Delphi Looks to Bring Tesla-Style Updates to Old and New Cars

The program could feature applications in cars dating back to 2010.

William Walker

A recent Bloomberg report states that technology company Delphi is looking to implement over-the-air Tesla-style updates to cars starting in 2020. This would allow for updates applied overnight while the car is parked, much like Tesla does with their infotainment and ECU systems. Delphi plans on applying this technology to cars that date back to 2010, allowing a wide variety of drivers to use the system. The company views this as a benefit for customers as updates would be more accessible in addition to fewer trips to the dealership. 

This comes as part of Delphi's expansion, one that has included the purchase of several smaller tech-based start-ups. This would place them in a niche segment of the aftermarket, allowing them to serve owners of all different types of cars. Since the focus won't be on one single make and model, the technology will work on a broader spectrum than the Tesla-specific system.

Users have reacted well to Tesla's WiFi updates as they consistently have current maps and operating systems. The automaker is even able to change Autopilot features without a dealer visit, allowing for in-car purchases of the self-driving features. Though Delphi won't delve into autonomy with their program, it serves a similar purpose of simplifying the update process.

Although customers may think the Delphi systems are a great idea, it's doubtful that dealerships will feel the same way. These wireless systems could do away with the need for regularly scheduled infotainment and system updates, keeping a big chunk of change from dealer service departments. 

Some automakers like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and General Motors are already working on similar technologies for their cars. As it becomes more commonplace, expect others to start developing their own over-the-air systems to stay on par with the convenience of other brands.