General Motors announced today that most of its global models will be capable of receiving over-the-air software updates by 2023. The manufacturer is deploying new electrical systems for its vehicles which are designed to securely transmit heavy data and deliver firmware downloads from the cloud.

This just goes to show that GM still has a ways to go before it can catch up with Tesla which has long used smartphone-style over-the-air updates to release new software features for its vehicles. This functionality enables Tesla to quickly release these features to customers without having to require them to bring their car into a dealership for a software upgrade.

Tesla is also able to use this technology to release updates that improve the safety of its vehicles. Just last week, the company released a software update which promises improved battery management following reports of two Model S units catching fire for no apparent reason.

General Motors has addressed its lack of functionality in this regard, saying that matching Tesla’s use of OTA updates will require new electrical systems for its vehicles in addition to robust cybersecurity measures to ensure that the vehicles don’t become a target for hackers.

The company hasn’t said previously which systems and features it may be able to upgrade with these firmware updates but does say that this “enables the adoption of functionality upgrades throughout the lifespan of the vehicle.”

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