OTA is the abbreviation of "over-the-air" which refers to "over-the-air download technology" it is what we often call an online upgrade.
OTA technology itself is not new. It is common for OTA updates to resolve system bugs on cell phones. However, unlike cell phones, to achieve a real automotive OTA, a high degree of centralization of software-defined vehicles is required in the vehicle's electrical architecture.
OTA updates for automobiles can simply be divided into two categories, as they are for cell phones. One is the over-the-air download of Fota firmware by downloading the complete firmware image to ECU flash or repairing and updating the existing firmware flash, such as upgrading the powertrain, transmission logic, battery system, autopilot, and other parts of the vehicle.
The other is the over-the-air software upgrade of the Sota software, such as the map and voice package upgrade.
Traditionally, cars with hardware problems had to be recalled, which was costly. These problems can now be solved without a physical recall. Electric car companies can update the power system, automatic driving, driving mileage, and other features via OTA upgrades. For example, Tesla has improved the battery winter dropout problem through OTA upgrades and improved the 100 km acceleration time from 4.6 seconds to 4.1 seconds. With "software-defined cars," in the future, a car's performance may not be determined by its hardware, but by its technologies like artificial intelligence at its core.
In regards to prototype creators who usually process physical automobile prototypes for car manufacturers, this may not be a good sign. When car manufacturers focus more on software but not hardware, it means less development and prototyping of physical parts. However, it is still hard to say if there will be other new trends in the hardware of the vehicles. And the job of prototype creators is always to help businesses and individuals to bring new physical products to life.