REMOTE DIAGNOSTICS & REFLASH
Customers — and therefore a OEM’s reputation — can be seriously harmed by a defect in a vehicle. As cars increasingly rely on their internal electronics, car manufacturers can prevent potential vehicle problems by resolving embedded software issues remotely. It’s more convenient for car owners and less expensive for OEMs if this doesn’t have to be done in a repair shop. It’s also desirable to solve problems before they occur, since lives are literally at stake.
Persis prototyped a Remote Diagnostics & Remote Reflash technology in 2006 for GM, through which the Engine Controller Module Software was updated wirelessly, thus proving the technological viability of such a framework.
The system was designed to initiate, process, and track a complete “OEM Recall Campaign” from the point where the defect is identified to the isolation of corrective software. Ultimately, it notifies targeted drivers, then an over-the-air update is made to the vehicles.
This system results in substantial savings for OEMs when compared with software-related recalls that currently require visits to dealerships to fix. Additionally, and perhaps even more importantly, such systems can dramatically impact OEM market positioning by preventing the costly impact of the adverse perceptions that result when avoidable, manageable software defects are identified.
- Prior to Persis’s involvement, this project had been underway for almost 8 months with no tangible progress.
- Only a short window remained before the project had to be complete and demonstrated to executive management.
- Much remained to be done — from purchasing and wiring physical hardware, to developing crucial software.
- Multiple vendors were involved, and the hardware had not yet met the carrier network's certification requirements.
How the challenges were overcome:
Persis developed a segregated plan to tackle all remaining tasks and took management and partial financial ownership of the project. Working very closely with both the OEM team and third party vendors, Persis was able to quickly address all development and integration issues. Non-performing and under-performing resources were replaced and expert resources in the specific areas of need were secured through the Persis network to take on challenges on the development and integration side.
By removing the obstacle of the OEM procurement cycle, Persis was able to secure much-needed help directly and thereby significantly increase the pace of progress.
A “war room” was established within the laboratory and a vehicle was commandeered to serve as the prototype vehicle.
With a very tactical and highly skilled team working late nights and weekends, the project was brought in line not only within the originally intended time frame but also with the originally intended scope.
The prototype resulted in a multi-year project to develop a fully commercialized version.