OTA Updates overview

Customers can use OTA Updates and the Akamai Intelligent Platform to securely download firmware to vehicle head units over cellular networks. For mobile carriers, OTA Updates differentiates user-originated traffic from OTA traffic using a list of permanent IP addresses as filters for zero rate billing (ZRB). For vehicle manufacturers, OTA Updates enables aggregated traffic reporting, traffic reporting by vehicle, complete download notifications, and JSON web token (JWT) support.

OTA Updates system overview


Conceptually, when you start an OTA-enabled vehicle, the head unit uses cellular communications to check the campaign server for any new firmware files. Depending on the firmware version, the head unit:

  • Takes no action because firmware is up to date
  • Downloads any updates immediately and applies them when ready
  • Asks again or downloads the updates later

If required, the edge server retrieves the requested update files from the campaign server or from NetStorage to allow the head unit to download and install them at an appropriate time.

OTA Updates agents

Head Unit
Communicates with the OTA servers trough a built-in cellular radio. It handles all the traffic necessary for the auto manufacturer to support the vehicle with firmware updates.
Mobile Carriers
Provide communications between the Vehicle and the Internet. Carriers use IMEI numbers of built-in cellular devices to track and bill for the traffic.
Akamai Network
Enables ZRB for the OTA retrieval of update files located either on NetStorage or the origin server. It also provides security support, reporting, notifications, and congestion monitoring.
Campaign Manager
Manages one or more firmware file downloads ensuring that all affected vehicles have the necessary firmware files applied and reporting on the progress of the campaign. It might be operated by or on behalf of the auto manufacturer.
Auto Manufacturer
May provide other resources and services such as user manuals for download or an authorization service.