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Firmware Update over-the-air

The state-of-the-art reprogramming concept requires that the vehicle is physically present at a workshop. Here, the vehicle health status and current state will be read from the car. This information is checked against a software configuration matrix, which is distributed to all testers in the field from the after-sales information portal. It is thus determined which control units need to be updated. New firmware will be written to the corresponding ECUs and all necessary pre-processing and post-processing steps are performed.

In a connected vehicle solution software updates can be pushed to the vehicle at any time. The vehicle health status is constantly transmitted to the Connected Vehicle Server, which contains the current configuration of the vehicle together with performance indicators and error codes. The server compares the current status of the car with the configuration matrix. As a result, the update commands and the delta packages for flash programming are created. This information is transmitted to the vehicle over wireless networks. Flash files are reconstructed based on the deltas and all changes are applied using the infotainment unit or Vehicle Connectivity Gateway (VCG) as a diagnostics tester, which performs flash programming and configuration to all ECUs.

With firmware updates over-the-air (FOTA) campaigns no longer require expensive recalls and problems can be proactively corrected in the field. More cars will receive safety-critical updates because customers do not have to spend time taking the car to the workshop.


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Dr. Boris Böhlen
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