by Cedric Hughes, Barrister & Solicitor with regular weekly contributions from Leslie McGuffin, LL.B.   

Control of Car Taken Over by Computer Hackers

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On Friday, July 24, 2015, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV formally recalled 1.4 million vehicles equipped with Uconnect dashboard computers that are vulnerable to hacking. It did this in response to a Wired magazine report about an experiment by the report’s author, Andy Greenberg and two famous hackers, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, who reportedly from a laptop 10 miles away took control of a Jeep that Mr.Greenberg was driving.

Fast Forward for Plug-in Vehicles

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Although every major car manufacturer—Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Kia, Nissan, Toyota, Chevy and, of course Elon Musk’s Tesla—is developing or has developed a plug-in electric vehicle or PEV, currently, in the US, PEVs comprise less than 1 percent of the roughly 250 million vehicles in the country. Even California, the leader in PEV sales according to the US Energy Information Administration, can hardly be said to have fully embraced the technology with only about 5 PEVs for every 1,000 registered vehicles.

Will the Self Driving Car Avoid Accidents?

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On May 11, 2015, Chris Urmson, the director of Google’s self-driving car program blogged about the potential for self-driving cars to reduce accident rates. He noted that judging the self-driving cars’ safety performance necessarily involved establishing a baseline for accident activity on typical suburban streets. Despite all the statistics compiled about car crashes, light-damage-no-injuries-crashes are the most common, the least likely to be reported to the police and hence the least likely to be reflected in official statistics.

The Vehicle That Records Our Life

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Now that cars have become computers on wheels, computer ‘issues’ have also become car issues. Bluetooth connectivity, for example, brings with it concerns about deleting personal data from computer equipment that you are no longer using.

The 1956 Buick Centurion Concept Car Was 50 Years Ahead of Its Time

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In December 2010, a week before the death in his 83rd year of Charles Chuck Jordan, General Motors fourth vice president of design, the US Department of Transportation, in an effort to help eliminate back blind spots proposed requiring rear mounted video cameras with in-vehicle displays of the area covered by the camera in all passenger cars, pickup trucks, minivans, buses and low-speed vehicles by September 2014.


Cedric Hughes

huges & company law corporation vancouver


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