in high definition. But the connected car is having teething problems.