Two-Step Verification for Predictive Over the Air Vehicle Software Upgrades

Technology #16108

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Joshua Siegel
Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
Managed By
Daniel Dardani
MIT Technology Licensing Officer
Patent Protection

System And Method For Providing Predictive Software Upgrades

US Patent 9,086,941

System And Method For Providing Predictive Software Upgrades

PCT Patent Application Filed


This invention finds applications in automotive software, dealing with over-the-air updates of control module software and firmware.

Problem Addressed

Vehicles today use increasing amounts of electronic systems, which requires complex software. The complexity of vehicle software often causes software to be released while in beta, or without certain features, thus needing an in-service update later. Bugs in complex software are also an issue, as are security vulnerabilities discovered in use, leading to recalls. These recalls and updates are time consuming and costly, because of the amount of time it takes in checksum verifications, which require the vehicle to be out of use, and increases the possibility of firmware corruption.


The invention describes a two-step verification method for over-the-air vehicle software upgrades. The solution makes use of historical usage data and feedback gathered by an informatics platform similar to MIT's CloudThink system. The system can work with third party telematics hardware as well as the user's personal devices, like smartphones and iPads. The telematics hardware interfaces with the manufacturer's application over the cloud, and downloads the software onto the telematics hardware (or any other hardware on board), validating the software with the server during and after download completion. The system then identifies a suitable time interval based on historical patterns of usage, and presents the user with options via his personal device. In addition to identifying likely idle times for the vehicle, the system can further avoid interruption of installation by reminding the user that the vehicle is under upgrade.


  • Avoids recalls, which are expensive and time consuming
  • Reduces manufacturer's risk of 'bricking' a vehicle