Readers of my Sunday review know that we’re facing a challenge with the radio in my wife’s vehicle. I even took and posted a video of it going crazy but it wasn’t enough to prove to the service people that there was a problem. They actually had to “see it for themselves”.
Of course, it never acts up on demand. It is a technology after all.
We did sort of the common logic in these things and tried to escalate it through the chain of command, getting a regional representative in on it and it only served to “open a case file”, whatever that means. In the meantime, the dealership applied all the software patches to the vehicle. We still have a radio that’s not 100%
So much for extended warranty.
We ran into another, more serious event this weekend with my son’s vehicle. He received an error message on his console indicating that there was something wrong and he needed a patch applied to his software. In the meantime, normal use of the vehicle was limited.
Normally, that wouldn’t be an issue but try to find a car dealership that’s open on a holiday weekend. The story did end happily with a very helpful dealer bringing him in at 8:30 on Tuesday morning and applying the patch.
Now, both of these issues aren’t going to be the end of the world as we know it. But I got started thinking.
They definitely were annoying but could have been much worse.
It’s not like it’s getting a flat tire where any garage can help out or roadside assistance through your warranty gets you back and running.
When it’s software that needs to be updated, there’s only a specific subset of service people that can help out. Does it really need to be done that way?
So many other things that require software updates, as you know, are done wirelessly. The computer you’re reading this on undoubtedly has been. Your smartphone is done “over the air”. The internet connected devices in your home all have the ability to keep themselves up to date with the latest and greatest.
It seems to me that, if we’re developing vehicle technology that is so sophisticated that it needs regular updates, it should be done the same way. Do you want to be stuck on a back road somewhere or in the middle lane of the 401 when you get the message?
“Software update needed to continue”