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Are “Smart Cars” Too Smart?

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dk-thumb2 Daryl Killian
Saturdays 10am - 12pm
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  autos arrows plug v2 Are Smart Cars Too Smart?

Today’s show focused on technology that’s being introduced in newer vehicles under the auspices of safety and convenience.

While I have grown fond of the modern conveniences in the automobile (bluetooth, navigation, Wi-Fi etc.), there are critics of how technology is integrated into our daily commute. From the “conspiracy theorists”, to parents of teenagers concerned with the distractions of automation, (and the inherent safety risks associated with too much outside stimulation provided by said automation) concerns are being raised about the amount of technology in cars today.

Granted, much of the technology that we see, hear and read about has grown out of the need to make cars safer and more fuel-efficient. However, things such as driverless cars, 4G LTE wireless networks, Wi-Fi capabilities, GPS and traffic signal interfacing push the envelope of vehicle connectivity. In the near future, it is likely that drivers will be able to check and send email, watch videos, respond to text messages, hold conference calls and eat breakfast, all simultaneously, while navigating rush hour traffic on the way to the office. I know some of you do this now (without the technology), but researchers and designers are testing ways to make this possible with your (and my) safety in mind.

Opponents of these advances worry that these conveniences not only do little to make driving safer, but that it lends itself to a heightened threat of car hacking. The thought is that cars capable of communicating wirelessly on the internet, with traffic signals and other vehicles, will be a computer hackers dream come true. Just like hackers can wirelessly disrupt our home computers, cell phones and government agency networks, the potential for life threatening intrusion into our automobiles is may be inevitable. If GPS satellites can pinpoint a vehicles location within mere feet and provide turn-by-turn directions to a predetermined location, then certainly some unscrupulous hacker can track the vehicle as well. Not only that, but there are concerns that those same hackers will be able to control said vehicles remotely.

While I don’t find myself overly concerned about the possibilities of car hacking, for those of you that are, I would suggest adding “technology” to your list of research when looking for the right vehicle for you.

Go here for more information about topics covered in today’s show:

Driverless Cars
GM Goes Wirelss
Car Hacking

Tune in to WAOK 1380 am, waok.com or V103 HD3, every Saturday morning from 10am – 12noon for anything automotive!

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