's FOTA (Firmware Over the Air) was selected from hundreds of nominations to receive the 2021 DEVIES 'Best Innovation in Automotive' award.

The ninth annual DEVIES awards ceremony at DeveloperWeek 2021, which recognizes excellence in developer tools, products & technology across 20+ categories, was held in the United States on February 18.

NIO's FOTA was selected as a 2021 DEVIES Award winner based on three criteria: (1) attracting notable attention and awareness in the software industry; (2) general regard and adoption by the developer, engineering & IT community; and (3) being a technical leader in its sector for innovation.

"Developer tools and solutions are continuing to grow in their importance to the global technology industry. NIO is a great example of the new era of products and services allowing developers and engineers to have a greater impact on a company's bottom line and overall efficiency," said Geoff Domoracki, CEO of DevNetwork, producer of DeveloperWeek and the 2021 DEVIES Awards.

DeveloperWeek is one of the world's most influential technology innovation and engineering design events, with a significant presence in the field of industry technology development and smart solutions.

The 2021 DEVIES Awards, selected by the DeveloperWeek organizing committee from among more than 8,000 exhibited products, recognize companies and products that have made outstanding contributions in more than 30 categories, including R&D, platforms, products and technologies.

NIO is the world's first automotive brand to achieve large-scale FOTA for the entire vehicle through completely independent research and development.

Relying on a software-driven R&D system with user experience as the core, NIO innovates a self-built software development and delivery system to achieve a complete closed-loop from the R&D end to the user end.

OTA (Over-the-Air Technology) is a way to upgrade the system by downloading data packets through a wireless network.

This technology has been widely used in the field of cell phones and other IT devices for a long time, and with the development of internet-connected cars, OTA is rapidly being applied to smart cars.

There are two main types of OTA, FOTA, and SOTA.

FOTA (Firmware Over the Air) focuses on the terminal firmware upgrade, through firmware upgrade to achieve the overall improvement of the vehicle's power, control, driving quality, assisted driving, and other system-level experience.

SOTA (Software Over the Air) focuses on application software upgrades.

With the increasing demand for smart car features, FOTA has become an excellent way for car companies to quickly iterate product features and update maintenance system defects and is now almost a necessary feature for all smart connected vehicles.

As different car companies in the market have different degrees of independent development and control over each system of the car, usually, most of the low-end and mid-range vehicles in the market only support remote software upgrades for upgrading UI interface, navigation map, and audio/video entertainment system.

Mid-range and high-end vehicles are paying more and more attention to the continuous update and improvement of cockpit, body, chassis, and ADAS system functions in addition to the entertainment system.

NIO's FOTA relies on a self-developed core domain controller, which can implement firmware upgrades for 35 electronic control units (ECUs) of the whole vehicle, and update many functions including power domain, chassis domain, auxiliary driving domain, infotainment domain, and body domain.

(Victor Gu, General Manager of NIO Heifei Advanced Manufacturing Base, explains NIO's FOTA at a media event in December 2020. Source: CnEVPost)

NIO's deeply integrated hardware and software development capabilities allow NIO to update five functional domains including power domain, chassis domain, auxiliary driving domain, infotainment domain, and body domain through FOTA.

Since its launch in 2018, NIO FOTA has already achieved 47 iterations covering all four production models of the brand.

These updates have added 150 new features and optimized 304 features to the vehicle.

(A screenshot of the award page.)