Land Rover Defender becomes the best connected vehicle on the road

Defender can load Software-Over-The-Air updates without interrupting streaming

Published: January 6, 2020, 4:30 PM
Updated: November 17, 2021, 3:44 PM

2020 Land Rover Defender

Jaguar Land Rover attended CES 2020 with a couple new 2020 Defenders meant to showcase enhanced connectivity and functionality with the industry’s first dual-modem, dual eSim design.

Using two Snapdragon X12 LTE modems on two Qualcomm Snapdragon 820Am platforms, the new Defender can load Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) updates from the cloud for its 16 electronic modules, without inconveniencing cabin occupants who may be running apps or streaming music through the new Pivi Pro infotainment system (which shares hardware with the latest smartphones).

One of the modems handles the requirements of the infotainment system, including the 10-inch hi-resolution touchscreen that handles the various system controls, the other handles keeping the required vehicle systems up to date. And with two modems comes the ability to handle two Bluetooth connections

“You could liken the design to a brain, with each half enjoying its own connection for unrivalled and uninterrupted service,” says Peter Virk, Jaguar Land Rover’s Director of Connected Car and Future Technology. “Like the brain, one side of the system looks after logical functions, like SOTA, while the other takes care of more creative tasks.”

The company estimates that by the end of 2021, the onboard modules capable of being updated through SOTA will total 45 and make hardwired updates a thing of the past.

The other integral part of the setup is that Pivi Pro (running the Blackberry QNX operating system) has its own battery, so it’s always on and is instantly ready to accept new destinations for the nav system on vehicle start-up. The LTE connectivity allows the system to “roam” across multiple networks, while the CloudCar architecture (used for the first time on a global basis) makes it easy to access and use content and service.