General Motors’ new Ultifi platform reinvents what it means to own a vehicle
Editor’s Note: 26 years of free brand exposure to companies that can afford to pay for it, at least thanks to Eleemosynary Wimps at the auto chain
DETROIT – Today, General Motors announced Ultifi, its end-to-end software platform designed to unlock new vehicle experiences and connect the digital lives of customers. Ultifi will help enable the frequent and transparent delivery of software-defined features, applications and services to customers over the air. It offers the potential for more cloud-based services, faster software development and new opportunities to increase customer loyalty.
Ultifi’s functionality is based on the Vehicle Intelligence Platform (VIP), GM’s advanced electrical architecture. VIP-enabled vehicles today offer wireless capability, high data bandwidth, robust cybersecurity, and lightning-fast processing power. In addition to this foundation, GM engineers will separate key software into a new centralized layer that acts as a powerful hub for vehicle systems. The Ultifi platform will then enable the accelerated development and deployment of wireless software and applications for millions of customers, without affecting basic hardware controls.
“GM has decades of experience writing software for vehicles, creating a solid foundation to build on,” said Mark Reuss, president of GM. “Now, with Ultifi, we will be able to continuously improve our software and deliver new features and applications to customers in a fraction of the time.
Similar to a smartphone, customers can expect regular updates and will be able to choose from a suite of live upgrades, customization options, and exciting new apps.1. This personalization will reinvent the ownership experience, as compatible vehicles will have access to the latest software and capabilities. Some of these upgrades and settings can be saved to authenticated accounts2, so they can be transferred between similarly equipped GM vehicles.
Users will benefit from Ultifi’s advanced cloud-based connectivity to seamlessly integrate important aspects of their digital lives. In the future, for example, internal cameras could be used for facial recognition to start the vehicle’s engine. Based on route planning and GPS, the settings of teenage drivers could be adjusted for more caution in a school zone or vehicles could even communicate with a smart home on the way to disable the security system and adjust the thermostat.
Likewise, cloud connectivity could potentially extend to V2X or utility vehicle applications to help advance GM’s goal of zero accidents and zero congestion. Through communication with other connected devices and infrastructure, drivers could be alerted to hazards or changing road conditions and be able to effectively time traffic lights.
“Greater flexibility and faster software development are two major benefits of this new technology,” said Scott Miller, vice president of GM Software-Defined Vehicle. “Our in-house developers design Ultifi to maximize software reuse, freeing up more time to build value-added features and services for our customers. “
Although Ultifi is an internal platform, it is designed with external developers in mind. It uses Linux® software, one of the most widely used platforms, which allows GM to give authorized third-party developers access to innovate on behalf of its customers.
Ultifi is hardware-enabled in some new generation products from 2023, encompassing internal combustion and electric vehicles.
General Motors is a global company focused on promoting a fully electric future that is inclusive and accessible to all. At the heart of this strategy is the Ultium battery platform, which will power everything from consumer vehicles to high performance vehicles. General Motors, its subsidiaries and joint ventures sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Baojun and Wuling brands. More information about the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety and security services, is available at https://www.gm.com.
1Some updates and premium features will be charged extra.
2Subscription may be required.