Quicker updates, seamless functionality

Unveiled in September 2019, the new-generation Land Rover Defender was showcased at a couple of auto shows last year. Come 2020 and Land Rover is showing off the vehicle’s advanced infotainment system at the Consumer Electronics Show. Why is this important? Well, Land Rover claims that the Defender features the world’s first dual-modem, dual eSIM technology, which enhances connectivity and helps the infotainment system work quicker even when operating system updates.

Dual-modem design makes everything quicker

Land Rover Showcases world-first dual-modem infotainment system at CES
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The Defender’s new Pivi Pro infotainment system is already quicker than previous Land Rover devices. The fact that it shares electronic hardware with the latest smartphones also makes it more familiar and easier to operate. Pivi Pro also allows over-the-air updates, so downloads and upgrades are quicker and easier to implement. But the really big news is the fact that it features two separate LTE modems and two eSIMs. There’s one LTE modem and one eSIM for the Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA) technology and one of each for the infotainment systems.

This means that updates are made without interrupting or slowing down the speed and operation of the infotainment system. Because it features its own eSIM, the SOTA system can download and run updates quietly in the background. At the same time, the infotainment system’s own eSIM allows entertainment features and apps to run seamlessly during the updates. Both systems are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 820Am Automotive Platforms, each with an integrated Snapdragon X12 modem.

Infotainment system remains on all the time

Land Rover Showcases world-first dual-modem infotainment system at CES
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While most infotainment systems shut down once you stop the engine and leave the car, the new Pivi Pro will remain on all the time. Land Rover fitted the system with its own back-up battery so Pivi Pro will run in some sort of sleep more in the time you’re not using the car. What’s the purpose of this gimmick you ask?

Well, Land Rover says that the system will be able to respond immediately on start up, so you won’t have to wait for all the features to load. The navigation system, for instance, will be ready to accept new destinations the moment you enter the car. The second advantage is that it will allow you to access the latest software updates remotely, which eliminates the need to visit dealers for updates to be installed.

Improved connectivity

Land Rover Showcases world-first dual-modem infotainment system at CES
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The new LTE connectivity that powers the infotainment system enables the new Defender to roam across multiple networks in different regions. This helps optimize connectivity and should make apps and updates work quicker. In addition, the cloud-based architecture provided by CloudCar will make it easier to access and use content and services. CloudCar supports a variety of service and content functionalities and recognizes dial-in numbers and codes, as well as locations, stored within calendar meeting invites. It can also scan QR codes and transfer information from music streaming services like Spotify, TuneIn, and Deezer so you can stream everything without having your smartphone in the vehicle. It essentially allows you to transfer all your digital data into the infotainment system.

More SOTA capability than originally projected

Land Rover Showcases world-first dual-modem infotainment system at CES
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At the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, Land Rover announced that 14 individual electronic control modules would be able to receive remote updates over the air. At the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show, the British company updated this number to 16 control units. This basically means less visits to Land Rover dealers for software updates. What’s more, Land Rover predicts that in-dealer software upgrades will no longer be necessary for the Defender before the end of 2021 as additional SOTA modules will be introduced. Land Rover claims the number of modules will rise from the current 16 to more than 45.

The Defender returns to the U.S. after 23 years

Land Rover Showcases world-first dual-modem infotainment system at CES
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The new-generation Defender is already available for purchase in States, with pricing starting from $49,900. This is the first Defender you can buy here since the previous generation was discontinued back in 1997. Offered with a selection of gasoline and hybrid drivetrains, the Defender will take on the Jeep Wrangler on this side of the pond. While prices start just under $50,000, the Defender will become notably more expensive as you go up the trim ladder, with the range-topping model priced from $80,000. Make sure you check out our review for more information on this SUV.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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