File Downloads And Software Over the Air Updates For the Automotive Industry

Solution Brief

A constant for automobiles with on board computers, and especially for electric cars, and any user of the many products that are part of daily life, is the periodic need to download software and file updates. From the perspective of auto manufacturers, the ability to update their cars software without having customers bring their vehicles to a dealer for these updates is a huge convenience. Plus, these updates can add new features and functionality as well. Each download is a touchpoint opportunity with their customers, who have high expectations for how well this process performs. Provide them with a great download experience and you enhance their desire to remain a customer. But if things go wrong with a download, you will turn them off and risk bad word of mouth. Fortunately, there are download solutions available to solve the challenges unique each download scenario.

Challenges: Continuously Growing Download Sizes

One thing we know for sure is that software file sizes increase with every release as new capabilities and features are added. Over the air updates are primarily driven by electric vehicles, although a few premium model gas cars support this capability. The leader in electric car sales and OTA update capability is Tesla, followed by German, Japanese, Chinese and US auto companies. The update file sizes are typically in the range of 1GB to 2GB, so this update size is not at all challenging for this download solution to support.


As a comparison, automotive OTA download sizes are dwarfed by large video games. Many of the big popular games are over 100GB, and a few are much larger. What’s driving the file sizes are the game graphics that get more sophisticated and realistic with each release. The number of players for popular video games ranges from a few hundred thousand into the millions.


Adding to the challenge of distributing downloads to a global user base, is ensuring this interaction with your customers lives up to their expectations for a fast and robust experience.

Addressing These Challenges

Top tier Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) are well suited to delivering these massive downloads with their capacity and global reach. Limelight’s download solution can deliver a continuous flow of software and firmware updates as well as major releases. Software beta programs and restricted versions are easy to manage with built-in geo-fencing capabilities, and tokenization. Using vehicle model detection technology integrated at the edge, you can deliver the correct File Downloads and Software Updates. CDN Origin Storage and edge caching allows you to position large software files and game downloads at CDN edges near where your device users and game players are located. This speeds time to download and protects your origin from large numbers of requests.


Your downloads are protected with a global HTTPS footprint, a range of access control mechanisms and token authentication.



Delivering software downloads and file updates to vehicles anywhere is no easy task. Although the components may seem simple, optimizing them is not. In order to provide the best possible download experience for your end users, you need to fine-tune three critical features of your workflow—the speed at which you deliver your files, the availability of your downloads, and the security of your file-based content. Limelight’s solutions ensure that your files are delivered quickly to your users regardless of where they are, so that you can focus on product development. To learn more about how Limelight’s file and software download solutions and other CDN services can help you deliver a great customer experience, contact us at: info@limelight.com

About Limelight Networks

Limelight Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: LLNW) is an industry-leader in content delivery and AppOps at the edge that provides powerful tools and a client-first approach to optimize and deliver digital experiences at the edge. We are a trusted partner to the world’s biggest brands and serve their global customers with experiences such as livestream sporting events, global movie launches, video games or file downloads for new phone apps. Limelight offers one of the largest, best-optimized private networks coupled with a global team of industry experts to provide edge services that are fast, secure and reliable. For more information, visit www.limelight.com, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.