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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know how well Subaru stays on top of firmware/software updates to the head unit, computer and maps? These days, it's essential to release at least semi-regular patches if not to address bugs then at least to remediate cyber security issues with new vulnerabilities, especially with proximity keys and the built-in wireless hotspot feature.
 

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You can update the maps at anytime if you connect the vehicle to Wi-Fi (outlined in Starlink manual). The Starlink software can be updated and instructions are provided in the manual but it also states that it is something that should only be done by the dealer. So that contradiction will keep me from doing that for the time being.
 

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In the past their updates have come as a response to a problem. I'm not going to say they are not proactive against potential threats, but everything I have seen on the dealer level has been released as a response to a known and experienced issue.
 

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I can tell you from experience that Subaru's track record of updating their navigation maps is terrible, and the price to update to an already outdated map is sky high. I'm hoping that this newer technology they are adding into the Global Platform cars also helps with their support for the maps. My 2015 Forester XT has maps that are current as of early 2014, and the update was close to $300 to update to a 2016 map, which still doesn't show the correct exits for the MAJOR highways here in South Florida. It's pitiful.
 

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I think we'll see updates from Subaru a lot more often now that vehicles are connected through wi-fi and hotspot data.
Not sure about other Subaru's but the Ascent has both a mobile app update system part of Aha. This is a the standard means of pulling updates to your car over the air using your cell signal. The Ascent can also connect to WiFi and check for updates depending on your settings. From what I've read the WiFi update system is not fully functional and at the moment doesn't provide any updates. I connected mine to my homes WiFi and it gets a solid connection in the driveway or garage.

The challenge is that cars are IOT (Internet of Things) devices and support will only continue as long as the unit is used. Cellphone companies start to drop support after 2-3 years. A car manufacturer might go a bit longer, but I don't see anyone supporting IOT devices 5 years out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Not sure about other Subaru's but the Ascent has both a mobile app update system part of Aha. This is a the standard means of pulling updates to your car over the air using your cell signal. The Ascent can also connect to WiFi and check for updates depending on your settings. From what I've read the WiFi update system is not fully functional and at the moment doesn't provide any updates. I connected mine to my homes WiFi and it gets a solid connection in the driveway or garage.

The challenge is that cars are IOT (Internet of Things) devices and support will only continue as long as the unit is used. Cellphone companies start to drop support after 2-3 years. A car manufacturer might go a bit longer, but I don't see anyone supporting IOT devices 5 years out.
This is our first "smart" car and if that's the case then it would be somewhat disappointing. I think that a car manufacturer (other than Tesla) were to have a bug bounty and were proactive about updates/security patches, they would go a long way toward solidifying their name in the industry as a mainstay of responsible and reliable car manufacturers. Unfortunately, that probably will not happen until Subaru has a painful exploit or vulnerability disclosed in a way that hurts their business.
 
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