Unfortunately, with the number onboard “processors”, computers, local buses and now local networks in new cars, all this humor is very to the point.
Software development that consistently supports functionality and dependably is one effort, in order for humans to access the functions easily and intuitively is another.
The latest BMW 7 Series has been heavily criticize for having a complicated feature access- (read: hard to figure out and use quickly) In contrast, the latest software from Audi has been recognized as being highly well thought-out while performing almost the exact same functions as the BMW.
It is well documented that the CIA has investigated VIT (vehicle immobility tactics) certainly not limited to electronic bursts to “disorient” auto CPUs.
Now that almost all new cars have programmable ECUs (electronic control units), some of which can be profiled at the dealership for specific customer desires (second & third garage door openers, security changes-only unlock drive’s door, environmental settings etc) but also the burgeoning performance aftermarket. Re-chipping is being substituted with profiling ECUs for better performance.
All new cars have additional storage in their systems for the above changes (and to retain the original settings) but also for future updates to be implemented into the system. This additional storage is where the threat lies.
Through a compact set of instructions, one could program a vehicle to do most anything at anytime with any set of very specific parameters: Stop vehicle at specific physical location (via onboard GPS) lock the doors, disable phone and while the engine is running have the heater advanced to full….
OK, doubt it? Just recently Yahoo News reported the above scenario requiring firefighters to break the windows to get a man out of his BMW that went crazy.
Are automotive computer viruses far away? Yes, but not that far away…..
'03 E320 Wagon-Sold
'95 E320 Wagon-Went to Ex
'93 190E 2.6-Wrecked
'91 300E-Went to Ex
'65 911 Coupe (#302580)
Last edited by haasman; 09-11-2003 at 02:50 PM.