Category Archives: Car News
One of the biggest concerns that critics of self-driving cars have is the ability for them to be interfered with by hackers. However Google is combating this problem by opting to keep its self-driving cars offline most of the time.
The head of Google’s self-driving programme, Waymo, had the following to say –
“Our cars communicate with the outside world only when they need to, so there isn’t a continuous line that’s able to be hacked, going into the car,” John Krafcik told the Financial Times in an interview in Detroit.
“When we say that our cars are autonomous, it’s not just that there’s not a human driver, but also that there is not a continuous cloud connection to the car,” he said, adding that cyber security was “something that we take very very seriously”.
Google’s fears about hacking are not unfounded, as other car manufacturers, such as Nissan and Chrysler have been targeted by hackers. What makes self-driving cars vulnerable to hackers is the fact that they’re connected across a central system. This means that hackers can gain access through one channel and then take control of several functions within the vehicle.
However Waymo technology is designed to be mostly self-reliant, only requiring an intermittent connection to the cloud in order to obtain traffic reports amongst other things. This means the opportunity for hackers to gain control of vehicles using Waymo technology is much more limited in comparison to other self-driving cars.
It’s a well-known fact that diesel cars are more harmful to the environment than standard petrol cars but few people realise just how toxic they are. New data from the International Council on Clean Transportation shows that diesel cars can produce as much as 10 times the amount of toxic gas when compared to buses or trucks.
The emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from diesel vehicles particularly troubling since NOx pollution is the cause of many early deaths in the UK every year. Given this fact, it might be surprising that diesel cars are even allowed on UK roads but the reason they are is due to the different testing that’s applied to cars compared to large vehicles.
The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) are one of the groups mainly responsible for revealing Volkswagen’s cheating in the recent ‘dieselgate’ scandal. The trouble with the current testing standards for diesel cars is that they’re only required to be tested in laboratory conditions and not randomly under real world driving conditions, as large vehicles such as buses and trucks are.
Campaigners are putting pressure on the government to change this so that diesel cars are held to the same strict standards as large vehicles.
In other news related to the environment, a new survey of auto bosses has shown that battery-powered cars are likely to dominate the marketplace by 2025. Even more surprising than this is that the car manufacturing bosses believe that half of today’s car owners will not want to own a car and would instead prefer self-driving cars.
Electric and self-driving vehicles have been in the news a lot over the last few years and many people still believe the latter to be something that won’t be seen until the distant future. However the technology behind self-driving cars has already been tested and shown to be viable.
As far as electric cars are concerned – their popularity continues to rise with each passing year, as more and more consumers realise their unique benefits, such as lower fuel costs and a smoother driving experience.