General Motors wants to change the digital lives of its customers in 2023 by providing an end-to-end solution with a new software platform, Ultifi.
In the past decade and a half, the automotive sector has prioritized its focus on software as a car is more than just a vehicle that takes you from point A to point B rather it’s a part of your ecosystem. So, the question arises, what’s our ecosystem? Even though the technology is rapidly changing everyone’s lives, it has to be informative, interactive, and offer a similar experience as our smartphones, which are undoubted the modern-day Swiss Army knife. The marvels of a mobile phone are such that we literally hold our lives in the palm of our hands, and now automobile manufacturers want to offer the same features with state-of-the-art software. As we all know that the only constant in life is change, this very much applies to General Motors as well. The manufacturer is confident that the new car-connected technology, Ultifi, will offer end-to-end software including more cloud-based options and faster and seamless services to its customers. This new program will be available in both internal combustion and electric vehicles from 2023 onwards. According to reports, the new technology will be rolled out with the GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq. By taking this step, GM has turned the page and has extended its business from manufacturing cars to becoming an innovative software developer. No doubt, this will open up new revenue options for the company rather than heavily relying on car sales.
Ultifi To Underpin Future GM Vehicles
GM’s new software strategy is based on a couple of key components. For starters, Ultifi is going to be a flexible and value-for-money platform that offers the latest over-the-air updates and gives users the option to customize it according to their requirements. The other important point is that this new business model is based on reusing in-house technology, which gives GM time to create more value-added features for the customers. Therefore, Ultifi is based on the company’s current vehicle intelligence platform (VIP). According to GM, this connected electric vehicle architecture will protect its vehicles and their customers from various cyber-attacks like data hacking. The new software will further enhance the company’s already established VIP structure like a mobile phone getting a new and faster operating system.
Beyond Driving Experience
Ultifi is based on Linux and is integrated alongside Android Automotive. To all Apple iPhone users, there’s no need to switch on panic alarms as Automotive is not the same as Android Auto. The former is an in-built open-source software in the infotainment system and you don’t need to pair or connect your phone via a USB port. All you need to do is log into your Google Mail account and the system will upload your favorite apps based on your preferences. The advantage of Android Automotive is that it allows you to have controls over the air conditioning, audio functions, seat settings and more. It also comes with Google Assistant, ensuring all this can be done via voice commands.
GM has opted for Linux operating system because this gives them the flexibility to allow third-party developers to design various apps based on the customer’s requirement without needing to switch to another device.
With decades of experience in writing vehicle software, GM believes Ultifi will provide a platform to build future convenience and safety features. Starting with the use of internal cameras and face recognition technology, the customer can automatically start the car’s engine without a touch of a button. Also, keeping safety in mind, the in-cabin camera could also detect whether there’s a child sitting in the back seat. With the help of the onboard navigation system and teen driver settings, the new smart technology can send alerts to the driver in advance before entering a school zone.
The new cloud connectivity has the potential to achieve GM’s aim of zero crashes and zero congestion by receiving alerts from other connected devices like road conditions ahead, or effective traffic signals. It can take a step further and based on a weather forecast app the car can automatically close the windows if it’s parked. To further enhance the digital lives of their customers, Ultifi could connect with a smart home device and set the house’s temperature or adjust the security system. This is the reason why GM thinks Ultifi will is a game-changer in subscription services in the automobile sector.
The three separate 255-kW motors generate a total 1,000 hp in the upcoming electric SUV.
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