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CES: Land Rover showcases world-first dual eSIM connectivity

At CES 2020 in Las Vegas this week, the Land Rover Defender family showcased dual eSIM connectivity for the first time in a vehicle.

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The 2020 Land Rover Defender is the first vehicle with two embedded LTE modems for enhanced connectivity, while the vehicle’s new Pivi Pro infotainment system shares electronic hardware with the latest smartphones. 

The Pivi Pro system allows drivers to make full use of the Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) technology in the New Defender without compromising the system’s ability to stream music and connect to apps. With its own designated LTE modem and eSIM, the SOTA technology can operate in the background without affecting the day-to-day connectivity provided by the separate modem and eSIM in the infotainment module. 

The always-on, connected Pivi Pro setup sits at the heart of the cabin in the New Defender. A 10-inch high-resolution touchscreen allows drivers to control numerous aspects of the vehicle using the same processing hardware as the latest smartphones. In addition, customers can connect two mobile devices at once using Bluetooth. 

Peter Virk, Director of Connected Car and Future Technology, Jaguar Land Rover, says: “With one LTE modem and eSIM dedicated to the Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) technology and the same set-up looking after music streaming and apps, New Defender has the digital capacity to keep customers connected, updated and entertained at all times anywhere in the world.

“You could liken the design to a brain, with each half enjoying its own connection for unrivalled and uninterrupted service. Like the brain, one side of the system looks after logical functions, like SOTA, while the other takes care of more creative tasks.”

Pivi Pro is equipped with its own battery, so the system is always on and able to respond immediately on startup. As a result, the navigation is ready to accept new destinations the moment the driver sits in the vehicle. The system allows drivers to access to the latest software updates remotely – including navigation mapping data – without the need to visit retailers for updates to be installed. 

The LTE connectivity behind the Jaguar Land Rover infotainment system also allows the New Defender to roam across multiple networks in different regions to help optimise connectivity. In addition, the cloud-based architecture provided by CloudCar is designed to make it easy to access and use content and services.

Land Rover has also confirmed the first New Defender SUVs will feature more SOTA capability than originally projected. At the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2019, Land Rover announced that 14 individual electronic control modules would be able to receive remote updates, however, the first production vehicles will feature 16 control units capable of receiving SOTA updates. Land Rover engineers estimate that in-dealer software updates will be a thing of the past for Defender customers before the end of 2021 as additional SOTA modules come online, rising from the current 16 to more than 45. 

Land Rover showcased its advanced Pivi Pro technology at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, with the New Defender 110 and 90 taking pride of place on the Qualcomm and BlackBerry stands respectively. 

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