Tesla phone, Xiaomi EV? The line between your car and phone is starting to blur – and it’s a good thing

New vehicles today deliver a ton of technology – including features like wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 4G/5G connectivity, 360-degree cameras, Level 2 ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems), and more – but only a few are software-defined vehicles (SDVs). SDVs are cars with functions and features that are primarily enabled through software and can improve over time via OTA (over-the-air) software updates.

Unlike most vehicles today, which still feature a large number of hardware components that are designed by various suppliers, each with its own custom software, SDVs boast fewer hardware components that are designed in-house by the manufacturer, which also controls every aspect of the software. As such, SDVs go hand-in-hand with EVs, which have fewer mechanical parts, making them smartphones (or tablets) on wheels.