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garygid
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Updating Leaf Software and Firmware

Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:28 am

Has Nissan designed the software system so that it can be easily updated "in the field", without a possibly long and costly trip to a dealer?

If so, bug fixes (yes, there will be some) and feature upgrades will allow an evolution of the Leaf system, and even some experiments, tests, diagnostics, or data gathering that were not even conceived or considered at roll-out.

Yes, it would not be called a "bug fix", it would be a "performance enhancement".
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JasonT
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Re: Updating Leaf Software and Firmware

Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:07 am

I would be very surprised if Nissan (or any car company) would set up a system that allows software updates any other way than through a dealer. Any type of "open" system would encourage users to do their own mucking with the software. And although someone will probably create Leaf hacks anyway, the harder Nissan makes it to hack, the less likely Joe Sixpack is going to do the mod. Obviously, a hack/mod could have a negative impact on the car - either if it isn't done right, or is used by someone who is not fully aware of the repercussions of the hack/mod. Any car company does not want bad press from problems experienced in their cars (even if it's not the car company's fault). With a new system like the Leaf, Nissan is going to be even more cautious.

Depending on what kind of "cellular service" the Leaf has, it might be technically possible for them to do over-the-air updates. But... I just don't see it happening. It's one thing for my DirecTV box to get an update automatically and stop working -- it's quite another for my car to do that. I expect Nissan would want any updates to be done through a dealer so the whole system can be checked out after the update and confirm that it updated properly.

Geek in me: Cool idea!
Driver in me: No thanks!

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garygid
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Re: Updating Leaf Software and Firmware

Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:29 am

The "local" update could be done from an encrypted file downloaded to a USB thumb drive. The file might even be VIN-specific.

Perhaps the "Update" could only be done while immobilized by charge mode, or some such. The very rare failed update (fails the self-check) might require a dealer reset, full re-install, etc.
If worried, one could always go to a dealer and have them plug in the ThunbDrive, right?

Hacking, to some extent, is always a risk, but good security, different encryption for each VIN, etc. can minimize the problems.

Novel approach:
Publish the software openly and give prizes for finding "unknown features that will be unavailable on future versions".
Yep, on my planet, we just call them "bugs". :)
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DanCar
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Re: Updating Leaf Software and Firmware

Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:08 pm

Nissan can set it up so they can do updates via the cellular network.
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