Hyundai May be First Automaker to Service Vehicles Via the Cloud
Can the cloud play an important role in the detection and correction of quality and service issues from the instant a car leaves the assembly line and thereafter?
Hyundai may be the first company to use the telematics modem in its Blue Link system to begin the monitoring process from the instant the car comes off the assembly line. And, if the customer approves, there [is more that can be done from] the call center report on trouble codes.
The Hyundai system already has yielded results, and the company does see a number of appealing ways to move ahead, explained Erwin Raphael, Director of Product Quality and Service Engineering.
Here are some key areas using the cloud server for analysis:
Early warning provided
- As an example, the tire pressure monitoring system on a new Santa Fe was being set for too high a sensitivity, so each car coming off the line would trigger trouble codes for the pressures in all four tires. The trouble codes tied to a specific car line meant Hyundai was able to realize that something was wrong at the assembly plant and quickly execute a fix.
- At the beginning, a cloud-based E-PDI would probably be used to alert dealers to any issues detected, but as it becomes more robust, it could supplant that aspect of the pre-delivery process.
- One useful post-delivery service opportunity would appear to be continuous monitoring of a vehicle with an intermittent problem.
One seemingly sure opportunity for the cloud connection would be for software updates—reflashing vehicle computers to the latest level of software, particularly to correct driveability and safety issues where possible.
However, this is the toughest challenge – even if legal concerns were overcome with releases and remote identification of a viable setting (such as engine warmed up, vehicle parked, etc.). Some reflashes are so long that an owner might have to dedicate hours, and although that’s possible with a personal computer, a motorist might become impatient.
It is possible for a smart charging system to provide that capability and even transmit the voltage data to the cloud server. But to maintain the voltage through an entire reflash, the file size would have to be very small. So some reflashes still would have to go to the car dealer, even if not all.
The first applications of remote reflashing would likely be done when a car is in the dealer shop for other service. Verification often is done by a shop scan tool, so a cloud-to-modem equivalent is well within current technology.
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