Facepalm: In another example of how connected vehicles can go wrong due to human error, EV company Rivian has blamed a "fat finger" error for an OTA update that bricked some infotainment and main instrument display systems. A fix is being rolled out today, but a few customers may need to visit a dealer for physical repairs.
Rivian put out and quickly canceled the OTA software update 2023.42 on Monday. It was supposed to introduce bug fixes and improvements to the much-maligned proximity locking feature, which automatically unlocks and locks doors when someone exits or approaches a vehicle.
Unfortunately for owners, the update instead managed to bork some Rivian R1T and R1S infotainment systems and instrument display screens when it stalled before completion.
Rivian VP of software engineering Wassym Bensaid confirmed the problem on Reddit, admitting that it was a "fat finger," - i.e., someone hit the wrong key - that resulted in the wrong build with the wrong security certificates being sent out.
The post says the issue impacts the infotainment system; the instrument display screens were also affected in some cases. The bad news is that resetting the vehicle or putting it in a sleep cycle will not solve the issue.
Rivian says a solution has been developed and it is rolling out today, but some customers' vehicles may still require physical repairs.
"This is on us - we messed up," Bensaid wrote.
Human error incidents like these have been around for decades, of course. Some Redditors have shared their experiences of being the ones blamed for having fat fingers, including a person who caused an outage of a major AWS service, and another who claims to have deleted Shark Week.
Software failures have been a more recent problem for vehicles since the advent of connected cars. The technology can be incredibly useful when it works, but a survey in July showed an overload of tech in vehicles had driven down owner satisfaction year-on-year for the first time in almost three decades.