Over the past two years, we’ve brought you in-depth coverage of a crop of shadowy gadgets designed to give thieves access to parked vehicles.
Like most tools of the trade, the gadgets are very similar, using the same principle to achieve the same result — unlocking a parked vehicle by sending signals to the car’s own keyless-entry system. For vehicles with a push-button ignition, the same gadgets can sometimes start the vehicle, giving that thief an instant lifestyle upgrade.
Now, a “mystery device” purchased by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has revealed just how vulnerable an average vehicle is to these high-tech slim jims. (Read More…)
George Hotz has revived his Comma One self-driving technology project — sort of — after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shut down the commercial launch of his product earlier this year. Today, Hotz announced he would release the hardware schematics and code for the project for free to the public, targeting hobbyists and researchers.
The code is already up on the Comma.ai github repository, along with a detailed guide and schematics on how to assemble the hardware. Making the project open source and releasing it for free might get NHTSA off his back, so the only question now is how to monetize it in the future. (Read More…)
It’s a one-way flight, obviously.
Audi has announced that its Lunar Quattro has a ticket to ride on a moon-bound spaceflight booked for late next year. Refined, finessed, and now 18 pounds lighter, the automaker’s plucky moon rover is bound for a rendezvous with another extraplanetary car.
That one, however, is a 1970s model. (Read More…)
Thanksgiving is past and the coming month promises plenty of opportunities for socially acceptable, clove-scented boozing. Some beverages placed in hand — egg nog, for example — can easily pack enough liquor to make a sailor’s eyes water, while the drinker remains unaware of the serving size.
No problem, you say. You’ve bought a civilian breathalyzer, or perhaps the bar you’re at provides one. Got it all covered. Once that device delivers the green light, bam — it’s motoring time! Any police impaired driving checkpoint you encounter should pass your sober ass with flying colors, right?
So wrong. The majority of breathalyzers tested in a recent study failed miserably. (Read More…)
A Swedish company with close ties to a hard-to-spell supercar maker has thrown a wrench into the automotive world, unveiling a production-ready piston engine that doesn’t use a camshaft.
Developed by FreeValve AB, which isn’t a Nordic Lynyrd Skynyrd cover band, the new engine technology ditches a camshaft for other modes of valve actuation, gaining power and efficiency in the process. Unlike some other touted internal combustion engine advancements, this technology already has a customer. (Read More…)
First, it came for your car’s infotainment interface. Now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is after your phone.
The road safety regulator has proposed a new set of guidelines designed to combat rising distracted driving deaths, and part of it involves making your phone aware of where you’re sitting. Specifically, that seat behind the wheel. (Read More…)
Mercedes-Benz CEO Dietmar Exler thinks that the biggest problem autonomous vehicles will have to face is human drivers being dicks to them. We anticipate other unforeseen problems, but Exler’s prediction of automotive bullying seems like a safe bet.
There’s a number of ways to kick sand in a self-driving car’s face.
We knew it was happening, but the actual extent of three pedal abandonment remained somewhat elusive. It was more of a feeling than a grim statistical representation. Now we have a number, and it’s dismal.
If this catches on, expect plenty of unhappiness in the spike strip industry.
An Arizona man has spent the last eight years developing a tool that could end police pursuits by ensnaring the rear wheel of a fleeing vehicle. Called the Grappler Police Bumper, the seemingly simple apparatus can be mounted to the front of a police-spec Tahoe or Explorer. (Read More…)
How many times have you nearly backed your car over a child that was too short to see through your rear window? If the answer is more than once, you’re probably getting more than just a little tired of dealing with angry parents.
Fortunately, Ford has announced that its next generation of driver assistance technology will include self-stopping pedestrian detection. The automaker also plans to offer vehicles with enhanced “evasive steering” assist, aided cross-traffic negotiation, and advanced self-parking. While these safety features sound great in theory, they may forbid drivers from using their vehicle as a deadly weapon on public roads — at least on their own terms.