Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis will add over-the-air (OTA) software updates by 2025, Hyundai announced Wednesday.
The first model to feature firmware-level OTA updates will be the 2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6, which is based on the same E-GMP platform as the Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, and Genesis GV60. By 2025, Hyundai expects all models—including both gasoline and electric cars—across its three brands will have some level of OTA capability.
This capability will also be baked into future EVs, thanks to an integrated software controller that will be incorporated into future EV platforms, according to Hyundai. The automaker has at least two new platforms, called EM and ES, tipped to debut in 2025. Both are based on Hyundai's Integrated Modular Architecture (IMA) announced in March, which emphasizes standardization of parts.
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6
The EM platform is being designed to underpin EVs across all segments. Hyundai has said it will allow for a 50% range increase compared to current EVs, and will accommodate Level 3 driver-assist tech. The ES platform is aimed at fleet vehicles.
OTA capability will give Hyundai a new source of revenue in the form of Feature-on-Demand (FOD) services rolling out in 2023. This will let the automaker charge customers for new features or upgrades that can be added to a car after purchase or lease. For now, Hyundai isn't discussing what specific features will be available, or whether they will be available through a one-time fee or on a subscription basis.
Also supporting expanded software-based features will be a new Connected Car Operating System (CCOS) expected to use the Nvidia Drive semiconductor platform.
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6
Tesla pioneered the use of OTA updates to add new features and conduct recalls remotely, but other automakers have gradually embraced the technology.
Ford has added a few features to the Mustang Mach-E, such as its BlueCruise driver-assist system, since the first customer cars were delivered. Porsche's Function on Demand system added a bundle of new features to the Taycan in 2021. And Volkswagen has rolled out various updates and improvements to its ID.4 interface, while promising more U.S. software development in the future.
The company with the most ambitious automotive OTA plans isn't a traditional automaker. Foxconn, which is best known as the contract manufacturer for the Apple iPhone, has said that its EV platform was created around software and what it terms “the Android system of the EV industry." The company has shown a handful of EVs it plans to market under a new brand called Foxtron.