The GV60 is Genesis’s first dedicated electric vehicle; and it shows the world what kind of electrification Genesis will create. The interior and exterior designs that express ‘Athletic Elegance’ and the ‘Beauty of White Space’, as well as various cutting-edge technologies, are indeed exquisite. And it is the first time for Genesis to house the Over-The-Air software update technology to keep the vehicle system up-to-date through its wireless communication feature. Also, it is notable that these technological evolutions are enabling this luxury brand to offer a new kind of transportation.
Electronic network R&D / Test team in charge of the OTA software update technology development: Researcher Hak-Jun Kim, Researcher Seon-il Noh, Researcher Yoon-Sik Jung, Senior Researcher Young-Jee Yang, Part Leader Dong-Youl Lee, Senior Researcher Myeong-Gyu Jeong, Senior Researcher Yang-Jun You, Senior Researcher Hyeok-Sang Jeong (from the left)
Here are the staff involved in developing the technology to further explore the OTA software update technology. First of all, senior manager Dae-il Seo and manager Hyun-Wook Kim of the OTA team deployed wireless software updates, developed the control system, and planned the wireless software update process. And the seven researchers other than Part Leader Dong-Youl Lee of the Electronic Network R&D Team developed and evaluated standard specifications/scenarios, communication protocols, and related major software modules so that wireless software update technology could be applied to vehicles; All of these people have explained what an over-the-air software update actually is, and what the benefits will be for customers.
Q. What exactly is the OTA software update technology housed by the Genesis GV60?
OTA Team | The OTA software update technology utilizes wireless communication to update the vehicle’s software to the latest version. Through this, various software and controllers featured by GV60 are always kept up to date. And customers can experience a safer and more convenient vehicle condition, not to mention benefits from the new features.
Q. What is the unique feature of GV60’s OTA software update technology?
OTA Team | The OTA Software Update is generally divided into software update (Software Over the Air, SOTA) and firmware update (Firmware Over the Air, FOTA). Software Update (SOTA) supports updates to the navigation and infotainment systems and is used in the current Genesis models. However, firmware update (FOTA) is used to improve various controllers applied to the vehicle, and it was housed in the GV60 for the first time among Genesis models. The GV60 can improve overall vehicle performance and functions by itself, such as EV Control Unit (VCU), brake (IEB), steering (MDPS), electronically controlled suspension (ECS), and Face Connect. The system also allows customers to experience the latest and improved vehicle systems without visiting a customer center.
Q. How does the OTA Software Update work?
OTA Team | Roughly, the OTA Software Update has two stages. The first is downloading; the vehicle downloads the new software wirelessly while driving and prepares for the update. The download goes on regardless of whether the car is moving or not – unless the wireless communication is disconnected. During the installation, when the driver stops the car and turns off the power, the system makes sure if the vehicle is in a safe state for the update, then the infotainment display asks the driver to approve the update. The system installs the new software as the driver presses Start, and the monitor displays real-time update status. What’s notable is that for safety purposes, driving is not possible during a software update; Hence, you should update your system when you have enough time to spare.
Q. Does the PE system update also support improvements in driving performance, such as power enhancement or more drive modes?
Electronic Network R&D Team | It is technically possible because the system controller as a part of the OTA Software Update includes VCU (EV Control Unit) that controls the PE system. However, improving/developing such software or the corresponding feature should be preceded, not to mention the hardware of the vehicle.
In addition, we can change various settings necessary to efficiently implement the vehicle’s performance. For example, we could adjust the acceleration characteristics by improving the response setting of the accelerator pedal, or fine-tune the characteristics of each drive mode. We could change the settings of the steering sensitivity or electronic suspension, not just the PE system, to improve the driving feel. And improving the airbag deployment setting or Face Connect could also help the safety and security of the vehicle.
Q. Can OTA Software Update also improve the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS)?
Electronic Network R&D Team | GV60 is the first Genesis model to house the OTA Software Update technology. The controller of the vehicle and ADAS uses OTA Software Update technology, and it will be possible to expand or improve ADAS features in the future. There is one thing, however; ADAS is briefly divided into autonomous driving and autonomous parking, and currently, GV60 only supports the OTA Software Update for autonomous parking. Therefore, new features may be mostly for autonomous parking.
Q. Security seems to be getting more important as the OTA Software Update covers a broader range of the system. Are there any security measures to prevent a security breach?
Electronic Network R&D Team | We care about cybersecurity more than anything as the software updates are carried out wirelessly. In particular, as the OTA software update has been upgraded to cover more controllers, we have come up with thorough measures so that the security system of each vehicle is airtight. First of all, since the drivers need to activate the software updates through wireless communication by themselves, we have made them go through an authentication process between the server and the vehicle. In addition, to prevent tampering with ROM files or a system breach during the controller update, each controller houses a hardware security module.
OTA Team | With the recent emergence of cyber attack threats on the automotive industry, governments are setting regulations on automotive cybersecurity. One example is the ‘UNECE WP.29’ announced by the World Forum of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe; Genesis is also preparing for the related regulations for its GV60 model. For your information, it may not be possible for automakers to sell a single vehicle if they do not keep pace with cybersecurity regulations in the future; this will guarantee even safer vehicles for the customers.
Q. OTA software updates through a smartphone can sometimes cause an app crash, longer load time, or errors. Are there any measurements to reduce such errors?
OTA Team | Genesis GV60 has numerous verification processes and restoration programs to reduce errors that may occur during software updates. First, the team created a thorough verification procedure to minimize errors while developing new controller software. In addition, the OTA control system monitors and responds to anomalies in real-time during the update. If the system detects such an anomaly, it automatically stops software distribution and calls for Roadside Assistance to handle the problems.
Electronic Network R&D Team | Even if an error occurs, the GV60 responds accordingly so that there is no problem in driving; When an error occurs during the OTA software update, the system restarts the update, and if it still fails, it restores the previous version. In addition, since each controller interacts with the other, if one controller is restored, the rest will also be restored at the same time to ensure that there is no problem with driving.
Electronic Network Evaluation Team | For starters, driving is not possible during the update. This is because the update has been extended to the entire vehicle, and the role of various controllers is directly related to customer safety. During installation, both driving and charging are disabled, and the V2L (Vehicle to Load) function cannot be used. However, the minimum safety-related features such as door opening and closing, hazard lights, and electric trunk opening and closing are possible. When the GV60 is turned off, it asks for update approval and provides time estimates on updates. Drivers can also check the details through the monitor before updating.
Q. It sounds a bit complicated when the driver has to deal with the update process. Is it possible to do so without any hassle?
Electronic Network Evaluation Team | OTA software update is a very convenient technology. Still, we understand that it can be tricky for some owners. GV60 can update a total of 17 controllers wirelessly. Since these controllers are responsible for vehicle performance, convenience, security, and safety, it is important to minimize errors that may occur during the update.
So, the electronic network evaluation team completed the system through careful evaluation and numerous tests from the technology development stage to final mass production. The team perfected the technology by finding the most efficient one among the various communication methods and testing whether wireless downloads worked well, whether each controller doesn’t have a problem receiving a signal, or whether the system can be fully restored once the installation fails. Additionally, the team considered numerous variables that may occur during the update, allowing customers to utilize OTA software updates without facing any problem.
Q. What improvements will customers experience with OTA software updates in the future?
Electronic Network R&D Team | Various features for the marketability and quality of the GV60 will be continuously updated. Also, OTA software updates will be able to self-correct even small problems discovered later.
Q. What can OTA software updates offer to the owners? And, in what direction will OTA software updates evolve?
Electronic Network R&D Team | As we use gadgets such as smartphones, they become obsolete right after a newer model is released. The same goes for cars that are much more expensive than smartphones; because the newer models would always house better, more convenient features. However, OTA software update technology will constantly upgrade the system; so the advantage of this technology would be that it can continuously improve the quality and marketability of each vehicle, which will practically extend its lifespan.
Such improvements will also be much, much easier. In the past, visiting a service center was time-consuming and expensive; however, GV60 can download software wirelessly, letting the owners update the system by themselves to enjoy enhanced features and quality right away. In addition, it will be possible to provide customer-specific features through OTA software updates.
The automotive industry infrastructure related to software will be created once wireless software updates are possible in the cabin. Of course, for safety purposes, automobiles require better software quality and stronger restrictions than other IT products. However, if wireless software update technology continues to develop, the vehicle software industry will grow rapidly so that we could even have a vehicle that improves itself in real-time.
photograph by Dae-Il Choi, Beom-Seok Kim