Car Electronics 2012

The Year of The EV article tells that We can dub 2011 the year of the EV (electric vehicles) and gives a timeline what happened 2011. The end result is that today there are enough Volts on the road (along with competitors like Nissan’s Leaf, various hybrids, and an electric Ford Focus) that it might be safe to suggest that the electric car is here to stay.

There has been many different car charging connectors in use on electronic vehicles. Electric Car Charging Standards Split article tells that many car manufacturers have agreed on a single EV charging port connector standard that has been in development by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) for several years. European car companies have been divided on standards for both AC and DC charging. The new single connector will support fast DC charging as well as be backward compatible with the J1772 AC charger that is standard on many plug-in electric vehicles today. I think that use of that standard will rise in 2012, and common charging standard will speed up the EV deployment.


Automotive electronics: What’s hot in 2012 article tells that in automotive electronics, 2012 looks to be a year of consolidation as technologies introduced previously become more widespread across model lines. In particular, voice recognition, with different features and interfaces, is seen as a way of distinguishing one brand from another, while electrified power trains in the form of hybrids and pure electric drives will be available in more models. In keep costs down driven auto industry the more mature the technology that goes into a car, the less risk of failure and costly warranty claims.

Cars and smartphones start to communicate using MirrorLink technology to allow new features. MirrorLink™ has been developed with the objective to provide a technology, offering seamless (extremely simple from the consumer perspective) connectivity between a smart phone and the in-vehicle infotainment system. It uses IP technologies in order to be independent of the physical transport mechanism and supports many car connectivity solutions (Bluetooth, WLAN, USB etc.). Whereas MirrorLink™ does allow any legacy application on the mobile device to show-up on the car display, it specifically enables easy development of mobile device based automotive applications.

Ethernet for Vehicles is gaining momentum in in the car. Ethernet for Vehicles Advances article tells that Ethernet technology in the car (a concept that was once unthinkable for the automotive industry) has been gaining momentum lately. Special interest group, known as the OPEN (One-Pair-Ether-Net) SIG, is aimed at driving broad-scale adoption of Ethernet in vehicles, largely to serve the expected boom of camera-based applications in cars. Many vehicles now have backup cameras, and many others are going to add cameras for such applications as lanekeeping, adaptive cruise control, and collision avoidance.

There is going to be an increasing number of Driver Information applications that involve displaying complex images and graphics. Xilinx Paves the Way for a New Generation of Automotive Driver Assistance and Infotainment Systems at CES 2012. World’s first Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) based Ethernet Audio/Video Bridging (EAVB) network implementation optimized for carrying high-speed data traffic within the automobile was shown at CES 2012. The IEEE 802.1 EAVB standard is already gaining the attention of a number of leading automotive manufacturers even though the specifications are still being finalized. OMG! Amazing home displays and automotive Ethernet AVB stuff from Xilinx article gives some more details what is expected in near future.


New electronics features are making challenges for developers. Automotive Electronics: Do We Really Need All This Stuff? article tells that everyone in the auto industry knows that the number of electronic control units (ECUs) in vehicles is nearing the point of unmanageability. Low-end vehicles now incorporate between 35 and 40 ECUs, while luxury cars may have 80 or more. “We’re right up against the limit right now. We need to find unique ways to integrate features and functions, and give our customers what they want without overloading our controllers.” The number of automotive features and functions keeps rising.

Would Cellphone Ban Secure Car Safety? article tells that the proliferation of in-car entertainment technologies (internet routers, smartphone links, MP3 connections, capacitive touch screens, etc.) are great for selling cars. Auto executives understand what consumers want: Many people don’t want a car with no extra features. Those new extra features have also sparked a serious debate about driver distraction dangers. “According to NHTSA [the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration], more than 3,000 people lost their lives last year in distraction-related accidents.” “You’re dealing with human nature here. People want what they want. And sometimes they want more than they should have.”


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:
    The Key to a ‘Cool Car’ Is a Cool Key – NXP

    The car key is seemingly destined to become the most visible object differentiating one car brand from another, thus cementing the bond between carmakers and car owners. At least, that’s the expectation of car OEMs — and NXP Semiconductors is banking on it.

    On Tuesday, January 6, the Dutch chip supplier, known for its prominence in the keyless entry and immobilization IC market, is unveiling a new smart-car access chip integrating passive keyless entry, a RF transmitter for remote control, and an immobilizer in one package. The new chip, dubbed NCF29A1, has been sampled by Tier Ones and car OEMs, said Lars Reger, vice president of strategy, new business, and R&D for the automotive business unit at NXP. “You’ll be able to see cool cars fitted with innovative keys in 2015.”

    The NCF29A1, which comes with a variety of upgraded features, including an ultra-low-power programmable microcontroller core, allows car OEMs to make car keys sexier than the remote key fobs that have become ubiquitous and boring. Reger described his potential “cool car.”

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Auto IC Market: Revving Up Product Line Means Revving Up Reliability

    Many of the challenges faced by new entrants in the automotive IC market are attributed to the industry’s safety and reliability standards.

    The adoption of electronics in the automotive market seems to be on the upswing.

    Many industry reports and forecasts on integrated circuit (IC) growth point squarely at the automotive market to outpace growth in other IC related areas. IC Insights published a report showing communications and automotive to be the two strongest growth segments for 2011-2016, with the automotive market forecast to reach $28 billion in 2016, or 53% growth from its 2011 size.

    These forecasts seem to be resonating well with recent financial disclosures by those focused on the automotive industry. For example, Freescale disclosed in July that 45% of its revenue today is “automotive-related.”

    Many of the challenges faced by new entrants are attributed to the industry’s safety and reliability standards.

    The automotive industry has developed an adaptation of the International Electrotechnical Commission’s Functional Safety standard, IEC 61508 for Electric/Electronic Systems, to create its International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 26262. This standard for functional safety features forms an integral part of each automotive product development phase, from the initial specifications to design, implementation, integration, verification, validation, and production release.

    The AEC electrical component qualification requirements identify wearout reliability tests, which specify the testing of several failure mechanisms.

    Time-dependent dielectric breakdown (or gate oxide integrity test) — for all MOS technologies
    Hot carrier injection — for all MOS technologies below 1 micron
    Negative bias temperature instability
    Stress migration

    Verification against these failure modes during the design process provides assurance that the actual device performance will meet reliability expectations.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Chip enables smart car access in wearables

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    A single-chip device from NXP Semiconductors, the NCF29A1 combines passive keyless entry with an RF transmitter for remote control and an immobilizer in a 32-pin QFN package to create car-access solutions that can be embedded in smart phones, smart watches, and car keys. According to the manufacturer, the NCF29A1 offers improved automotive consumer experiences, such as a welcome light or walk-away locking with longer range and lower energy consumption.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Journeys in self-driving cars are ‘delightfully dull’

    If this A7, nicknamed Jack, wasn’t advertising “Audi piloted driving” on its side, you’d never know it wasn’t just another German sedan cruising down the 5. All the gadgetry that keeps it squarely centred in its lane at precisely the speed you select is discretely incorporated into the car. It’s top-end stuff, too: six radars, three cameras, and two light detection and ranging (LIDAR) units. The computers that allow the car to analyse the road, choose the optimal path and stick to it fit neatly in the trunk. It’s remarkably smooth, maintaining a safe following distance, making smooth lane changes, and politely moving to the left to pass slower vehicles controlled by carbon-based life forms. It’s so sophisticated that I never felt anything unusual, and in fact the car is designed to reassure you that you need only grab the wheel or tap the brake to immediately resume control.

    And that’s the most remarkable thing about Audi’s robocar: All that tech recedes into the background. Driving this car is mundane, almost boring. My interaction with that little girl was the most exciting part of the trip. And Audi couldn’t be happier about that.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Alex Davies / Wired:
    NASA and Nissan Join Forces to Build Self-Driving Vehicles for Earth and Space
  6. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Chip enables smart car access in wearables

    A single-chip device from NXP Semiconductors, the NCF29A1 combines passive keyless entry with an RF transmitter for remote control and an immobilizer in a 32-pin QFN package to create car-access solutions that can be embedded in smart phones, smart watches, and car keys.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:
    CES 2015: A High-Tech EV Is Future of Automotive Electronics

    Renovo Motors’ embrace of electric vehicle technology hints at the future of automotive electronics.

    At this year’s International CES, a huge building separate from the Las Vegas Convention Center had a large area dedicated to the electronics of automobiles. The display, housed in the Sands Expo, is far bigger than I have ever seen before at this or any electronics show.

    Renovo has a very high-technology electric vehicle (EV), not mainstream, but its developers will make a significant contribution to electronics in automobiles going forward.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Douglas MacMillan / Wall Street Journal:
    Uber gives the city of Boston anonymized trip data to enable smarter city planning, ease traffic congestion; more cities to follow — Uber Offers Trip Data to Cities, Starting With Boston — For the first time, Uber is giving government officials a look inside its rich trove of transportation data.
  9. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Safety and Security Support Program for Automotive

    Renesas Electronics Corporation announced its new design for safety and security support program to ease the design process for system manufacturers. It features drawing tools on Renesas’, software closely linked to hardware and bundled work products incorporating Renesas’ expertise in functional safety.

    Functional safety and security are indispensable for reducing risk factors associated with the reliability and safety of autonomous driving systems. Autonomous emergency braking, automatic tracking, and other operation support systems require more sophisticated automotive electronic control units (ECUs) with higher performance to support the higher control functionality. Likewise, self-driving vehicle control requires complex electronic systems, while at the same time achieving a high level of safety.

    With the achievement of the ISO 26262 international functional safety standard for electric and electronic automotive systems, the associated development burden on system manufacturers has increased by approximately 40 to 50 percent (Renesas estimate). It requires several actions in addition to non-safety and security actions, including constructing a safety concept, quantitative and qualitative safety analysis, and confirmation measures. There is also a move to develop the second edition of the ISO 26262 standard, which will result in additional requirements and further development burden increase on manufacturers.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Tesla added a feature back to the Model S after Elon Musk’s kid called it ‘the stupidest car in the world’

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he brought a feature back to the company’s top-of-the-line sedan only after the change received negative feedback from his offspring. Speaking to attendees of the Automotive News World Congress today in Detroit, Musk said that one of his kids called the Model S “the stupidest car in the world,” because it didn’t have reading lights in the back. The feature had originally been removed because Musk and others believed people would use backlit devices. One of his five kids thought (and said) differently, and the lights were brought back.

    Tesla originally said the removal of the lights was to increase the headroom in the backseat area, something it was able to accomplish while keeping the lights, but the company managed to ship out some cars to customers that did not have them. Tesla ultimately offered to install the lights to those customers at no cost.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:
    I rode in a 3D-printed car (and I kind of liked it)

    A quick look at the Local Motors Strati might elicit a reaction like, “why does it look like it’s made out of Rubbermaid garbage cans?” It’s a fair question — continuous tubes of dull black plastic outline virtually every major component of this car in places where you’d normally expect bright, shiny colors. Metal. Chrome. Pretty stuff.

    There’s a good explanation, though: the Strati is basically willed into existence by an enormous 3D printer that extrudes those lines of plastic making up the car’s frame. After that, it’s refined using a CNC milling machine, a few mechanical bits are slapped on, and boom, you have a running car.

    Local Motors is in the process of assembling a Strati here at the North American International Auto Show

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Google has begun discussions with top automakers including General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Daimler, and Volkswagen, to bring self-driving cars to market by 2020
  13. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Image Sensors World
    News and discussions about image sensors
  14. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Future of Automotive Cameras

    Mobileye published its presentation at Deutsche Bank 2015 Global Auto Industry Conference on Jan 13, 2015 with the company’s Chairman and CTO Amnon Shashua talking about automotive camera trends. Few slides from the presentation

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Everyone should learn to drive in a simulator
    Many new drivers are learning the same way they did decades ago, but there’s a better way

    Pye credits his good fortune in large part to a driving simulator. “Driving on the simulator at my high school taught me to keep calm and think clearly in stressful situations,” he says.

    Most schools around the country aren’t teaching any driving education, but the ones that do are teaching it based on a several-decades-old model.

    Following the death of his son and the implementation of Joshua’s Law in 2005 in Georgia, Brown had placed six driving simulators at Cartersville High School, where Pye attended, which was the first high school in the state to receive them. Today, there are thousands of simulators in high schools around the state.

    Joshua’s Law raises traffic violation penalties by 5 percent, providing funding for placement of “modern” driver’s education in Georgia high schools. This new driver’s education consists of five elements: simulation, an interactive and engaging curriculum, hazard recognition, parental involvement, and behind-the-wheel training.

    “I believe simulation and the modern driving education that I had at my high school helped to save my life, giving me more confidence behind the wheel – every state should use it,” Pye says, reflecting on the afternoon of his crash.

    “Simulators mimic a real car down to the gas and break pedals, signals, windshield wipers, and ignition key,” explains Steve Mochel, president of Connecticut-based Fresh Green Light, a driving program that supplements traditional training with heavy use of driving simulation.

    Driving simulators replicate actual driving experiences through all types of scenarios that include vehicle handling, scanning and hazard detection, parallel parking, and hydroplaning. Other situations include distracted and impaired driving. It will simulate driving during different times of day and during various weather conditions

    The stats are hard to ignore. Driving simulators were placed in 147 Georgia high schools between 2005 and 2007, funded with money from Joshua’s Law. Since the simulators and updated driving program were implemented, there has been a statewide decline in teen auto fatalities of around 60 percent or 181 student lives a year

    Research in other parts of the country reflects similar findings.

    But when it comes to driving, simulation has not entered the mainstream of driving education, even though traffic crashes are the number one killer of teens in America with around 3,000 deaths per year, according to the CDC.

    “If the number of people lost from car crashes were lost from flying, it would equate to an airliner crashing nearly every day with no survivors. We wouldn’t accept that in aviation. But as a society we accept it with driving.”

    Some private companies across the US have slowly begun implementing driving simulation, too. UPS, for example, has been using a training simulator to supplement its driver safety training, and the results have been positive

    All this comes as cars are getting smarter, though: many modern models have collision-sensing features that can help avoid crashes entirely, and self-driving technologies are around the corner. Is better driver’s education really necessary? “Anybody who thinks that we’ll all be in self-driving cars in 10 years is excited by technology but isn’t practical,” says Bob Davis, CEO of Virtual Driver Interactive, a company he founded to help teenagers become safer drivers through simulation training. “There aren’t many safety professionals who think that the software will be ‘bulletproof’ in terms of liability in all situations anytime soon.”

    Commercial plane “auto pilot” settings have not replaced the need for training pilots, nor will self-driving cars eliminate the need for judgment and training, but researchers say it can and will help with many specific situations.

    No simulator will replicate hours of experience in a car. However, if they’re used to supplement actual driving with everyday scenarios as well as dangerous ones drivers ideally never encounter, simulators will provide practice and lessons to learn and can reduce accidents, says Davis.

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Insurance Company Dongles Don’t Offer Much Assurance Against Hacking

    According to a story at Forbes, Digital Bond Labs hacker Corey Thuen has some news that should make you think twice about saving a few bucks on insurance by adding a company-supplied car-tracking OBD2 dongle:

    It’s long been theorised that [Progressive Insurance's Snapshot and other] such usage-based insurance dongles, which are permeating the market apace, would be a viable attack vector. Thuen says he’s now proven those hypotheses;

    Hacker Says Attacks On ‘Insecure’ Progressive Insurance Dongle In 2 Million US Cars Could Spawn Road Carnage

    Thuen, a security researcher at Digital Bond Labs who will present his findings at the S4 conference in a talk titled Remote Control Automobiles, has been figuring out how he might hack the vehicle’s on-board network via a dongle that connects to the OBD2 port of his pickup truck. That little device, Snapshot, provided by one of the biggest insurance providers in the US, Progressive Insurance, is supposed to track his driving to determine whether he deserves to pay a little more or less for his cover. It’s used in more than two million vehicles in the US. But it’s wholly lacking in security, meaning it could be exploited to allow a hacker, be they in the car or outside, to take control over core vehicular functions, he claims.

    It’s long been theorised that such usage-based insurance dongles, which are permeating the market apace, would be a viable attack vector. Thuen says he’s now proven those hypotheses

    By hooking up his laptop directly to the device he says he would have been able to unlock doors, start the car and gather engine information, but he chose not to “weaponise” his exploits, he told Forbes. “Controlling it wasn’t the focus, finding out if it was possible was the focus.”

    It emerged the Snapshot technology, manufactured by Xirgo Technologies, was completely lacking in the security department, Thuen said. “The firmware running on the dongle is minimal and insecure. It does no validation or signing of firmware updates, no secure boot, no cellular authentication, no secure communications or encryption, no data execution prevention or attack mitigation technologies… basically it uses no security technologies whatsoever.”

    The researcher noted that for a remote attack to take place, the concomitant u-blox modem, which handles the connection between Progressive’s servers and the dongle, would have to be compromised too. Such systems have been exploited in the past

    Regardless of the steps needed for a successful attack, it’s apparent such dongles are insecure, posing a genuine risk to people’s lives, Thuen added. “I suspected that these dongles were built insecurely, and I was correct. The technology being used in them is outdated and vulnerable to attack which is highly troubling considering it is being used to remotely access insecure by design vehicle computers,” he said. “A skilled attacker could almost certainly compromise such dongles to gain remote control of a vehicle, or even an entire fleet of vehicles. Once compromised, the consequences range from privacy data loss to life and limb.

    “Also, there is the attack vector of Progressive backend infrastructure.”

    “In simple terms, we have seen that cars can be hacked and we have seen that cell comms can be hacked.”

    Privacy of data within cars is also a growing concern

    The findings landed on the same day as the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks 2015 report warned about the increasing potential for digital attacks on cars. “There are more devices to secure against hackers, and bigger downsides from failure: hacking the location data on a car is merely an invasion of privacy, whereas hacking the control system of a car would be a threat to life. The current internet infrastructure was not developed with such security concerns in mind,” the report read.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Zubie: This Car Safety Tool ‘Could Have Given Hackers Control Of Your Vehicle’

    Now, alumni of Israel’s cyber intelligence division, Unit 8200, have discovered that an innocuous American in-vehicle technology could have been exploited to remotely mess with the brakes, steering and engine. It’s the first example of such a cyber attack on a specific in-car “dongle”. And it may prove to be a watershed moment in the history of vehicular security.

    Ironically, the vulnerability lay in a safety-enhancing technology known as Zubie, which tracks cars’ performance and location to offer suggestions for more efficient, responsible driving. Zubie CEO Tim Kelly says the issue has now been fixed. But the findings will do nothing to assuage fears of remote hacking of vehicles via such technologies.

    Zubie consists of a number of parts. First, there’s the hardware, which plugs into the OnBoard Diagnostic (OBD2) port of a car, found underneath the steering wheel. This device communicates with the internal network of the vehicle. It also has a mobile GPRS modem that connects it to the Zubie cloud, which then feeds information to an Android and iOS compatible app.

    The researchers were able to unlock the doors and manipulate the dials on the dash on an unnamed vehicle, Argus claimed in its blog post.

    Argus’ malware could also track the vehicle’s location, driving behaviors and siphon off all this data. “This clearly violates passengers’ privacy,” the company wrote in its blog.

    A remote attack on an aftermarket telematics service

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:
    CES 2015: Sensors Lead Way in Mercedes-Benz Future Car

    Automotive sensor technology is takes a giant stride forward in a futuristic luxury concept car that’s part chauffeur, part lounge, and part entertainment theater.

    At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last week, Mercedes-Benz showed off the new technologies in a head-turning concept vehicle called the F 015. Although aimed at the 2030 timeframe, the F 015 drew massive crowds at the show, thanks to a vehicle interior packed with consumer electronics technology and an exterior that virtually forced showgoers to stop in their tracks.

    The underlying concept of the vehicle is one that puts passenger socialization ahead of old-fashioned driving. Endowed with autonomy, the F 015 permits occupants to sit in lounge chairs arranged in a face-to-face configuration, with the driver facing the rear, if desired.

    Autonomy is made possible by exterior sensors that look forward, back, and to the sides.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Uber Wants to Create 50,000 Jobs, Take 400,000 Cars Off the Road in Europe This Year

    Uber chief Travis Kalanick said he wants to expand operations in Europe and, in the process, create 50,000 jobs and take 400,000 personal vehicles off the road.

    Kalanick said the ride-sharing service isn’t opposed to regulation, but wants “progressive regulation” that promotes safe and affordable rides and generates tax revenue without limiting competition. Cities around the globe have been going after Uber and other services, using a mix of existing regulations and new laws.

    “We want to make 2015 the year where we establish a new partnership with (European Union) cities,” Kalanick said, speaking Sunday at the DLD Conference in Munich.

    Antiquated laws around the globe are preventing safe, affordable rides, Kalanick said

    Kalanick argued in favor of more modern regulations that still promote safety, competition and tax revenue.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Car insurance policies disaster? It is no longer penalize all young BMW drivers

    All Less than projecting digitalization revolutionize the business of the insurance industry. The future of the insurance company does not appear in the client’s life only when something happens to sad or when the car is switched. The insurance company wants to be present on a daily basis to help, for example, when moving within the everyday challenges.

    The natural channel for enhanced co-existence with the customer would be a smartphone. Therefore, the insurance company If has published its own smartphone application. The application is part of the insurance company transforming service company.

    The application could, for example, to tell the user on road weather, keep a record run on the trails, make a log-book and easily concierge service could help in specific situations. The application could also be a help when the car is to be sold.

    The underlying idea is the more accurate data collection such as your driver behavior.

    When the current price of the insurance policy the customer’s age and many other generalized variable that accurate monitoring of the client could be customized to your personal driving style proportional to the price.

    “If you can come up with a service that bring added value to the movement can be made with the customer contract data recovery in personal insurance,” If Pöyhönen says.

    Defensive Driving assessment of the user could also provide feedback and advice on safer driving. Pöyhönen of insurance is a commodity in the future more secure mobility service.

    More accurate data collection and the entire service concept reform of the insurance companies are preparing for the new players will enter this market. Insurance companies are the most nervous newcomer is Google, which already sells auto insurance in the United States.

    Customer specific insurance pricing is the easier it is, the more the customer is known. The collection of information Google has a staggering lead over traditional insurance companies with respect.


  21. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Uber CEO Reveals Mind-Boggling New Statistic That Skeptics Will Hate

    The valuation of car-hailing service company Uber has always given skeptics apoplexy.

    One of the most commonly invoked takedowns of the ever-increasing and mind-blowing valuation levels the company has achieved — $40 billion at last count — is this:

    “Investors are valuing Uber as if it’s bigger than the whole taxi market!”

    The implication?

    Investors are nuts.

    Well, investors are indeed valuing Uber as if it’s bigger than the whole taxi market.

    But it turns out that that’s not nuts.

    In its most mature market, San Francisco, the 4-year old Uber is already bigger than the whole taxi market. Much bigger, in fact.

    Uber’s revenues in San Francisco, meanwhile, are now running at $500 million per year.

    That’s more than 3-times the size of the taxi market.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:
    CES 2015 Paves Road to Self Driving Cars
    Self-driving car drives from SF to Vegas unassisted
  23. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Remotely Controlling Automobiles Via Insecure Dongles

    Automobiles are getting smarter and smarter. Nowadays many vehicles run on a mostly drive-by-wire system, meaning that a majority of the controls are electronically controlled. We’re not just talking about the window or seat adjustment controls, but also the instrument cluster, steering, brakes, and accelerator. These systems can make the driving experience better, but they also introduce an interesting avenue of attack. If the entire car is controlled by a computer, then what if an attacker were to gain control of that computer? You may think that’s nothing to worry about, because an attacker would have no way to remotely access your vehicle’s computer system. It turns out this isn’t so hard after all. Two recent research projects have shown that some ODBII dongles are very susceptible to attack.

    The first was an attack on a device called Zubie. Zubie is a dongle that you can purchase to plug into your vehicle’s ODBII diagnostic port.

    A separate but similar project was also recently discussed by [Corey Thuen] at the S4x15 security conference. He didn’t attack the Zubie, but it was a similar device.

    The first research team provided their findings to Zubie who have supposedly fixed some of the issues. Progressive has made a statement that they hadn’t heard anything from [Thuen], but they would be happy to listen to his findings.

    Hopefully with findings like this made public, these companies will start to take security more seriously before it turns into a big problem.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:
    ARM Takes Critical Step for Functional Safety
    Safety support applies to automotive, health and industrial markets

    Best practices for compliance to any standards start with documentation.

    In a crucial step to help IC vendors design SoCs compliant to functional safety standards such as ISO 26262 in the automotive industry, ARM released Thursday (Jan. 22) a comprehensive safety document package for its Cortex-R5 processor.

    Chris Turner, director of product marketing for CPU Group at ARM, told EE Times, “As cars are becoming more and more reliant on electronics and its software is getting more complex, the need for compliance to safety standards is paramount.”

    By specifically documenting what’s inside the processing core and how to use it, “we can recommend to SoC designers how to manage various situations of safety functions more efficiently and correctly,” Turner explained.

    System developers now have assurance that the Cortex-R5 processor serves safety-related applications because SoC developers have access to additional information required for demonstrating functional safety, said ARM.

    ISO 26262
    To recap: New automotive standards such as ISO 26262, released in November 2011, are set up to give manufacturers a common means to measure and document the safety of an automotive system. Created for production automobiles, ISO 26262 provides a series of steps to manage functional safety and to regulate product development on system, hardware and software levels throughout the entire product lifecycle — from concept development through decommissioning.

    ARM’s safety engineering
    According to Turner, the emergence of ISO 26262 functional safety standards “was the trigger for ARM” to get heavily involved in documenting functional safety

    What’s new here is that ARM is delivering to its processor licensees a “safety manual package,” which describes in detail the processor’s fault detection and control features and information about integration aspects in its licensee’s device implementations. “We recommend design and verification methodology for functional safety, retain evidence and offer quality assurance.”

    Bit flip in Toyota case
    As far as functional safety is concerned, many engineers in the electronics industry remember the unintended acceleration (UA) issues that haunted several Toyota models.

    A jury trial verdict in Oklahoma found that defects in Toyota’s Electronic Throttle Control System (ETCS) software and safety architecture caused a fatal UA mishap.

    More specifically, during the Oklahoma trial, both Barr and Philip Koopman, an associate professor at the Carnegie Mellon University, testified that the 2005 Camry’s L4 source code and in-vehicle tests confirmed defects in Toyota’s ETCS.

    However, in theory, compliance to ISO 26262 and the information that goes with functional safety, could have gone a long way to alert some of the problems associated with Toyota’s UA problems.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Ryan Lawler / TechCrunch:
    Uber study of US drivers: average earnings are $19/hour, more than for taxi drivers; 40K joined in December; 70% drivers active after six months

    Uber Study Shows Its Drivers Make More Per Hour And Work Fewer Hours Than Taxi Drivers

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry’s Dirty Little Secret

    Now Drew Harwell reports at the Washington Post that the auto industry’s dirty little secret is that the engine growl in some of America’s best-selling cars and trucks is actually a finely tuned bit of lip-syncing, boosted through special pipes or digitally faked altogether. “Fake engine noise has become one of the auto industry’s dirty little secrets, with automakers from BMW to Volkswagen turning to a sound-boosting bag of tricks,” writes Harwell. “Without them, today’s more fuel-efficient engines would sound far quieter and, automakers worry, seemingly less powerful, potentially pushing buyers away.” For example Ford sound engineers and developers worked on an

    “Active Noise Control” system on the 2015 Mustang EcoBoost that amplifies the engine’s purr through the car speakers.

    America’s best-selling cars and trucks are built on lies: The rise of fake engine noise

    Stomp on the gas in a new Ford Mustang or F-150 and you’ll hear a meaty, throaty rumble — the same style of roar that Americans have associated with auto power and performance for decades.

    It’s a sham. The engine growl in some of America’s best-selling cars and trucks is actually a finely tuned bit of lip-syncing, boosted through special pipes or digitally faked altogether. And it’s driving car enthusiasts insane.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

    “The German government wants to convert part of the A9 Autobahn in Bavaria into a test-field for advanced car technology. The project is key to ensuring the country’s ‘digital sovereignty,’ according to its transport minister. ”

    Germany to test self-driving cars on digitized autobahn, ‘won’t rely on Google’

    The German government wants to convert part of the A9 Autobahn in Bavaria into a test-field for advanced car technology. The project is key to ensuring the country’s ‘digital sovereignty,’ according to its transport minister.

    The track, part of the “Digitales Testfeld Autobahn” project, would be launched this year, Alexander Dobrindt said on Monday in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper. The plan involves equipping the road with infrastructure to allow cars to communicate with each other and the road’s own sensors to provide necessary data on traffic.

    “Cars with assisted driving and later fully-automated cars will be able to drive there,” Dobrindt said.

    Germany, a major European car producer, wants to have robotic car technology that’s not dependent on foreign companies, the minister said. Domestic producers “won’t rely on Google” he stressed.

    “We have to arm ourselves against a monopolization of data… create a digital sovereignty independent of America and Asia,” Dobrindt said.

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:
    U.S. Spies on Millions of Cars
    DEA Uses License-Plate Readers to Build Database for Federal, Local Authorities

    Millions of cars tracked across US in ‘massive’ real-time spying program

    American Civil Liberties Union warns scanning of license plates by Drug Enforcement Agency is building a repository of all drivers’ movements

    The DEA database has the potential to track every driver’s movements, the American Civil Liberties Union has warned.

    The United States government is tracking the movement of vehicles around the country in a clandestine intelligence-gathering programme that has been condemned as a further official exercise to build a database on people’s lives.

    The Drug Enforcement Administration was monitoring license plates on a “massive” scale, giving rise to “major civil liberties concerns”, the American Civil Liberties Union said on Monday night, citing DEA documents obtained under freedom of information.

    “This story highlights yet another way government security agencies are seeking to quietly amplify their powers using new technologies,” Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with ACLU, told the Guardian.

    “On this as on so many surveillance issues, we can take action, put in place some common sense limits or sit back and let our society be transformed into a place we won’t recognize – or probably much like.”

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Martyn Williams / Network World:
    DEA’s license plate reader program tracks car journeys across US, shares data with other law enforcement agencies

    DEA cameras tracking hundreds of millions of car journeys across the US

    A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration program to keep tabs on cars close to the U.S.-Mexican border has been gradually expanded nationwide and is regularly used by other law enforcement agencies in their hunt for suspects.

    The extent of the system, which is said to contain hundreds of millions of records on motorists and their journeys, was disclosed in documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. Much of the information disclosed to the ACLU was undated, making it difficult to understand the growth of the network, which is different from the cameras used to collect traffic tolls on expressways.

    One of the undated documents said more than 100 cameras had been deployed in at least California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and New Jersey. The cameras snap each vehicle that passes, recording its license plate, the direction of travel and the time. Some cameras also snap a picture of the driver and passengers.

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:
    The semiconductor houses like new cars. The amount of electronics in them will grow all the time, which bodes well for companies supplying the automotive electronics. This year, semiconductors sold cars for 31 billion dollars. This amount is the IHS by 7.5 per cent higher than last year. What’s more, the area of development is not as dependent on the semiconductor business cycle fluctuations. The more it depends on the number of new cars sold.

    According to the Institute of semiconductors is needed most hybrid cars automotive electronics systems, telematics, and the ADAS, or driver assistance systems. In these coming years the growth rate is predicted to No 20-18 per cent.

    Automotive semiconductor market has many small players. Infineon is the market leader with a market share of 9.8 per cent. Freescale is 7.4 percent, Texas Instruments 6.4 per cent and 3.6 per cent of the ON Semiconductor market. Renesas figures IHS is not reported, even though the Japanese company is a major supplier of cars.

    Electronics accounts for the high-end internal combustion engine car is currently about 40 per cent. The hybrid model, the electronics account for up to 75 percent of the car’s value.



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