Show me

Today’s cars aren’t what they used to be

It wasn’t so many years ago that when you bought a car it came with the features and the performance that was designed into it, and that was that. If you wanted to change or improve anything, you either headed down to your friendly mechanic with a request to alter or add something, or if you were mechanically inclined, you did it yourself. Need to improve the handling? Fit better springs and shock absorbers. Want more speed? Add a turbocharger, fit extractors, or perhaps a better carburettor (young people – ask your parents about those carburettor things).

Well, those days are disappearing, and they’re disappearing fast. In an age when cars are becoming computers with a wheel on each corner, we’re seeing an increasing number of carmakers reprogramming the performance of their cars over the air. In many cases, the car you were driving yesterday behaves differently to the one you’re driving this morning after last night’s over the air (OTA) update. It’s all part of the brave new world of motoring that’s changing everything.

Those updates can be as modest as loading the latest maps to the navigation system or as fundamental as entirely new features, better brakes and on-road performance. It all started with Tesla back in 2012 with its Model S. At the time, the motoring world was agog at its massive screen in the centre of the dash replacing all those switches and buttons.

Tesla may have been trendsetters, but others soon followed, with everyone from Audi to Volvo offering some form of OTA updates. Ford is one of them. Its upcoming Ranger ute will have no less than 50 electronic modules capable of being updated OTA, enabling the owner to benefit from constant updates to on-road and off-road performance over the vehicle's life.

Yet despite that, there are some surprising laggards regarding OTA, including Nissan, Renault, Mazda, and, surprisingly, Ferrari. Well, perhaps the famed Italian maker thinks its exotic machinery is perfetto straight off the production line, and no improvement is possible.

How carmakers go about it, and how frequently they do it, varies from maker to maker. But essentially, they upload software to their servers, then the car’s inbuilt computer accesses it either through its inbuilt modem or perhaps through the internet using Wi-Fi, then makes the alterations. It’s essentially the same process as updating the operating system on your mobile phone or computer. In the case of the car, the software can either be updated in the background while you’re driving it, or perhaps overnight at a scheduled time while it’s stationery.

It’s all good news for the owners who enjoy the benefits of a car that’s constantly upgraded, potentially making it safer with better performance and features, and all without the hassle of taking it to a dealership for that upgrade.

Getting your hands on such a vehicle can be as easy as taking out a Fleetcare novated lease on vehicles such as the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y Long Range, BYD Seal Dynamic, or the Kia Niro Electric Sport. They’re just some of the exciting vehicles on offer in our novated lease showroom with OTA technology.

For a chat about the many benefits of a Fleetcare Novated lease, contact Fleetcare today on 134 333.

Written by
Mark Schneider

Mark is a successful copywriter with over 20 years of professional writing experience.

We welcome him as a guest blogger to Fleettorque.

Related articles

Get in touch with our friendly team