General Motors to have cloud-based software services in its vehicles from 2023
General Motors (GM) has announced that it will use a cloud-based software platform called Ultifi in its new vehicles starting in 2023. The carmaker aims to use the cloud-based system for over-the-air updates on its vehicles, something that Tesla already does for over-the-air software updates inside its vehicles.
With this, General Motors will be able to offer new smartphone-like features for cars such as facial recognition to start the vehicle. The Ultifi platform will give its vehicles a foundation for a variety of apps and services that are available in most connected cars these days.
While GM has its OnStar safety and concierge system that connects smartphones to its cars, the app has not been very successful. Software services had never been a strength for the automaker as consumers still routinely rely on their smartphones for navigation and other services. However, with the Ultifi platform, GM hopes to change this and provide software services primarily through vehicles.
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GM has been thinking of adding some really advanced features to its cloud-based software platform. It envisions that its cars could include settings to slow down teen drivers in school zones. The platform may also be able to host V2X, a vehicle-to-everything app that enables vehicles to communicate with other, similarly equipped vehicles in order to alert its drivers about hazards or changing road conditions.
Not just this, GM is also looking at developing self-driving technologies for its future models in China. The company recently invested $300 million in Chinese autonomous driving startup Momenta, which is among the few companies that hold a permit for gathering high-definition maps in China, a key tool in autonomous driving technologies.
GM is working with automakers to develop mass-production vehicles with self-driving functions to gather real-time data. The company is also backed by SAIC Motor, GM's main Chinese partner, as well as Toyota Motor and Daimler AG.
(with inputs from Bloomberg)