General Motors’ new Ultifi software platform coming to vehicles from 2023 – TechCrunch
General Motors is rolling out Ultifi, a new end-to-end in-vehicle software platform starting in 2023 that executives say will usher in a broad set of capabilities, including giving drivers access to an in-car subscription and using live updates. offer new applications and new services.
The software platform can be used to give owners better access to all of a vehicle’s functions right down to the sensors. For example, a driver could automatically set child locks if the car’s cameras detect children in the backseat. Ultifi will also give drivers access to subscription services, including Super Cruise, the company’s advanced hands-free driver assistance system.
“This is a big next step in our software strategy,” said Scott Miller, vice president of software-defined vehicles at GM, during a press briefing. “Today, cars are activated by software. With Ultifi, they will be defined by this.
The platform will be built on top of the company’s Vehicle Intelligence Platform, or VIP, which is the underlying hardware architecture that provides greater data processing power. While vehicles equipped with VIPs are already capable of over-the-air software updates, GM says Utlifi will enable faster updates by centralizing all vehicle modules on a single platform.
Ultifi will be integrated alongside Android Automotive, the operating system built into certain GM infotainment systems. (Android Automotive OS is distinct from Android Auto, which is a secondary interface that sits on top of the operating system.) The difference between the two comes down to capacity and availability: “Android Automotive is a certain subset of features in the car, ”Miller explained. “Ultifi is more of a holistic umbrella strategy.”
Like Android, Ultifi will be based on Linux, a widely used development platform. Miller said GM chose Linux because “at some point we really want to open that up” to allow third-party developers to launch embedded applications, Miller said.
Ultifi, which is still in development, will begin rolling out in 2023 and will be available exclusively for these vehicles and beyond, due to system computing requirements. Customers can either buy the vehicle or buy different access plans, like how consumers buy different plans for their smartphones, Miller said. That means varying prices and different plans, although GM didn’t go into specifics. It also hasn’t disclosed what revenue it expects the new platform to generate.
This is just the latest move from major automakers to make new vehicles more connected than ever. General Motors and Ford have both discussed the revenue-generating opportunities in software and subscription services, and Ultifi is another step towards growing these businesses.
“We are not moving away from vehicles,” Miller said. “We are developing our business. The opportunities to generate new business lines to extend and leverage technology for other applications do not replace our core business, they add to [it]. “