Sam says that computer processors have been in cars since the late 70s, as manufacturers have sought to improve the efficiency of car engines. But with each new feature, Sam says it seems that another processor gets added to the overall car design. Now just about everything in your car is controlled by a processor, and they're getting more and more powerful. The more advanced a car is, the more code to control it. Some cars have over 100 million lines of computer code. So they are quite complicated and powerful. But with the rise in power, comes a rise in price.
over the air updates
Sam joins Leo to talk about updates to Android Auto, which are coming to fix a bug that would put Android phones into a "boot loop." The problem stems from the Sync 4 standard that Ford uses for over the air updates. The fix is coming in the next few weeks. Leo says that Tesla was the first to do over the air updates since they treat their cars more as a computer than an automobile. But OTA updates have been happening with telematics in cars for years. Tesla was the first to actually update a car's firmware.
Adam is considering buying a Ford Mustang Mach E. He's come to the realization that they are just computers on wheels. He's leery of promised future OTA updates that companies are promising as a sales benefit. Leo says that the development time of cars has dropped from five years to three years on the Mach E, which Ford rushed to get to market. Leo says that the problem with software development in a car is that bugs can crop up and updates can happen on almost a weekly basis.
Sam says that the Ford F series is traditionally the top-selling brand in the US for over 40 decades. Ford builds one F150 every hour. This year, along with BMW, Ford is developing electronics that will enable over the air software updates, and at 200 teraflops, the F150 will be as powerful as a supercomputer. One upcoming feature will be the active driver system that's available on the Mustang Mach E. That will make Ford's F150 one of the first trucks with hands-free operability.
Sam joins Rich to talk about how modern cars are connected, and as such, users can get over the air updates, much like their cell phones. Ford's next-gen infotainment system, called Ford Sync 4, will have some interesting new features including over the air software updates. Tesla was the first to do it in the Model S in 2012, and Tesla owners love it. Sam says that manufacturers are also going to ethernet connected systems since today's cars have multiple computers in them. But Rich worries that updates could break your car, or you may have to pay for updates if you want new features.
Brian has an Android phone and after an over-the-air update, it's running really slow. Leo says that it's probably due to a bad upgrade. He suggests doing a complete factory reset. If that doesn't work, downgrading is an option. Brian may have to root the phone and get a stock version of 4.2.2, though. Leo advises going to XDA-Developers.com. CyanogenMod is a good one. He should read up on this though, as not all mods work the same.