Ford Policy for Software Updates for Mach-E

louibluey

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Ford only updates modules as needed by specific problems and satisfying a list of conditions. (outside of what limited updates are addressed by OTA)

To Ford, most of these module updates seem to be a "repair". Maybe that makes sense by Ford's model, because the module update procedure, at least for now appears to be very time consuming.

This policy (software update as a repair (SUAAR, acronym pronounced as "sour")) seems like an odd approach, especially when compared to other industries, which just update everyone and everything to the latest versions. (either by auto-update, or by user request)

 

EELinneman

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What a nightmare to manage. Ford will have hundreds of different configurations on the cars very quickly. I think this is beyond the capability of most techs to manage. Now, service means that someone or some process will need to evaluate each and every version of each and every module to figure out what the toxic combinations are that are causing problems.

They have OTA updates for a reason. While I can understand not updating software in an ad-hoc manner, they should have standard configurations with known versions in a release package. I've done complex software for a long time and this is a recipe for trouble. Combined with this being a flagship vehicle with a lot of press, Ford has created a train wreck. The question is when.
 
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louibluey

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... standard configurations with known versions in a release package. ...
Seems to make the most sense, I hope that is where Ford is headed, preferably by OTA.
 

dtbaker61

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What a nightmare to manage. Ford will have hundreds of different configurations on the cars very quickly. I think this is beyond the capability of most techs to manage. Now, service means that someone or some process will need to evaluate each and every version of each and every module to figure out what the toxic combinations are that are causing problems.

They have OTA updates for a reason. While I can understand not updating software in an ad-hoc manner, they should have standard configurations with known versions in a release package. I've done complex software for a long time and this is a recipe for trouble. Combined with this being a flagship vehicle with a lot of press, Ford has created a train wreck. The question is when.
exactly correct..... in a complex system like this vehicle it is going to be a nightmare if Ford doesn't have good version control and proactive updates to keep all systems in sync and compatible.

FordPass, Sync, Display, and all the various internal 'modules' that are independently updatable....
 

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This policy (software update as a repair (SUAAR, acronym pronounced as "sour")) seems like an odd approach, especially when compared to other industries, which just update everyone and everything to the latest versions. (either by auto-update, or by user request)
I have no doubt that most if not all of these updates will make it into OTA bundles eventually. But since customers with specific problems shouldn't have to wait until such OTA bundles are ready, Ford is making certain updates available right away through dealers. I think there will be a time when OTAs level the module versions across all MMEs.
 

dtbaker61

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I have no doubt that most if not all of these updates will make it into OTA bundles eventually. But since customers with specific problems shouldn't have to wait until such OTA bundles are ready, Ford is making certain updates available right away through dealers. I think there will be a time when OTAs level the module versions across all MMEs.
I have my doubts that Ford has a giant spreadsheet with all VINS tracking all currently installed versions of all updatable modules... presumably all these versions would be in OASIS ?

I'd like to have some confidence that I could have the Dealership query my MME, pull a giant list of all modules and versions, and bring EVERYTHING up to date... My question remains how many trackable modules are we talking about, and are there any details on versions, what got fixed, and what remaining known open issues are being worked on?

i.e. anything like the massive Microsoft KnowledgeBase for viarious products to track known issues, fixes, and versions?
 

generaltso

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I have my doubts that Ford has a giant spreadsheet with all VINS tracking all currently installed versions of all updatable modules... presumably all these versions would be in OASIS ?
I don't think they need to know what current versions you're running. If an OTA package contains the latest versions for all modules, your modules with older versions will update and your modules that are already up to date won't.
 

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most likely there are already hundreds of versions... just think about the chip / supply line issues:

How many Chip Vendors are in the Supply Chain? How many different Chip Vendors per Module / component? How many different versions of firmware from each Vendor?

Because of the Chip / supply chain issues, I'm guessing that each module has a few chip and firmware versions already across the already built fleet of MMEs.

Most likely it's only getting worse.... Just like the PAINT Colors.. They may have to start removing options! ;^)
 

CHeil402

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I have no doubt that most if not all of these updates will make it into OTA bundles eventually. But since customers with specific problems shouldn't have to wait until such OTA bundles are ready, Ford is making certain updates available right away through dealers. I think there will be a time when OTAs level the module versions across all MMEs.
Exactly. Ford seems to be taking a very cautious approach to OTA for now. And since it's a new car with a lot of software, they're handling the issues via dealer installed SSM's to get them addressed in a timely fashion distributed in a tried and tested method of delivering software in a controlled environment.

I'm totally ok with this approach in the beginning; however, I would have a different approach in, say, a year from now. At that point, each OTA should include a roll-up of all SSM issues and supply them to all MME's (even if delivered in a staged roll-out).
 

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i.e. anything like the massive Microsoft KnowledgeBase for viarious products to track known issues, fixes, and versions?
Ha! I worked for Microsoft for 11 years. The KB is just a public support tool. Each and every product has multiple support processes, databases and tribal knowledge. And, yes, it is a mess to manage, but they have made it work mostly. Of course that took 35 years.

My fear is that Ford is going it on their own. They should look at the model that is used in Avionics with module management, integration patterns, testing and version control. Other than the 737 Max, this has worked well for Boeing. These cars and trucks are becoming more dependent on near-real time software, sensors and interfaces. Innovation is great until it isn't and the approach that I assume from the earlier post is going to drive complexity and support issues.

I see you are in Santa Fe, what a magical place.
 

breeves002

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Ford has to pay the dealer to do an update. Or you pay the dealer. A dealer does not give its time away for free.

In legacy vehicles updates were done as a repair only because there was no OTA method and it costs them money to do an update for you. In a few specific circumstances they would do free proactive updates if it helps keep a future problem from happening. 1.5L EcoBoost engines for example. There was a CSP for a free PCM update to run the electric water pump after the car was turned off to make the engine last longer.

Now with OTA Ford is trying to avoid paying dealers to do the updates. It also allows them to release systems that features aren't ready for later. Earlier launch of vehicle with software fixed later.

I believe everything will move to OTA (except the 5 modules in our cars that aren't able to be updated OTA), but they just aren't ready yet. They're trying to make 100% sure it works correctly and does not cause any issues with bricked modules/vehicles. The last thing you want to do is cause a more expensive problem in a ton of vehicles.


I have my doubts that Ford has a giant spreadsheet with all VINS tracking all currently installed versions of all updatable modules... presumably all these versions would be in OASIS ?
They could very well have a database with software versions for your vehicle. This information is easy to obtain if you have OTA updates turned on and other connected services enabled. It can poll the modules for their software versions. When you get an update, if it is a newer version than is currently on (incrementing the software part number) it will update. It is actually pretty simple, the only complexity is having the car update other modules instead of the computer plugged into the car update the modules.

Ford actually has pretty good version control as far as I can tell and has a good system in place so you know exactly what software is on a vehicle.
 

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Ford only updates modules as needed by specific problems and satisfying a list of conditions. (outside of what limited updates are addressed by OTA)

To Ford, most of these module updates seem to be a "repair". Maybe that makes sense by Ford's model, because the module update procedure, at least for now appears to be very time consuming.

This policy (software update as a repair (SUAAR, acronym pronounced as "sour")) seems like an odd approach, especially when compared to other industries, which just update everyone and everything to the latest versions. (either by auto-update, or by user request)
The car has been out for 3 months; I think you are drawing false conclusions based on anecdotes and very little actual data. Ford insiders here have been very clear that the OTA system isn't fully up and running yet because they want to test it thoroughly before a screwup bricks 10,000 cars at once.

They have OTA updates for a reason. While I can understand not updating software in an ad-hoc manner, they should have standard configurations with known versions in a release package. I've done complex software for a long time and this is a recipe for trouble. Combined with this being a flagship vehicle with a lot of press, Ford has created a train wreck. The question is when.
Again, a lot of assumptions here based on no actual detailed information.

I don't think they need to know what current versions you're running. If an OTA package contains the latest versions for all modules, your modules with older versions will update and your modules that are already up to date won't.
PRECISELY

While it is fun to show how much smarter we all are than the obviously incompetent buffoons at Ford, it is entirely possible that a lot more is going on than it seems. Ford might have actually hired competent logisticians, CM people, software engineers, etc.
 
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louibluey

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The car has been out for 3 months; I think you are drawing false conclusions based on anecdotes and very little actual data.
Almost every SSM module update requires you to show that you had the "problem" (the main point of my observation). I am still waiting for the 12V SSM.

I apologize to the forum and to Ford for being frustrated and sour :). I like my MME.
 

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I have my doubts that Ford has a giant spreadsheet with all VINS tracking all currently installed versions of all updatable modules... presumably all these versions would be in OASIS ?
Ford has exactly that. OASIS contains all of your maintenance & repair records and the current version of your software.
 

generaltso

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Almost every SSM module update requires you to show that you had the "problem" (the main point of my observation). I am still waiting for the 12V SSM.
You don't have to show them that you have the problem. But you do have to tell them that you have the problem. That's how SSMs and TSBs work (as opposed to recalls).

When my car was in the shop for something else, I told them that there were SSMs for PaaK reliability and the 12V battery dying when charging the HVB. They had no problem applying those updates for me even though my 12V battery has never actually died.

 

 
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