Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Car Hacking

NPR and Fox have been running stories about car hackers.  The hackers claim to be able  to take control of the victim automobile, blow the horn, work the steering, work the brakes and accelerator, change stations on the radio, just about everything.
   This is the stuff of Hollywood movies.  I can see it now, black clad villain, laughing maniacally, fingers a radio control box and causes the hero's car to dive off the cliff, pull out in front of a freight train, swerve into a bridge abutment.
    For this to work, the victim car has to cooperate.  It has to have motors or actuators to move the steering, the brakes, the throttle.  And, no decent car ought to have that kind of automation.  The trusty '57 Chevy drove just fine without any of this junk.  It wouldn't parallel park itself, but I learned how to parallel park a long long time ago and I still do it by hand.
   There might be a market for cars proof against hacking.  As it is, I plan to keep my trusty Mercury Grand Marquis running as long as I can, just in case.
   While they are at it, they could market a car without that black box speed recorder that can ruin your day in court after the accident.


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