back to article Cars to run ... on Android

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 …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear god, you are fucking kidding me!

    I think I'll just lock the door and never go out again

    1. Daggerchild Silver badge

      Everything's relative, said Einstein's wife/sister

      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.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Having "no" security is actually a good thing

        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.

        1. Daggerchild Silver badge

          Re: Having "no" security is actually a good thing

          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.

  2. Locky Silver badge
    Facepalm

    There

    "will allow thieves to interact with your vehicles in new and exciting ways"

    Fixed that for you

  3. moiety

    Will allow you to interact with trees in new and exciting ways.

    1. mdava

      This.

      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.

      1. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Yup, decades of ergonomics research recommending different shaped controls for naught.

        Even BMW's iDrive didn't need eyes inside to find the knob.

        1. MrT

          Go on, then...

          "Usually seated to the side of the iDrive control, directly behind the steering wheel??"

          </stereotype>

  4. ChunkyMonkey
    Facepalm

    The plan is to create "powerful nagging bastard" to continually try and sell you stuff you just don’t want or need.....There, fixed it for you

  5. Runilwzlb

    Giving it all away

    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!

  6. MrT

    Art we not allowed to just drive cars...?

    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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