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RossD
RossD UltimaDork
6/29/17 8:56 a.m.

To all of you that love to have extra points and condensers in your glove box and bins of carburetor jets in your tool box, I might change from being dismissive of your ways to being envious. I got this email today:

I hope I don't have to rush a kiddo to the ER in the 50 minutes of downtime. Do you think I'll be able to drive during the initial 20 minutes in the "Run" position?

I've been lamenting this day. I knew it would come. I just hope the update "takes" and it doesn't brick my Jeep like an out of date phone/tablet.

maschinenbau
maschinenbau HalfDork
6/29/17 9:01 a.m.

You have to idle the engine for 20 minutes to get a software update? Wonder how that factors into the EPA rating

Huckleberry
Huckleberry MegaDork
6/29/17 9:04 a.m.

Huh. My Toyota just did an update like this while I was driving a couple weeks ago. The nav/radio/app screen was out of commission showing a progress bar while it happened but otherwise the truck drove fine.

I don't think it does any engine management stuff though - just the infotainment/dash/safety bits. I expect if my fuel maps or something needed an update they would have me schedule a service visit or mail a recall notice.

rslifkin
rslifkin Dork
6/29/17 9:06 a.m.
maschinenbau wrote: You have to idle the engine for 20 minutes to get a software update? Wonder how that factors into the EPA rating

Probably just has to be ignition "On" so everything is powered up but not actually running. In other words, push the start button without stepping on the brakes. They probably just expect people to have the engine running because most people wouldn't know how to not start it (think about how many people start their car to close the windows and shut it off 10 seconds later). And they might be worried about battery drain.

Personally, I'd hook it up to a charger, wake the thing up without starting the engine and let it run the update.

The0retical
The0retical SuperDork
6/29/17 9:17 a.m.

I have mixed feelings about this.

I hate factor Nav systems since they never get updated and end up out of date before they're sold. So updates are good.

On the flip side... what are they updating and should I be worried that someone could be using me as a beta tester? I've seen a whole lot of really sloppy code in the past.

RevRico
RevRico SuperDork
6/29/17 9:23 a.m.

Can you imagine the recall cost if it did? Especially in the midst of that EPA business.

An entire model line of suddenly disabled vehicles that need towed to service?

That could effectively shutdown an automaker, in my mind at least.

The0retical
The0retical SuperDork
6/29/17 9:28 a.m.

In reply to RevRico:

Or dawn your tin foil hat: These updates are a kill switch which could be used to shut down the transportation grid when martial law is declared!

/scarcasm

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/29/17 9:34 a.m.
The0retical wrote: I have mixed feelings about this. I hate factor Nav systems since they never get updated and end up out of date before they're sold. So updates are good. On the flip side... what are they updating and should I be worried that someone could be using me as a beta tester? I've seen a whole lot of really sloppy code in the past.

From Jeep in particular. Given their history of vehicular software security, they may want to really, really, really make sure that they can close any holes as quickly as they're discovered.

RossD
RossD UltimaDork
6/29/17 9:49 a.m.

No worries about their out of date Nav, even after they offered me $100 off of their $500 asking price (they sent me an email with this offer couple times now), I think I will use my phone.

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
6/29/17 9:52 a.m.

$500 to update the factory nav? Wow, I don't know how you could turn that one down. I spent way more than that updating Google Maps, oh wait.

RossD
RossD UltimaDork
6/29/17 9:56 a.m.

In reply to dculberson:

No, not to update, but to purchase the privilege of using their out of date Navigation software.

I think the phrase "go pound sand FCA" was muttered multiple times during the first time I read the $495 asking price.

NOHOME
NOHOME UltimaDork
6/29/17 10:58 a.m.

I employ several software tools that require annual fees to keep the product and the support up to date.

I have the option to not pay and let the software become outdated and work without any support. That is what I typically do then buy a new version every five years.

What I see here is the tip of an iceberg where cars are going to start getting a slot for the credit card so that you can keep abreast of everything from the latest infotainment to navigation to engine tuning and diagnostics. Its $100 to have your codes read at the dealer in Canada, but for the low price of $20 you car can actually display the same information on the multimedia monitor. And more convenient than driving to the mechanics.

Funny story apropos of this topic. I once bought a project management software called "Easy Project" that was cloud based. After a year, I decided that I was not going to continue to use it and did not pay the annual upgrade and support fees. Unfortunately, it then denied us access to any of the project work that we had migrated to the platform. But the program continues to run. We still get reminders about overdue task five years later!

I have come to the conclusion that the "Cloud" is just a giant Chinese server farm where the Chinese Government gets people to house their IP so they cans sort though at their leisure.

Driven5
Driven5 Dork
6/29/17 11:07 a.m.

Where exactly does it say that you can't drive the car during the 20 minutes of "run" (driving is in the run position) time or the 50 minutes of installation time in which it's "ok" (but not in any way stated as necessary) to turn the engine off and leave the vehicle?

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
6/29/17 11:15 a.m.

I updated the SYNC software on my RS the other day. Downloaded the files to my thumb drive, plugged it in and went for a drive.

That update only happened thanks to Ford hiring a bunch of people from RIM (Blackberry). Now I can have Apple CarPlay without buying a newer car or paying for an updated head unit.

RossD
RossD UltimaDork
6/29/17 11:16 a.m.

In reply to Driven5:

That basically covers my questions. The answers remain to be seen.

oldtin
oldtin PowerDork
6/29/17 11:17 a.m.

Sometimes I think we're on our way to no longer owning cars - we'll just subscribe to a brand and level of car/services. Every couple of years you can re-up your contract. A whole lot of people are used to a monthly fee for their vehicles already.

Knurled
Knurled MegaDork
6/29/17 11:36 a.m.
rslifkin wrote: (think about how many people start their car to close the windows and shut it off 10 seconds later)

You don't do this? They close a lot faster/more smoothly when they are getting 14 volts instead of 11 or so. Very bad for electric motors to be undervolted, too.

rslifkin
rslifkin Dork
6/29/17 11:38 a.m.
Knurled wrote:
rslifkin wrote: (think about how many people start their car to close the windows and shut it off 10 seconds later)
You don't do this? They close a lot faster/more smoothly when they are getting 14 volts instead of 11 or so. Very bad for electric motors to be undervolted, too.

Never. IMO, the wear on the battery, starter and engine mechanical bits from cranking it up, letting it run for 10 seconds and shutting it down greatly out-weighs the minimal benefits of the window motors moving slightly faster and generating slightly less heat. I do tend to close windows in pairs with the engine off to reduce the voltage dip rather than 4 at a time.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
6/29/17 11:43 a.m.
NOHOME wrote: I have come to the conclusion that the "Cloud" is just a giant Chinese server farm where the Chinese Government gets people to house their IP so they cans sort though at their leisure.

"Cloud" is a term for "someone else's computer" It's funny, we're just swinging back to thin client architecture. Nothing new.

oldtin wrote: Sometimes I think we're on our way to no longer owning cars - we'll just subscribe to a brand and level of car/services. Every couple of years you can re-up your contract. A whole lot of people are used to a monthly fee for their vehicles already.

Funny you should say that, the manufacturers tried to argue that you don't own the car, you've only licensed the right to use it. Farmers are having a big problem with that. Try to service a modern John Deere.

Chadeux
Chadeux Dork
6/29/17 11:46 a.m.

Most of my vehicles still have manual windows. The one with power windows has broken power windows. Of course that one doesn't currently have an engine so it'll be awhile before I worry about fixing the windows.

As a side note, I'm far too amused by the fact that you can just tap the up switch to close the front windows on the Crosstour.

Sky_Render
Sky_Render SuperDork
6/29/17 12:01 p.m.

I actually prefer factory nav. It works better than a cell phone, doesn't use up data, and works anywhere. A good factory nav system also uses info from the CAN bus to maintain its position even in poor reception areas, such as around tall buildings and in tunnels. (It's like a form of inertial guidance.)

I just updated the maps on my Fusion for $150. I update them every other year or so.

If your Fiat is anything like my Ford, you can still drive it during the update process, but you'll be limited to using FM radio, have no control over the HVAC, and only see an installation progress meter on the screen.

EvanR
EvanR SuperDork
6/29/17 12:21 p.m.

I don't get it. I have a 4 or 5 year old Garmin standalone GPS. It cost <$100 and comes with free, lifetime map updates.

How do auto manufacturers get off charging multiple hundreds of dollars to update maps, if Garmin, TomTom, etc. can give me continuous map updates essentially free?

rslifkin
rslifkin Dork
6/29/17 12:32 p.m.
EvanR wrote: How do auto manufacturers get off charging multiple hundreds of dollars to update maps, if Garmin, TomTom, etc. can give me continuous map updates essentially free?

Convenience of it being built into the car. People will happily pay for that. Plus, the standalone units are a harder sell in the first place at this point with so many people just using nav on their smartphones.

iceracer
iceracer UltimaDork
6/29/17 1:16 p.m.

I still prefer paper maps.

I can only think of one instance where my Garmin would have helped me. The guy in the convenience store was more help.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
6/29/17 1:33 p.m.
iceracer wrote: I still prefer paper maps. I can only think of one instance where my Garmin would have helped me. The guy in the convenience store was more help.

When was the last time you used one? I used to think the same... back in 2007 and 2008. The new stuff is better than the maps are/were. Especially if they have traffic.

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