In one niche application, we already have cars serving as "smart cards on wheels": EZpass toll booths. In some places, we can drive through the toll booth at the speed limit and the RFID system deducts the payment from our account. Interestingly, the highway authorities are starting to conclude it isn't worth paying humans to collect tolls from those drivers without EZpass. Instead they image the license plate and send an invoice. While glitches may occur (in San Francisco, the backlog for processing invoices was so long that people were charged late fees while their checks aged on a desk), there are many ways to separate consumers from their money. RFID is only one.
The assumption that the personal info, i.e. smart card, would become embedded in the car, rather than staying with the user, might not be a good assumption? If you buy gas, for instance, why have the car identify who you are, rather than some device you have on your person (if not embedded in your bellybutton)?
There's all sorts of stuff along these lines coming. A new building our company is moving to will charge you for lunch via payroll deduction. We already have smartcards as ID badges. So you walk through the lunch line, put your badge up to the reader, it knows who you are and what to charge you for that lunch. Same badge also lets you in the building (already does that) and it allows you to log onto your PC (already does that). All via near-field-communications.
The more you can avoid sending personal info to non-essential systems, such as the car, the better. The same smartcard in principle could also be used to start the car, instead of a key fob, but I'm not sure that much integration is so useful?
If the car is talking to the other car, I'm sure the potential exists for that transmission to be intercepted. This is one of the really cool IoT concepts--cars communicating not only with other cars, but also with infrastructure to determine if a bridge is open or closed, where there is heavy traffic that should be avoided, where a stoplight may be out, etc.
Beyond the idea of your car being your credit card, what fascinated me during my conversation with Richard Soja at Freescale was the prospect of what might happen next when your car starts talking to another car -- in a C2C or V2V scenario.
Obviously, the driver isn't the one doing the talking. Your car is communicating with another car to make sure that they don't bump into each other.
You may call it that it is just a "sensor" thing, but what other communications will be happening between the two cars? Can that communication be intercepted or interfered?
Imagine everything is on a smartphone including car key. If the car doesn't cache the info, losing your car may not be a security concern. Yet, losing your smartphone will undoubtly cause a lot of headaches.
Junko: I don't think you car would have to be stolen for the knowledge about the driver to be "shared" when the car is networked. Right now, corporations and governments are collecting massive profiles on individuals based on big-data gathered from social networks, retail discount "clubs," credit purchases, and other once sensitive data. It's also possible to listen into in-car conversation through OnStar and other systems. So, really, your car will just be one more portal into your private life.
Does this make anyone else want to revert to a "classic" used car? Could there be an evolving market for "dumb" cars that cost thousands less than fully networked "smart cars?"
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.