back to article How Ford has slammed the door on Silicon Valley's autonomous vehicles drive

Detroit and Silicon Valley aren't just 2,000 miles apart – they're on different planets, culturally speaking. One is the home of America's automotive industry, a heavily regulated, ultra-conservative sector focusing on high-volume, low-margin sales. The other houses companies that deal in high-margin information and digital …

  1. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Security ???

    If a link to the CAN bus is provided - will it be a secure read-only link ? If not then it is only a matter of time before rogue (or badly coded) smartphone apps cause crashes as there is effectively zero internal security on the CAN bus.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Security ???

      Indeed. Never mind "Imagine manipulating Spotify via your steering wheel controls", think about "Imagine someone manipulating your steering wheel controls via Spotify"

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Security ???

        > If a link to the CAN bus is provided - will it be a secure read-only link ?

        Yes. In fact the drivetrain-related modules run on a different frequency to the HVAC and ICE related frequencies, so a car's drivetrain modules won't even listen to its own ICE modules. Meaning: a car stereo might increase in volume when the car is travelling faster, but the engine doesn't know or care what the stereo is doing. The system has been in use in millions of vehicles for quite a few years now.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Security ???

          In fact the drivetrain-related modules run on a different frequency to the HVAC and ICE related frequencies, so a car's drivetrain modules won't even listen to its own ICE modules.

          Except that the guys who hacked a jeep a few years ago were able to reload new firmware into the ICE module so that it acted more like an EMU and had full read/write access to some of the drivetrain modules that an EMU does.

          Having software-defined differentiation of functionalities is not a replacement for a physical airgap.

      2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Security ???

        Exactly. The CAN standard makes it very clear that security is not a part of the core specification. It may be added using customised protocols (typically initial controller-device authentiction), but that's it. It's not designed to protect device-device configuration and there is nothing much to stop a rogue device flooding the CAN bus network, thereby generating a local DOS attack.

        So the following:

        It's also data that the car makers are keeping for themselves. Apple and Google may have a place in many dashboards, but there is a Chinese wall between their smartphone platforms and that CAN bus data.

        is very sensible. It's when the manufacturers cut corners and allow direct CAN to Internet connectivity that there are problems.

        1. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: The CAN standard makes it very clear that security is not a part of the core specification.

          The same thinking that gave us the botnet internet of tat things.

          How unhelpful.

          1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

            Re: The CAN standard makes it very clear that security is not a part of the core specification.

            The same thinking that gave us the botnet internet of tat things.

            How unhelpful.

            No. Not at all. CAN is devised as a closed system. Not a system that operates across the public Internet. It's a world of difference. In CAN if you want security don't connect it to anything insecure.

      3. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Security ???

        So some CANbus modules are sensors or switches (transmit only), some are connected to actuators (receive only) and some are both (Engine Management Unit).

        1. BillG
          Alert

          Re: Security ???

          Having worked designing microcontrollers into cars for 15 years, let me tell you how it works in Detroit:

          Yes, each car manufacturer will initially have their own standard, like J1850, but eventually they will all standardize, like CAN.

          If you supply an embedded system to Detroit, they want your code. If Apple or Google wants to supply an app or OS to Detroit, they must give the car companies their code and that is a major sticking point. They supply the code to Ford and Ford implements it. Changes are painful, it's not like patching your phone, for any code change there is paperwork, testing, months of more testing.

          And this is critical - if Google offers an app, they cannot just update it on Google Play. Ford et al MUST APPROVE the new code!!! Google HATES THAT!!!

          Apple and Google get no data. Nothing. Ford/GM/Chrysler do not share any data with suppliers. Apple and Google will get no "driving data goldmine" and that is where Google and Apple are freaking out because they are either being told no data sharing or being teased so Google/Apple will share information. Toyota and GM were the first to shout a hard NO on sharing.

          Also, while Apple and Google are used to being able to dictate terms Detroit does not like being told what to do.

          1. moosemiester

            Re: Security ???

            Thanks your comments are spot on. Something you can clarify - I thought Ford had stuck with Windows CE for the PCM and ECM as the Microsoft/Sync love affair was still underway.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Security ???

              The love affair with Microsoft is over. Ford have moved onto Blackberry owned QNX platform which is widely used by the rest of the industry.

    2. Jon 37
      Flame

      Re: Security ???

      No, of course it won't be a secure read-only link. That's too expensive.

      Like every existing implementation that ties together the CAM bus and the Internet, the join will be a buggy piece of software that allows remote code execution from the Internet and has full control of your CAM bus.

      Because security costs money, and sadly it's not in anyone's interests to provide security until *after* this has been used to kill people.

      (Well, it's in the interests of the driver, but this isn't something they're going to think about when purchasing, or even if they do think about it they can be taken in by snake-oil claims of security. So they won't pay more for real security. Car manufacturers won't pay for security out of their profits, and the customer won't pay for it, so the customer will get free claims of security with no real security. Until the point where the cost of lawsuits exceeds the cost of fitting real security, or the point where governments mandate it).

      1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

        @Jon 37 Re: Security ???

        Security costs money.

        Having your car hacked and then someone or multiple people killed because of poor security? That's a lawyer's wet dream.

        This is why the auto companies are not in favor of the integration. If past issues are any indication, bean counters are going to have to re-assess their risk weights and then err on the side of caution.

        That said, there will be more security than you believe.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Jon 37 Security ???

          "Having your car hacked and then someone or multiple people killed because of poor security? That's a lawyer's wet dream."

          That has already happened. Of course it can't be proved as there's no traces of it as the car in question burned. Very, very difficult even it hadn't.

          Knowing something happening and proving it in court are two totally different things.

          So happening is irrelevant as long as it can't be proved.

          But hacking is already proved: It is possible and if some hobbyist can already do it, many professionals can. There's no question about that.

    3. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      Re: Security ???

      I though CAN was being usurped by TSN ethernet (on high end vehicles anyway), due to greater bandwidth for AV applications?

    4. scrubber

      Re: Security ???

      Brought to you from the same industry that decided to let customers burn to death rather than repair dangerous fuel tanks?

      The same industry that fought seat belts and airbags and fuel efficiency improvements?

      I'm sure the cost of implementing decent security will be irrelevant to them.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Security ???

        Access to the vehicle data is already securely available via OBDII on every car built since the mid '90's when it was made mandatory, and OBDII to Bluetooth adaptors have been available since forever to pull data out of this interface for under a tenner (and it's a readonly interface while the engine is running, if you had a competent car manufacturer) Now, if my 20 year old car can get this right then I fail to see why it can't be done by a brand new car!

        Liking tech toys I use this interface to project a HUD in the corner of my windscreen with most of the information that the article says that I can't access. The only thing that's not available in my car is the fuel status, because it's not required in OBDII as it was intended for garage diagnostics in the '90's. So, declare that OBD3 has the fuel status indicator available, and job done. Does a smartphone have any business writing data to the cars internal network? No? Then just don't give them the access.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Security ???

          I do this too with the Android Torque app and a Bluetooth OBDII link. My (2012) car does give fuel info, including fuel flow rate and tank level. And coolant temp and oil temp and throttle position and short- and long-term fuel trim, spark advance, mass air flow, voltage, RPM, location, blah, blah. I have it set to log data points to my home server via HTTP every five seconds. The phone sits comfortably wedged in the space that typically tells me what radio station I'm tuned to, so I don't need the HUD feature and it doesn't obscure anything important.

          It can clear MIL trouble codes, and I suppose it could write other stuff too. There is an aftermarket in performance enhancing firmware. I'm not worried. I keep my eyes on the road and my hands upon the wheel... mostly.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Security ???

          " if my 20 year old car can get this right then I fail to see why it can't be done by a brand new car!"

          Offshoring to the lowest priced (not lowest cost) supplier.

          It's a silly idea to offshore bleeding edge technology to the lowest priced supplier though in some niche cases it may well be sensible to outsource it to a supplier with a proven track record.

          Once a technology becomes relatively commonplace, it's perfectly safe to offshore it to the lowest priced supplier, isn't it, nothing can pissobnly gr woong/.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Security ???

          "Access to the vehicle data is already securely available "

          Unsecurely: Anyone who have physical access, can read anything there is to read.

          Connect OBD to bluetooth or wlan and it becomes almost anyone, no physical access needed.

  2. Lotaresco

    Alexa?

    "More impressively, at CES it also announced integration with Amazon's Alexa"

    This is the sort of news that makes me want to strangle the idiot who thought it was a good idea. My experience with the security of in-car electronics leaves me feeling that the Internet of Trash is better secured and we all know how great that is. The automotive industry does not have people who are aware of the threats that voice activation and remote access introduce to a system. They don't understand encryption or the need for a key infrastructure. They just pat themselves on the back if a "feature" works reliably within the limited use cases they imagined.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Alexa?

      More impressively, at CES it also announced integration with Amazon's Alexa

      Now we know what to say every time we get into a taxi:

      https://xkcd.com/1807/

    2. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Alexa?

      "My experience with the security of in-car electronics leaves me feeling that the Internet of Trash is better secured and we all know how great that is."

      Perhaps it's just a matter of priorities. So far Toyota has had uncrackable map updates, but I bet the rest of the electronics isn't nearly as well protected.

    3. kmac499

      Re: Alexa?

      Voice activation on the CAN-Bus with SQL injection

      Cortina <ping> Drop table engine_map

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not really a fan

    I know that a lot of the tech advancements in this area are cool, but I'm not really a fan. More things to break more things to become obsolete.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Not really a fan

      > More things to break more things to become obsolete.

      Did you really believe him when he said, "the gold is the data"?

  4. frank ly

    I can imagine

    "Imagine manipulating Spotify via your steering wheel controls, for example."

    This should also flash all the lights on the car as a warning to other road users to stay well away from that vehicle.

    1. Malcolm 1

      Re: I can imagine

      Do you realise you can already do this? We've got Ford Sync 2 (I think) on our car which can control Spotify (or presumably any other media playback device) via bluetooth from the in car controls media. It's basic next/previous track stuff rather than searching for music of course.

      1. gow87

        Re: I can imagine

        We had that on our old ford, it was great. New ford, I have to have a spotify app on the car that prevents the android device from being able to interact with spotify (presumably for safety reasons) while moving. I get it, but at the same time when it was just a simple bluetooth controller, someone else could sit in the passenger seat and control the playlist... feels like a step backwards but I could just be missing a daft option somewhere.

  5. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    I would expect that the AfterMarket people would love this

    There will be a market for 'cough-cough' devices that stop your vehicle from sending back all sorts of data to the manufacturers. As this will no doubt include GPS information the TLA's (and Plod, GCHQ, local councils, dog catchers and joe who lives down the street) will be after that data in a flash.

    Then there are the insurance companies who have an interest in you driving everywhere at a snails pace.

    They do not take '10 laps of Brands Hatch on a Track Day' kindly even though their insurance isn't valid for that sort of thing.

    No, no and thrice no.

    I don't think I am alone in thinking that it is time to call a halt to this surveilance.

    Yes I know that the terroists and all that but there has to be a limit.

    See Icon.

    1. DanceMan

      Re: I would expect that the AfterMarket people would love this

      "Then there are the insurance companies who have an interest in you driving everywhere at a snails pace."

      I'm with Steve on this issue. If the vehlicle's driving data can be accessed via the internet, Big Brother Insurance Co. will be using the data to jack up rates.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: I would expect that the AfterMarket people would love this

        Driving data doesn't have to be accessed via the internet. There's already devices that plug into the OBD-II port and access the CANBUS data for the insurance company. You buy the policy and plug it in yourself. If the data fits their criteria of a safe driver, you get a break in fees.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I would expect that the AfterMarket people would love this

        " If the vehlicle's driving data can be accessed via the internet, Big Brother Insurance Co. will be using the data to jack up rates."

        Of course, that's the only real reason they desperately want it.Also full time tracking for spying, a nice byproduct.

        Obviously talking about price reductions for those people 'driving carefully' is bullshit: That will never happen.

  6. ratfox Silver badge

    If history is any guide, nobody will want to use the manufacturer system because the UI will be unusable, access to CAN data or not.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Car UIs are somewhere in early 80s

      Yup.

      Car manufacturers are somewhere in 1980s in user interface design. And they don't have any intention to update.

  7. Lee D Silver badge

    WHY would you want to provide a facility for people to manipulate their phone's Spotify from the car controls?

    As it is people aren't paying enough attention.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Car controls (knobs, sticks, paddles etc) can be operated by touch alone - there is no reason to take your eyes off the road. Whilst you can't select a Spotify track from a list using this method, you easily skip to the next track in a playlist - just as people have for decades skipped between FM radio stations or CD tracks.

      1. Ed_UK

        "Car controls (knobs, sticks, paddles etc) can be operated by touch alone - there is no reason to take your eyes off the road. "

        Good point. A touchscreen offers no tactile feedback, (unless haptic) so you have to take your eyes off the road and look where you're poking.

        Being in the market for a replacement car, I have visited several forecourts recently. I have walked away in disgust at being offered an infotainment panel which is _wholly_ touchscreen-operated. That's Ford and Toyota off my shortlist, possibly Honda too. The VAG offerings (that I've seen so far) at least have knobs to twiddle.

        How come it's illegal to fiddle with a 'phone while driving, but magically ok to faff about with a car's touchscreen?

  8. DocNo
    Mushroom

    Sounds reasonable

    Yeah the guys who can't keep airbags from killing more than they save are getting into IT?

    What could go wrong?

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Sounds reasonable

      Slight exaggeration there.

    2. Lotaresco
      FAIL

      Re: Sounds reasonable

      "Yeah the guys who can't keep airbags from killing more than they save are getting into IT?"

      The US statistics for 1990-2007 are:

      Drivers killed by airbags - 91

      Drivers saved by airbags - 19872 of which 12104 were idiots who were not using seatbelts.

      Source: NCSA July report 2007

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sounds reasonable

        91 is still too much .... having high explosive in steering wheel isn't a bright idea by any means as it's not related to moving the car, it's just an option you can't un-choose.

        As long as killing yourself isn't a crime, having a car without airbag (but with seatbelts) shouldn't be illegal.

        Airbag basically exists because people are not using seatbelts so it's a belt & suspenders-situation for those who do.

        1. Lotaresco
          Boffin

          Re: Sounds reasonable

          "91 is still too much .... "

          You claimed airbags kill more people than they save.

          That was incorrect. At the level of about 19,000:91.

          So now you say 91 is "still too much".

          Your bright idea is to remove airbags from cars.

          So you would sacrifice 19,000 people to save 91.

          That's seriously messed up.

          Here's a clue. Next time you get something wrong say "I made a mistake, I was wrong." Then you won't look a fool.

  9. Whitter
    Boffin

    ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

    Not if you are in the UK (and don't have a garage) you can't:

    "You MUST NOT leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road."

    http://www.highwaycode.info/rule/123

    I imagine many potentially helpful (and therefor potentially dangerous) actions may have troubles somewhere in the world for somebody, so the whole approach may require "legal-region" localised APIs or the like.

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day... @Whitter

      "Not if you are in the UK (and don't have a garage) you can't:"

      You can always fit a car with a timer controlled heater, e.g. Webasto or similar.

      "You MUST NOT leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road."

      You omitted the 'for more than a couple of minutes' - in which you can scrape and brush the windows and the engine has already warmed up a bit.

      1. DropBear Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day... @Whitter

        "You omitted the 'for more than a couple of minutes' - in which you can scrape and brush the windows and the engine has already warmed up a bit."

        No, he didn't. That's quite literally exactly what a friend of mine complained of almost getting fined for in Germany this last winter. No idea what the "officially approved" procedure is for scraping your windows, but apparently you're strictly forbidden from doing it with your engine running...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day... @Whitter

          The law is simply that you shouldn't have any unnecessary idling. Was either dealing with an over-officious busybody or didn't just turn the car on and start scraping.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day... @Whitter

          "... procedure is for scraping your windows, but apparently you're strictly forbidden from doing it with your engine running..."

          Yes. And of course if you don't have your engine running, the windows will freeze/fog immediately again.

          Money generating rule which makes no sense at all, once again.

          Some people call this green fascism and technically it is: Forbid essential function because emissions and you can't win: Either you scape the windows and get fined or you don't scrape them and still get fined.

          That, my friends, is one definition of fascism.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

      It wouldn't be clever to run your engine in a garage.

      Darwin Awards and all that.

      1. Lotaresco

        Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

        "It wouldn't be clever to run your engine in a garage."

        Petrol engine, catalytic converter. The old suicide by car exhaust is extremely unlikely these days. If the catalytic converter is defective, if the garage is tightly sealed then it may be possible. However I can recall when working in a hospital someone being brought into A&E who had tried to kill themselves with exhaust fumes but failed. They had used 40 litres of fuel and yet still had low blood CO levels. Pre 1975 cars emitted about 100,000ppm CO, modern cars about 1,000.

        1. Mage Silver badge

          Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

          CO2 kills too. The car uses up oxygen if it's a sealed garage.

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

            Once it has used up most of the oxygen, even a really efficient engine might start chucking out CO.

            1. Mage Silver badge

              Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

              It doesn't need to use up the oxygen.

              Unless it's burning only hydrogen, CO2 is produced.

              Toxic level is "6% or 60,000 ppm" though Wikipedia says 7% (70,000ppm)

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide#Toxicity

              Or

              Extreme and Dangerous CO2 Levels

              slightly intoxicating, breathing and pulse rate increase, nausea: 30000 - 40000 ppm

              above plus headaches and sight impairment: 50000 ppm

              unconscious, further exposure death: 100000 ppm

              http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/co2-comfort-level-d_1024.html

              I don't know how long you need to run a car in a garage (or your living room), or how poor the ventilation needs to be. It's not just about CO.

              1. Dr_N Silver badge

                Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

                You are forgetting the toxicity of CO & NOx compared to CO₂.

                You'll die of CO or NOx poisoning well before CO₂concentration come into play.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

                  "You are forgetting the toxicity of CO & NOx compared to CO₂."

                  The point about CO is that it is a silent killer - you don't notice anything wrong till you're unconscious. Whereas high carbon dioxide levels have symptoms which would cause most people to leave the vehicle.

                  It's why hydrogen sulfide is so much safer than hydrogen cyanide despite having a comparable lethal dose - the smell is strong enough to discourage you from continuing to breathe the stuff, while hydrogen cyanide, for most people, has only a faint smell even in lethal concentrations.

                  1. Stevie Silver badge

                    Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day... (4 Voyna i Mor)

                    "The point about CO is that it is a silent killer - you don't notice anything wrong till you're unconscious. "

                    You do, you know.

                    You feel very relaxed and carefree, and an interesting thing happens: your intellect is screaming at you to act to save your life while emotionally you find it *very* hard to care enough to move.

                    Actual experiential data from a particularly dense and idiotic episode in my past. Knew what was going on. Didn't want to top myself.

                    But lifting my hand to turn off the ignition was one of the hardest things I've ever tried to do.

                    My experience says that CO is only a "silent killer" if getting out takes longer than you have left by the time you figure it out or you are asleep when you get exposed.

                    1. Lotaresco

                      Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day... (4 Voyna i Mor)

                      "You feel very relaxed and carefree, and an interesting thing happens: your intellect is screaming at you to act to save your life while emotionally you find it *very* hard to care enough to move."

                      I've suffered CO poisoning from an open fire when peculiar weather conditions stopped the chimney working. I didn't feel in the slightest relaxed or carefree. I felt sick as a dog, short of breath with a ringing headache. I realised what was happening and got up to open all the windows then took a long, long walk outside to clear the carboxyhaemoglobin from my blood.

                  2. Lotaresco
                    Boffin

                    Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

                    "It's why hydrogen sulfide is so much safer than hydrogen cyanide"

                    Hydrogen sulphide is a killer at concentrations above 100ppm. Unfortunately above 100ppm it is odourless. I suspect that if you or I could be bothered to do the searches we would find that H2S kills more people annually than HCN. Despite the known risks, utility workers are poisoned each year by H2S when working underground. Three died in January this year in Key Largo, Fla and a firefighter who tried to rescue them was in a critical condition in hospital.

              2. tfewster Silver badge

                Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

                @Mage, your own link (correctly) says CO2 is not toxic.

                Good job really, as https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breathing#Composition says that your exhaled breath is 4% – 5.3% carbon dioxide

                1. Chemist

                  Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

                  "@Mage, your own link (correctly) says CO2 is not toxic."

                  You might like to read the rest of the paragraph !

                  "Concentrations of 7% to 10% (70,000 to 100,000 ppm) may cause suffocation, even in the presence of sufficient oxygen, manifesting as dizziness, headache, visual and hearing dysfunction, and unconsciousness within a few minutes to an hour.[98] The physiological effects of acute carbon dioxide exposure are grouped together under the term hypercapnia, a subset of asphyxiation."

                  1. Lotaresco
                    Boffin

                    Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

                    @Chemist

                    "@Mage, your own link (correctly) says CO2 is not toxic."

                    You might like to read the rest of the paragraph !

                    Yes... I'd really hope that a chemist would know the difference between toxicity and asphyxiation.

              3. Lotaresco

                Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

                "Toxic level is "6% or 60,000 ppm" though Wikipedia says 7% (70,000ppm)"

                There's a difference between "toxic" and "intoxicating". At 6% CO2 can cause near-instant unconsciousness. This is intoxication. If death follows it is as a consequence of suffocation.

                Very high CO2 levels can cause lung damage and respiratory problems because of the formation of carbonic acid in the lungs but you would be unconscious long before that point.

            2. Lou 2

              Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

              At what point does this efficient engine stall due to a lack of oxygen? Before or after you die of a lack of oxygen?

              1. Chemist

                Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

                "Before or after you die of a lack of oxygen?"

                As has been mentioned carbon dioxide will kill you quite effectively at modest concentrations. Many years ago I wrote one of our laboratory safety regulations banning people from moving solid carbon dioxide ( a common coolant in labs) by lift.

          2. Lotaresco

            Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

            "CO2 kills too. The car uses up oxygen if it's a sealed garage."

            You know, I'd appreciate it if people commenting here could be arsed to read the post they reply to. I mentioned a sealed garage as one of the possibilities along with a faulty "cat". However most garages are far from sealed because a sealed garage causes your car to rust spectacularly quickly. The air needs to circulate to keep humidity levels low.

            In a sealed garage the thing that will kill you is carbon monoxide because it's more toxic than CO2 and as the engine runs in a high CO2/low oxygen environment it will belt out CO even with a working catalyst.

        2. Tuomas Hosia

          Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

          "The old suicide by car exhaust is extremely unlikely these days. "

          Just old plain CO2 is plenty enough.

          " Pre 1975 cars emitted about 100,000ppm CO, modern cars about 1,000."

          You mean 10% and that's bullshit. Any even remotely modern car emitting that much CO is broken.

          A -66 VW Bus emits about 1% and that's adjustable: Best performance is at that 1% CO. Anything over 2% and it's either adjusted wrong or broken.

          1. Lotaresco
            Headmaster

            Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

            "\" Pre 1975 cars emitted about 100,000ppm CO, modern cars about 1,000."

            You mean 10% and that's bullshit."

            You probably need to attend remedial maths classes sooner, rather than later. If you care to get out your pocket calculator (I'm reasonably sure that you won't be able to do the calculation in your head, because you just proved that you can't) you will find that (1,000/1,000,000)*100 = 0.1 not 10.

            So yes 10% is bullshit and the bullshit is yours.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

        Or any gasoline burning heater, like Webasto or Ebersprächer.

        Same fuel, similar exhausts and no catalysators for those.

    3. Unep Eurobats

      Re: unattended

      I think you'll find it's quite sufficient to glance out of the bathroom window every few minutes while you shower, shave and clean your teeth.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: unattended

        "you shower, ..." What, EVERY week?

        1. Lotaresco

          Re: unattended

          ""you shower, ..." What, EVERY week?"

          Every first of April whether I need it or not.

          1. Pedigree-Pete
            Joke

            Shower....

            29th Feb for me. PP

    4. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

      Your driveway is not a public road.

    5. Dave 32
      Pint

      Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

      I have to wonder how many police officers, firemen, ambulance crewmen, etc., would fall victim to this rule?

      Locally, there was a report of a bar fight which was telephoned into the local police agency. A police officer responded, in his patrol car, and slid it to a stop outside the bar (lights going and all that). He ran into the bar, which was dead quiet, and asked the bored bartender where the fight was. Turns out that there was no fight. But, when the police officer left the bar, he found that his patrol car was gone! Whoopsie!

      Dave

      P.S. They found it parked on the side of a major road, about 8 miles away, with the lights still going, but with it out of gasoline. I don't think they ever did catch the person who stole it.

      1. Lou 2
        Pint

        Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

        So I hope the officer got fired - not for leaving his vehicle unattended but not having fuel in it for more than 8 miles. I mean which officer goes on patrol with a empty vehicle?

    6. mariom

      Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

      This works already on cars such as the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe.

      You're welcome.

      Also - for the insurance data, I'm sure civil engineering companies that specialise in roads could use the data to charge higher prices for works on heavily used roads - just because...

  10. tiggity Silver badge

    Options

    Will all the car buying options of the future include the ability to not have all this IoT junk potential security issue stuff in your car?

    I would pay a premium for a "dumb" car

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Options

      Tough. You likely already have a 'smart' car, albeit one that isn't 'connected'. CANbus has been around for a while. What makes it secure on my vehicle is that it is air-gapped - there is no wireless transmitter or receiver fitted to its network. The only time it talks to external computers by a physical cable during servicing.

      The system works on two frequencies on a twisted pair loop, one for important stuff like the drivetrain, the other for stuff like windows, HVAC and ICE. Should one cable break, the drivetrain stuff won't work for safety's sake, but you can still wind down an electric window whilst awaiting rescue (though of course you won't stay in your vehicle if on a motorway hardshoulder or blind corner now, will you?)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "secure ... air-gapped"

        "What makes it secure on my vehicle is that it is air-gapped"

        FFS.

        The people who got caught by Stuxnet thought that being "air gapped" made them secure.

        You should learn the same lesson they did - that in the presence of air gaps, other routes still work.

        You have heard of Stuxnet, right?

        1. DropBear Silver badge

          Re: "secure ... air-gapped"

          And where exactly do you propose plugging in your "alternative malicious payload" into my car considering not only does it have neither wireless connectivity nor a USB socket, it doesn't even understand OBDII? Unless you're proposing re-chipping the ECU (if you have any idea where it is, of course) what you're going to need to mount an "attack" is a baseball bat...

          1. Tuomas Hosia

            Re: "secure ... air-gapped"

            ".. not only does it have neither wireless connectivity nor a USB socket,"

            Remote locking is enough: Radio/infra access point and those listen to commands. If it doesn't even those then it's getting difficult, I admit that.

            But even a RDS radio receiver is enough if and when it's connected to CAN, like it is in modern cars.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Options

        "You likely already have a 'smart' car, albeit one that isn't 'connected'. "

        False. Of course you assume that people drive only with new cars. Some people don't.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Options

      I've had the luxury to move to so old cars that they don't have any electronics. Unless you count a coil as one.

      Even voltage adjuster for generator is a electro-mechanical item. Very reliable, a new one operates easily 30 years despite being what it is.

  11. Mage Silver badge
    Facepalm

    DAB Radio

    It's possible to have a pirate DAB station under $2000 (Pirates don't bother because FM works better and most DAB Radios are used more or even only on FM, but that's another story).

    Cars have already been remote controlled using a faked BBC R4 on DAB. What sort of idiot design of car?

    Also Fiat / Chrysler jeeps via Mobile

    Also Tesla cars.

    So it's ALREADY gone bad.

    Also add vulnerable BMW and RAV4 door lock apps.

  12. patrickstar

    What? 'Linux run the battle for embedded systems that control vehicles' Uhm, no.

    Linux might be fine and dandy for lots of stuff but isn't even hard realtime. And many of these systems don't even have something you'd normally call an operating system. More like a set of libs and perhaps some sort of scheduler (frequently cooperative).

    1. Starace Silver badge

      Exactly. I saw that bit and just thought 'bollocks'. Even the infotainment is usually running something else.

      Though for some reason Tesla do like running their systems on Linux and other COTS bits.

      Another minor point re. some comments is that manufacturers are now switching to secure bootloader and encrypted firmware for everything, well beyond where it was before to prevent any possibility of fun and games. The only options will be reloading the approved firmware and the signed as-built configuration and everything else will be out of bounds. The only reason it hasn't happened earlier has been the performance issues related to programming everything in the time available on the production line and that is now pretty much sorted.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "... is that manufacturers are now switching to secure bootloader and encrypted firmware for everything, "

        Yes, but the point isn't security. Unless you count preventing 'software modification by users' 'security'.

        It's all about vendor lock-in and has nothing to do with actual security.

        "Service only in authorized dealer" like Deere is already doing and charging ridiculous amounts of money for it.

        Other kinds of securities don't mean a thing, it's even worse than in IoT-world in cars: They didn't even have the concept of 'break-in' 2 years ago: It didn't exist at all.

        At that time BMW claimed that it's impossible to steal their cars and they claimed that every theft was because of user neglet. Until VP of BMW got his car stolen and hackers had several videos in Youtube where simple laptop, some software and a blank key was enough to steal any BMW.

        Listen a while, do some magic in software, use blank key (with same laptop) to make a copy of original key and voilá: The car is yours.

        From outside it looks totally like owner: A guy with the key comes, opens the doors, starts and runs away.

        Of course BMW tried to explain these as fakes, but eventually failed when high end BMW were starting to vanish at alarming rate.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Alexa integration?

    Why?

    Is Amazon going to flying drones with petrol cans and spare tyres everywhere.

    Thats a weird future nobody needs.

  14. earl grey Silver badge
    Mushroom

    "potentially lowers your premiums"

    Will that be just before; or right after hell freezes over?

  15. Eduard Coli
    Stop

    Not yet speedy

    "IVOX then stores the data, aggregating it to produce a driver's score. It sends that score, rather than your precious vehicle data, to insurance firms who will then adjust the premium to suit both grannies and boy racers." Everyone including IVOX and the insurance corporations know that this is less about reducing premiums and all about making non-monitored driving as expensive as possible.

    The data needs to be owned by the guy who bought the car before any of this other stuff can be considered otherwise it will be a massive invasion of privacy and will result in a big pile of lawsuits.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Not yet speedy

      >rather than your precious vehicle data, to insurance firms who will then adjust the premium to suit both grannies and boy racers.

      Yeah because a careful 18yo is going to get lower premiums, right? And no-one has both father and child on the same car, right?

  16. DougS Silver badge

    No CAN BUS, but you could link them with ODB-II

    ODB-II supports a lot more than reading/resetting diag codes, which is all that most people use it for. You can get info on fuel remaining and tons of other stuff. If you wanted to support that on your phone without your car maker cooperating, someone could develop an ODB II connector with bluetooth that your phone could pair with.

    Just leave it plugged in all the time, put a little memory in it so it can record data when your phone isn't present, and you could have access to all your car's data every moment it drives from your phone. And this is something you could do even on a 10 year old car...

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: No CAN BUS, but you could link them with ODB-II

      Already a thing, can be bought at electronics retailers etc.

    2. Unicornpiss Silver badge

      Re: No CAN BUS, but you could link them with ODB-II

      I already have one of those Bluetooth transceivers that plugs into the OBD-II port. And it pairs with my smart phone to give me all sorts of data. These have been around for at least 5 years. Besides the more mundane things it relays, such as trouble codes and resetting them, I can indeed monitor my vehicle's speed, temps for all kinds of things including the catalytic converter, and dozens of other parameters, The data is there for the taking, as long as you have an appropriate app to make heads or tails of it and integrate it. I also have a corded programmer that will allow reflashing the firmware and adjusting all sorts of things, such as shift firmness, rev limiter, when the cooling fans come on/turn off, etc.

      These things have indeed been around for awhile, and must be used cautiously. I fear the upcoming climate where this is all more open and every halfwit that bought some kit from China and the associated dodgy app is mucking around with their car's programming, developed usually at great expense and with much debugging by automakers.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: No CAN BUS, but you could link them with ODB-II

        Suppose I should have looked to see if they were already existing. So much for filing a patent and getting rich off my idea I guess!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    long complicatd explanations

    Are always suspicious to me.

  18. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Meh

    Horsepower

    Putting security issues aside for a moment, the BMW comment was intriguing... and annoying. If I have an engine rated at say, 300HP, I better be getting all 300 ponies and not have to use a subscription service to "rent" the extra power when I want it. That is just ludicrous. Guess what the first thing to be hacked will be if this becomes a service?

  19. Sandy Scott

    Waze running out of pateince with Android Auto

    I've got a shiny new Ford Escape (aka Kuga) and the strange mixed personality of the infotainment system is a bit of a disappointment. If I'm in the standard system, all the voice commands for audio controls work great, but I haven't got the navigation package. In Android Auto, I've got google maps, but that breaks all the all the voice control for car audio - which is necesary for Sirus with the ridiculous number of stations available. Also I'd really like the phone to be able to use the car's compass - one of the biggest things that phone maps always seem to get wrong with driving directions is getting you to turn the correct way into the street when you first set off - usually because it's got confused about which way the phone's pointing, or misread your reversing out of a parking space as setting off - I've never had that problem with a dedicated (built-in or standalone) sat-nav.

    I'm not sure how the dynamic between Waze and Google/Alphabet works, but I bet the lack of openness in Android Auto has strained things - Waze are probably losing tech-savvy motorists to Maps in Android Auto, with very little sign of Google opening up that platform to anyone other than music & chat apps.

    1. The Packrat

      Re: Waze running out of pateince with Android Auto

      Google have owned Waze for a while now, so I doubt there're going to be any significant communication issues. They paid a pretty decent chunk of change to get them too...

  20. RudderLessIT

    So is this about mobile OS integration, or autonomous vehicles?

    This article talks a lot about the data that can be obtained from the engine management systems and how you can play with spotify while you are driving - but none of that has anything to do with making cars autonomous.

    You don't need to be a self qualified futurist to recognise that once autonomous cars are fairly standard & accepted, the "user experience" will change dramatically.

    Car manufacturers will move away from power & cornering speeds and move towards keeping the (obsolete) 'human driver' entertained and alert, if they have to actually drive the car (I really cannot see this working). Don't believe me - just think back to when car showrooms had cars with all of their bonnets up, to show off the engine bay, and then take a look at the sales focus of car manufacturers today (it's about the lifestyle).

    So Ford & Toyota don't want telemetry data sent to phones. Okay. So what?

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: So is this about mobile OS integration, or autonomous vehicles?

      As far as I can tell, all futurists are self qualified.

      1. IglooDude

        Re: So is this about mobile OS integration, or autonomous vehicles?

        "As far as I can tell, all futurists are self qualified."

        Or will be soon, at any rate.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So is this about mobile OS integration, or autonomous vehicles?

      " then take a look at the sales focus of car manufacturers today (it's about the lifestyle)."

      Yes, of course. Selling bullshit that doesn't cost anything to make and therefore more profit.

      Any "lifestyle product" has huge profit, hundreds of percents.

      Some people fall in that, most people don't. At least twice.

  21. kirk_augustin@yahoo.com

    Autonomous cars are NEVER going to happen.

    First of all, it is incredible hubris to remotely consider that programmer can anticipate all things that can happen on the road. Second is that humans are millions of times faster at object recognition because we use billions of parallel processors instead of being limited to a half dozen cores like the fastest cpus.

    The current tests are fakes, relying on GPS, and unable to even recognize turn signals or brake lights.

    Second is that no one wants to be connected. Instead they want privacy, so there is no record of where they have been. No one wants hackers to be able to take control of their vehicle as has been shown to already be possible with Jeep Grand Cherokees. People LIKE to drive, and will run any attempt at autonomous cars off the road. And if not, then the government will ban them the first time a terrorist realizes they make the perfect bomb delivery system.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Autonomous cars are happening.

      Self driving cars are happening in part because humans are very poor at object recognition and rarely use the equivalent of a couple processors when driving. Most people drive with their brains completely disengaged or running multiple alternate programs. Autonomous software has a very low bar when it comes to killing fewer people on the roads.

      No one wants privacy. The minority within your bubble do value privacy, those who have had it, experienced what it was like to live in a surveillance state and then a free state, those who have read and understand history, and those that can see the direction we are headed see privacy as fundamental, something well worth yelling about even dying for. All those people combined make up a tiny minority who if they tried to do something about it, are easily kept quiet. Even the conversations at this site are controlled, effective action from that minority is not happening and unlikely.

      People do not care about basic rights. This was made very clear when the President of the USA announced that he, and a committee of his choosing, had the right, and had used that right, to drone kill American citizens he, and his committee, deemed worthy of such action. It is not possible to have a free society when the government can, without due process, drone kill citizens it deems a threat. People in the USA, around the world, said little, it wasn't even an issue in the last American election.

      But my down vote was because you suggested people like to drive.

      This is clearly false. Look outside your group and you'll find the vast majority of other drivers do not like driving. It shows in how they drive, and in their ignorance of driving and vehicles. Most believe speed kills, that it takes them hundreds of feet to stop from 60mph, and that most crashes are caused by drunk drivers not wearing seatbelts (or whatever the latest "safety campaign" is telling them).

      Spend some time at a checkstop or blockade. From parents wanting to get to a soccer match, to truckers that just want everyone out of their way, to commuters driving with their brain off, you will have a hard time finding any drivers, anyone wanting to drive, anyone actually liking the current driving experience.

      As a society, self driving cars are long overdue.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Autonomous cars are happening.

        "Self driving cars are happening in part because humans are very poor at object recognition "

        Irrelevant and they aren't happening any time soon as software is extremely poor to adjusting to different environments.

        After all, it's automata: A thing desinged to do one thing fast and many, many times. Any unknown situation leads to an error or total crash. In car that means actual crash and there's nothing äthe driver' can do to stop it.

        Machine vision is working adequately in bright daylight or in simulation but real world conditions are still too much.

        Same thing applies to varying friction. All tests have been done in good visibility, in summertime: Testers know their limits even if fan boys don't.

        But the major block is the legalese: Who's paying when something happens?

        And accidents will always happen, automated or not.

        There's nothing which can stop that: Even for aeroplanes the most dangerous time is at the airport, despite millions worth of software and automation per plane.

        Cars have similar conditions all the time and there are a lot of more cars.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Autonomous cars are happening.

        "People do not care about basic rights."

        Some people. Some people don't care about basic rights for other people.

        "As a society, self driving cars are long overdue."

        So killing people in traffic can be automated and it's no-ones fault then? You can bet the car manufacturers aren't going to take blame on any accident or software bug or simple mechanical failure.

        They aren't doing it now either.

        Yet another person having both feet firmly in air.

  22. Geekhillbilly
    Pirate

    Not this time

    again with the data slurping and looking over your shoulder monitoring what you are doing and where you are going -no thanks.I'll keep and drive my 1960s era former police car and keep BIG Data out of my life,Thank you.

    IoT has proven to be a disaster - The ability of anyone being able to take control of a vehicle remotely - and any IoT connected device (including the cops,who at least where I live -have proven to to be corrupt beyond belief) is something I do not want.The most modern vehicle I own is a 1999 Ford Ranger pickup and even here,I have taken steps to prevent any form of spying on what I do,to the point of replacing the OEM computer with a hand built computer that is totally isolated from the outside world.I get better performance and a hell of a lot better mileage than Ford had imagined.

    How long it will take for most people to realize that the invasion of your privacy for some slight convenience isn't worth it?

  23. Toni the terrible

    Not this time 2

    I am sure no one with a modicum of sense and without an overwhelming need for shineys would use IoT, but I can see Govs eventually requiring you to provide at least read access to telemetics on all cars for insurance / safety / accident stats / think of the children / and 'security'. So enjoy your home brewed computer in your car while you can, it may not be lawful in the future.

    Still I wish I had the skillset to play safely with my car innards but I don't - hence the mild envy.

    Still if you do want security give up that Smartphone as well and never connect any of your computers to the internet. It could be that the most data secure people will be those not poor enough to get Gov help and not rich enough to buy / use the technological shineys, and of course manage to stay healthy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not this time 2

      "So enjoy your home brewed computer in your car while you can, it may not be lawful in the future."

      For new cars. Adding those to old cars running at 6V positive ground might be a slight hindrance.

      And of course doesn't make any sense.

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