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Where does your OEM rank on our new OTA Capability Rankings?

Since their popularization in 2012 with the launch of Tesla’s Model S, over-the-air (OTA) technologies have quickly gained widespread popularity, proliferating especially in the last five years. As OEMs pursue the Software-Defined Vehicle (SDV), OTA will play an increasingly significant role in the vehicle as it becomes more common and gradually matures. At the same time, as more OTA strategies, features, and technologies are rolled out, the landscape for it will evolve at an exponential rate – becoming deeper and more complex. As such, any OEM looking to develop or scale their own strategy must have a deep understanding of today’s OTA ecosystem, as well as an acute awareness of its key trends and technologies.


Our OTA and Software Updates Guide deeply analyzes the OTA landscape to highlight the types of updates being delivered today, and the latest OEM activity around them. To account for its development on a global scale, the report is available in three versions, covering North America, Europe, and China. In this Insight, we will be taking a deep dive into our OEM OTA Capability Rankings, a key component of the report that assesses which OEMs are the most active in the OTA space and offer the best OTA capabilities. Each version of the report presents a unique ranking list that identifies which OEMs are leading the space in the region it covers, and which ones are falling behind. Both the US and European rankings can be viewed below:



Which OEM presents the best OTA capabilities?

Taking a closer look at the list for North America we can see that, of the 38 OEMs assessed for the region, Ford ranks the highest. Not only has Ford achieved this spot through its high score of 15, but also because it is the only automaker on the list offering OTA solutions that match our criteria for Vehicle 3.0, the third of SBD Automotive’s SDV Levels and the closest to Vehicle 4.0 (which represents the true software-defined vehicle). The most notable demonstration of Ford’s OTA capabilities can be found in the Mustang Mach-E, which offers a broader range of features and functions than many other OTA-equipped vehicles in the North American market.


Sitting underneath Ford are Tesla and Rivian, who also scored 15, yet update their models more frequently and with more content. However, Ford’s ability to update its vehicles while they are being driven represents a novel use case that we have not yet seen another OEM employ on the road in North America. At the same time, the cadence of Ford’s updates is now beginning to match the pace of both Tesla’s and Rivian’s updates due to the broad accessibility of its capability across its brands and powertrains.


The capability itself was enabled by Ford equipping its vehicle electronics with a unique ‘A/B’ approach to partitioning. Here, software updates can be installed silently before being ‘switched over’ to the newly updated partition without interrupting the vehicle’s functionality. In embedding its latest models with this technology, Ford has taken a key step in laying the technological foundation that will enable and accelerate the long-term vision of the SDV. This technology further represents the outcome of various sizeable investments Ford had previously made in development tools, organization changes, and vehicle architecture that will now provide it with the opportunity to meet, and potentially excel, the agility of its EV competitors.

Next Steps

As demonstrated throughout this article, the benefits and opportunities of OTA are already being realized by automakers around the world. With OTA technologies set to impact a greater number of key components and feature domains, it is now crucial for any OEM looking to scale their OTA strategy and excel against their competitors to be well versed in the technology’s current state-of-the-art. It is this state-of-the-art that sits at the foundation of our OTA and Software Updates Guide.


Throughout the report, our connectivity experts track the latest industry activities around OTA updates to help you assess your OTA strategy against competitors, while mapping out the types of updates being delivered today and the key technologies required to enable them. New for 2024, the report’s dedicated OEM OTA Capability Rankings offer expert insights into how high-ranking OEMs across three major regions excelled in the delivery of their OTA strategies, and how lower-ranking OEMs can strengthen their systems.

Want to learn more about the current ecosystem of OTA update solutions, features, and technologies? Then be sure to click below to secure your copy of the OTA and Software Updates Guide today!


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