As if Tesla’s lead over other automakers in battery and electric vehicle technology wasn’t enough, one Wall Street firm says that Over-the-Air updates are also causing legacy car manufacturers problems.
Oppenheimer & Co. Inc, a full-service brokerage based out of the center of the U.S. Financial Market on Wall Street, stated in an interview with Yahoo Finance that OTA updates are yet another advantage that Tesla has over its competitors.
Colin Rusch, a Senior Research Analyst for Oppenheimer, says that the firm expected automakers to be able to figure out OTA functionality relatively quickly. However, the task is proving to become troublesome for the world’s oldest car companies, and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight.
“Over-the-air updates, we expected a lot of the OEMs to catch up on that functionality & it’s really taking them far far longer than we expected, they’re at least a couple of years behind on that functionality,” Rusch said.
Even though some manufacturers, like Ford and Porsche, have announced their intentions to apply OTA capabilities to their vehicles, no company has been able to offer a practical usage of the functionality. Nobody, except Tesla.
“And it doesn’t look like we’re going to see that, really, in a widespread way for another two to three years,” Rusch added.
Tesla has used OTA updates to improve its vehicles for nearly eight years. The Tesla Model S received the first-ever OTA update in September 2012 with Software Version 1.9.11 rolled out to over 100 owners, The Verge reported.
The upgrades to vehicle software improve everything from Autopilot functionality to settings with a car’s air conditioning.
Tesla also has purchasable vehicle upgrades, like an Acceleration Boost that was available for the Model 3.
However, other car companies have not been able to figure out an effective way to communicate with their vehicles to improve the functionality or performance of their cars using an internet connection.
Software has proven to be an issue for some car companies in the past. Volkswagen, for example, struggled with its initial software rollout for its ID series of electric cars. The ID.3 was plagued with several issues that dealt with vehicle software, which put into question whether the vehicle would be produced and delivered to pre-orderers on time.
In terms of EV tech as a whole, car companies know they are behind Tesla in every category. Performance, battery capabilities, range, and technology are all owned by Tesla, and other manufacturers are struggling to keep up.
Tesla’s advantage lies in twelve years of EV focused automotive manufacturing. While other car companies were not interested in developing a fleet of electric cars, Tesla worked quietly for years to emerge as not only the leader in electric vehicle production but as the most valuable automaker on the planet.
H/t: @TeslaNY on Twitter