General Motors Thinks EV Software Is Its Future

Autonomous EV software is a cornerstone of the automotive industry’s shift away from internal combustion engines. Software has been a significant part of vehicles for decades, but for the most part, its primary purpose was managing air/fuel ratios and other sensors. When it comes to electric vehicles, software is a much more significant part of the whole.

General Motors is well aware of the importance of EV software, and they are looking to push that to the forefront of their business.

GM wants to remake itself as an EV software platform company

General Motors Hummer EV SUV in computer generated rendering.
GMC Hummer EV SUV | General Motors

According to a report from Reuters, General Motors is looking to position itself as a “technology platform” company. GM wants to be just as focused on EV software as it is on producing electric vehicles. At least, that is how the automaker is looking to present itself in an upcoming investor meeting.

The report states that during the meeting, General Motors will reveal plans to release 20 EVs in the U.S. within the next decade, if not sooner. GM has said during the investor meeting it will speak about its advantages in EVs, software, and its autonomous vehicle business. GM will also detail their future financial strategy and will explain how they plan to attract investors. One of GM’s goals is to bring its valuation closer to Tesla’s, which is currently the market leader in EVs.

General Motor leadership will also detail how they plan to spend $35 billion between now and 2025 on EVs and autonomous vehicles. Additionally, according to anonymous sources that spoke to Reuters, GM executives will share their revenue and profit margin goals.

“GM’s gone from an automaker to a platform company, and here are all the things you can do with that,” said one of the sources.

“The question you should ask yourself is will we see doubling of revenues? Will we see margin expansion? Those are the sorts of things that you’re going to see over a period of time,” added the source. “Stay tuned for pretty impressive numbers on revenue and margin expansion.”

How GM plans to make software their business

General Motors CEO Mary Barra expected to speak with shareholders about GM's plans to push EV software as a new revenue stream
General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra | Steve Fecht/General Motors

By now, you might be wondering how exactly GM plans to push software to the forefront of its business model. After all, the automaker has only made vehicles for literally over a century. It appears that GM will go a similar route to Apple and Google. GM’s software platform dubbed “Ultifi” will have an “app store-like” approach by being open to developers.

According to GM, Ultifi will leverage the automaker’s existing Vehicle Intelligence Platform (VIP), which will give Ultifi over-the-air capabilities. The system is similar to how Tesla can unlock new features for their vehicles with updates that can be sent wirelessly to customers.

Imagine a world in which third-party software developers can develop new features for your GM electric vehicle that you can purchase via an app store-style interface and receive those new features immediately with a wireless connection.

Essentially, GM thinks that software will be crucial to their profit margins as they move forward into an automotive industry with electric vehicles as its backbone.

If investors believe in this plan or not will be indicated by GM’s stock price after it reveals more details of their new software-driven road map.

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