Why it issues: Automakers have embraced the advantages of residing in a related world, with real-time knowledge transfers and over-the-air updates turning into the usual in right this moment’s new automobiles. But with each community connection comes the potential for cyber criminals to use a safety vulnerability. As automakers reply to those evolving threats, aftermarket lovers discover themselves slowly shedding their capability to switch OEM gear.
Ford Mustang aftermarket lovers might quickly discover it tougher to make efficiency modifications to their automobiles because of Ford’s new absolutely networked automobile (FNV) structure. The electrical structure, which permits the automaker to ship over-the-air (OTA) updates, will possible additionally encrypt the automobile’s digital management unit (ECU) in a method that renders earlier modification strategies ineffective.
The enhanced encryption normal is a essential response to the ever-evolving risk posed by hackers searching for new methods to entry a automobile’s management techniques, driver info data, or communication and site techniques. Unfortunately, the encryption additionally impacts the flexibility of present aftermarket flash and piggyback tuners to efficiently increase manufacturing unit ECU enter and output indicators.
According to Mustang chief engineer Ed Krenz, Ford’s FNV structure has the flexibility to detect when a consumer makes an attempt to change any of the automobile’s programmed indicators or encoded directions. Once detected, FNV will take actions starting from shutting down the precise system being altered to shutting down the automobile altogether.
Aftermarket tuners and efficiency lovers have historically relied on altering these indicators to be able to maximize the efficiency of upgraded engine, driveline, and braking elements. The incapability to change these indicators limits the potential effectiveness of future engine and driveline part upgrades. Regardless of how superior the put in elements could also be, drivers would possible by no means expertise the total potential of their upgrades with out the flexibility to change the precise sign and inputs required for his or her operation.
Ford has stated it’s open to working with third-party tuners to supply the entry wanted to tune and calibrate upgraded automobiles. While this will likely bode properly for bigger, well-established Ford collaborators akin to Roush Performance and the Shelby Performance Center, it may make analysis, improvement, and gross sales far dearer (and even unattainable) for smaller, extra specialised aftermarket efficiency retailers that lack the identical model recognition and monetary backing.
Automotive expertise will proceed to get sooner, extra complicated, and supply extra alternatives to work together with the world round us. And the issue of enhanced safety is not unique to Ford alone. There’s no query that the aftermarket efficiency business will evolve and adapt to those modifications as they all the time have, however the rising ranges of complexity and energy required have the potential to significantly reshape the aftermarket efficiency panorama.