About a month ago, we reported that Nevada (with a healthy dose of lobbying by Google) was considering legislation that would effectively legalize self-driving cars in that state. Today, Assembly Bill No. 511 passed, granting the Department of Transportation the authorization to draft a set of regulations and rules governing autonomous cars. Pop goes the champagne in Mountain View.
But don't christen the age of driverless cars just yet. The legislation charges the Nevada DOT with creating the legal framework that will determine things like performance standards and licensing requirements, as well as designating certain areas within the state where autonomous cars might be tested (will you soon see signs around Nevada warning that you are entering a "driverless car zone?").
But that regulatory framework could be a long time in the making. Which is fine, because while Google has already logged hundreds of thousands of miles on its autonomous fleet that we know of, the cars are not by any means ready to be released on the larger world commercially. This is a technological revolution that's going to move forward with baby steps. But as baby steps go, this is a pretty big one.
Read the entire draft of the measure here.
This is huge! Thank you, Google!
This will virtually eliminate death and injury from automobiles once it catches on. Not only that, but it knocks down one of the biggest hurdles preventing the mass adoption of personal aviation regulated similarly to the way we license and operate our cars. You need no training to have a flying "car" fly you to your destination if control is 100% in the hands of proven software.
In fact, this would improve our current aviation industry as well. Why risk the proven fallibility of air traffic controllers and pilots when you could instead rely on software that knows not only exactly where the plane is in 3-dimensional space, but also knows where all other planes and objects are in relation to itself?
Imagine it! No more traffic. No more roads (at least not on the scale they exist today). No more driving injuries and deaths. Getting to your destination in a fraction of the time! That amounts to a great deal of lives and money saved!
Obviously, we're a long way from this becoming reality, but I agree with PopSci: This is a very important first step!
I personaly don't see the need for this because in the end all machines can be hacked,damaged,and be injected with a bad viris. this is just my opinion but if people actualy paid attention to the road and did not drink 5 pints of alchol and then decide to drive home, accidents like this would never happen. i feel the same way to the proposition of inserting machines in the body. instead we should be geneticaly enchced it will feel more natural and wont need a power system.
*growls*If you troll or flare I WILL MAUL YOU!*growls*
Macmansa, drinking and driving is already illegal, yet it happens, and more dangerous statistically is driver inattention. As for "hacking," please do not base real-world judgments on sci-fi action movie scenarios. I imagine the security will be quite tight (since, after all, there's little need for communication between the car and any network other than the GPS system. Understand that if you're Facebooking on the display panel where the steering wheel used to be and where you presumably tapped in an address to begin with, that system is going to be entirely independent of the car's actual control mechanism.)
Dirk Mcbratney, that is not so. Do a little bit of research before you completely rule out the possibility of "car-hacking". Macmanse, for however bad some of his spelling and punctuation is, does indeed have a good point. I found this article a few months back; let it speak for itself. http://it.tmcnet.com/topics/it/articles/85269-researchers-hack-car-systems.htm
This was released back in mid-2010. Yes, they did accomplish it by physically connecting a diagnostic computer to the port under the hood. However, with the way more and more vehicles are getting cool gadgets put into them, say like Bluetooth connectivity and etc., this is definitely not something to scoff at. It is not just science fiction anymore, and in my opinion, it could become a very big problem if not approached in the proper manner within the next few years! Just simmer on that and think about it a bit. It's not as far-fetched as one may think!
Fearing that cars can be hacked is like fearing that money is not secure because 'anyone could pick it up and walk off with it'. So lock it up you idiot!
It's a fact of computer security that if the hacker has physical access to the system then the system is not secure. Cars routinely come with strange and mysterious devices called 'door locks' which prevent physical access to such things as the ignition, espensive car stereos, and fuel.
Given that No One Has Ever gained access to a car's computer without using first the car keys or a hammer, followed by prolific use of screwdrivers and wrenches, and that noone is talking about giving wireless access to safety critical car functions, I think you don't need to worry about Lolz Sec casually and easily breaking into your car with their laptop.
Unless of course they pick the laptop up and throw it...
id b ok with this as long as i have a manual override, my tomtom gps has tried to send me off a cliff and my garmin tried to send me through a house.
Being able to drink 5 pints of alcohol and have your car drive you home is reason enough for me. Do you believe people should just do long division instead of using calculators? Typewriters don't get nasty viruses, maybe we should go back to them. Eventually the benefits of this will easily outweigh the risks.
Come on..... this means i can text all day.... have fun with the girl with out stoping on long road trips.... i dontk now... im up for it
Let's be serious here. This is an amazing scientific advancement, and one day drivable cars will change the world, but those of you who think that they will prevent all vehicle related fatalities are being ridiculous. Sure a program may be able to drive better then a person, but there are many factors that could cause the software in at least some of the cars to fail. I agree that this is an amazing feat, but it will not end all traffic related fatalities.
Congrats on prompting me to register an account just to reply to this nonsense.
Before you're going to blast someone you might want to take your own advice and do some research. For starters, the diagnostic port is INSIDE the car, not under the hood. Bluetooth connections would be used for synching to the sound system and are completely isolated from the ECU in the car. To suggest that someone could stand outside your car, hack your Bluetooth and remap your ECU is ridiculous... as is the article you linked. Tuners have been remapping ECUs since they were first introduced to cars, this isn't new and exciting news here.
If someone is dumb enough to leave their car unlocked and unprotected you wouldn't even need to remap the ECU to do significant damage... that's called dumb, not hacking.
First of all, driving a car is FUN. I lean toward '50s through '70s European sports cars - the more spartan and purposeful the better. So, the idea of giving up that control, even to things like ABS and traction control is anathema to me. Two decades ago I was a huge fan of 500 GP motorcycle racing, but now I can't even watch "MotoGP" because every rider looks like they are on rails, with nearly zero chance of doing a Wayne Gardner cowboy save from "highsiding" at 100mph thanks to similar "technological advances". I'll take Wayne and Steve McQueen over some faceless modern techno-pilot every day of the week.
The bigger problem with technology like this is that is incrementally leading humans toward a society controlled by a technocratic elite. Do you really want to turn control over where you're going (and foreknowledge of where you're going before you have even left) to some anonymous person in control of the software interface? I don't. It won't be long before we're just dumped into pods with our precious life forced sucked out of us for the "common good", just like in The Matrix.
Go head and march toward "technocracy" and "singularity" while listening to "techno" "music" if you want to... I'll be outside working on my old VW bus, listening to Sham 69 and Johnny Cash. But hey, that's just me.
It amazes me that with all the hacking news lately, from anonymous to lulzsec, from Sony to credit card companies to government agencies, anybody, let alone people reading a science and tech magazine, can think that cars would, somehow, magically be immune to hacking.
Would the benefits outweigh the price? Possibly. Does that mean we should ignore the very real possibility that, rather than hijacking an airplane, the terrorists will simply hack a system somewhere and take control of every Nissan on the road simultaneously? No.
Security doesn't happen by magic. And it certainly doesn't happen by people insisting that it's not necessary, and that old-tech security will suffice for exceptionally new-tech problems.
Just as a first thought - any self-driving car would almost certainly have to interface with a central server, at least occasionally. Map updates, for one, or you'd never be able to drive to a location newer than the car. Probably the connection would be permanent, to allow traffic patterns, construction, etc. to be taken into account. And, now that we know it HAS to be online occasionally to work on any reasonable scale, well... the door is open, isn't it? No code is secure. Some code just hasn't been broken yet. But if a door is open, anybody can walk through, no matter how hard you try to prevent it, if they care enough to figure out where the loophole is. Now, that can be made unprofitable, but NOT by pretending it's not a problem.
Software will have bugs. That is the nature of software; that is why software companies continuously update the products they sell.
Is there a potential risk for hacking? Absolutely. It is impossible to code software that is perfect out of the box. If the car's computer system needs to be updated, there is always a chance it can be hacked in the process.
In the aviation industry, even with all the advances in technology, most are in agreement that technology will never be better than a human pilot's intuition and judgement.
I personally think automated driving has a decent potential of safer roads, but not realistic. It only takes 1 hack, 1 software bug, 1 DIY software tweaker to cause an accident for the entire dream to die. And yes, there are people out there with nothing better to do than to cause harm to people.
BTW, there exists techonology today where you can drink all you want, text all you want, and not do any driving of your own whatsoever. It's called the bus.
Poor Nevadans will all be roadkill
google will soon be its own entity/power seeing as they own everything
self driving cars are asking for it
What happens when the programming fails/is messed with
The way many people drive these days, hogging the lane, driving slower than the general flow because "I am the safe one and all the rest are just insane speed freaks," I would feel safer with a machine driving than those morons. Computer tech has come a long way since the smart road concept. Before long (not really, it will ba a long time coming) the place will be safe to drive or be driven. I love to drive but morons ruin a nice drive in the country. Long live the machine.
The only way to get hacked is to be online. Is your car online? Mine isn't and never will be. Your bank is because you want to be able the check your account. Not so the car.
Having read about the abilities of some hackers (domestic and foreign) in Popular Science I tend to steer away from trusting my car totally to drive me and rely on outside sources of guidance. You don’t have to hack the car computer, go for the street signal lights it syncs with and cause a major crash up in an intersection. Or a political person you disagree with is coming to town. With time you might send out a change for all GPS “home” settings to change to the location the person will be speaking at – wow a flash mob of cars for blocks. But for the best hackers who can tie into an individuals’ vehicle, they could bring a celebrity to their 21st birthday party without asking or send someone to an untimely death. Today this sounds like science fiction but human perseverance has proven we can reach for the Moon, shoot missiles out of the air and make unmanned aircraft (which were only partly hacked so far). Most people even with antivirus security on their computers have still dealt with one or two viruses. And don’t forget a good surge protector for nearby lighting strikes while your car is driving you down the road.