Oh dear god, you are fucking kidding me!
I think I'll just lock the door and never go out again
Qualcomm Technologies has announced that it is partnering with Google to bring the Android operating system to cars. The plan is to create "powerful infotainment systems" using the Android platform and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820A and Snapdragon 602A processors. At Google I/O, developers demoed a 15-inch, 4K touchscreen with a …
Just be aware that even the most wretched view of Android security compares favourably to the current level of in-car-system security.
i.e. None. Absolutely None.
People have hacked cars with a music CD. And from the open internet, with no physical access. And while parked outside the owner's house, locked, with a fully active car alarm.
Or could be. It forces you to have the smarts only interface with the convenience features like the stereo, so the worst that can happen is someone can unlock your car and steal what's inside - which is already so easy to do in most cars being able to do it electronically isn't really reducing security.
In reality they don't always properly firewall between the infotainment and critical systems, but that's a FAR easier problem to solve than having a completely secure user-facing infotainment/convenience system. As Windows, Android, iOS and on and on demonstrate, security is a goal not a state, there will always be many many undiscovered bugs in any complex system. If the worst that happens with a bug is they can steal your Facebook password you may not care too much, if they can cause you to accelerate before you enter a tight curve you will care because it could cost you your life.
If you put in a new platform that the floggers (i.e. Google in this case) claims is secure, then the temptation to interface it with safety critical CAN bus features like braking, acceleration, steering (in steer by wire cars) increases exponentially. After all, Google will assure automakers, Android is very secure and we release patches when exploits are found, so it is safe to interface with every aspect of the car.
So yes, having Android is much worse for a car's security than having the current infotainment systems that do not have any security at all.
The car that was hacked from the Internet, gave them access to the brakes. The CAN bus can be physically accessed through today's 'featureful' wing mirrors.
No, Android really cannot make it worse. It can in fact make it better, and it probably will, despite your ghost stories. Now excuse me while I proxy your radio keyfob, or maybe just jam it.
I am currently driving a Citroen C4 Cactus, which is admirable in many ways but not for its centralisation of all controls on a 7" touchscreen.
Where, for example, turning the heating and/or fan down could previously be done by reaching across grasping a knob and turning it without taking your eyes off the road the touchscreen requires touching once to activate the HVAC screen and again once / many times to adjust heat / fan speed, all of which require you to look at the screen (and brace your hand on the bezel) in order to achieve the required touch accuracy.
Touchscreens in cars are Really Not a Good Idea for most things.
I hate Android. All apps seem to require access to ALL your private info, networks, contacts and call history. Wanted a simple to-do list app. Verizon store rep recommended Evernote. Have you seen what permissions and personal info they demand just to activate their app? And their disclosure on 'what we do with your info? I've had colonoscopies that were less intrusive. I deleted the app without activating it, on general principles alone! Android in my car? Not me!
These days it seems that we're not doing it right unless bombarded by nonsense as well. "Powerful infotainment systems" used to be about quality sounds, but now it seems it's been rebranded as another massive point of distraction... "At the next junction, turn right for more great offers like those from your purchasing history over the past 180 days. Go Argos!", Or maybe "Click here to cancel the next automated pull-in for your next great cup of coffee, sponsored by Costa."
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