The answer is actually quite simple: the technology is there! It has been proven in a variety of field trials around the world that cars can communicate with each other and with the roadside infrastructure via IEEE802.11p WiFi standard. NXP has prototypes ready – so basically, we and the rest of the industry are now waiting for the first government that adopts it – ideally mandating it – to give the technology a further boost towards more road safety. Singapore and the U.S. are on the forefront of these developments. To fully connect the car towards high intelligence, other technologies are being added – such as telematics, sensors, or radar.
BUT: As you pointed out, C2X MUST go with appropriate security measures. The same holds true for any other wireless communication by the way. Again: technology is there and car manufacturers have started to adopt it. NXP is global number one in security technologies for contactless smartcards used in high security applications, such as banking or access. SmartMX security elements can be built in in a flexible manner to ensure two fundamental aspects in air interfacing: privacy for personal data and protection against hacking or manipulation.
I am a little puzzled by this discussion. What is the motivation behind this network connected car? Cars are too complicated to use already. I have PhD in EE and already can't use most of the navigation functions that are currently available in my car. I don't have the time to study hundreds of options or 300 page manual I got. I am happy it drives at all. I don't need to be networked to anyone else. I don't want to be networked to some other reckeless people on the road, or hackers who will brake in to my car network to cause highway disaster (They just hacked FaceBook site so they can do hack into car network too)! Kris
A question in my mind is that with all the capabilities to collect endless information like speed and acceleration, will this data someday be available and used by lawyers and insurance companies investigating and litigating accidents?
As new technology evolves consumers learn and adopt to new technology. For example in banking a few years ago people used to go to the bank counter to deposite checks or withdrwa or transfer money, then these functions moved to ATM, then to online banking and now to Mobile Banking. So I don't see any issues with drivers getting used to Car2X. It will assist drivers in many ways, improve safety and driving experience and eventually leads to Autonomous self-driving cars.
What I worry about the most is that a majority of consumers will not understand the implications on privacy and security and unwittingly (like the opt-out nonsense) give away their personal information while owning and driving a 'smart' car. Many services that are in use today are possible without Car2X-Communication described in this article.
While there is some justification for services like navigation, tollways, emergency services (in scenarios of accidents for first responders, yielding way to emergency vehicles on highways, etc.), what bothers me is that the electronics & automobile industries are forging ahead implementing these 'smarts' in automobiles with little or no debate where an average (& not so well-informed) consumer is involved.
@Aagney, I agree. And I believe that's the direction where Car2X is going; but it is a fact that multiple technologies are available, and how they are meshed together remains unclear to me. We will find out more...
I have designed communications systems for trains and mobile payments where saftey and security are mandatory. By default you have to design the system assuming that the communications systems and networks are not secure or safe. Cars should not rely on the data received via communications systems. They should take actions only after validating that the data is within the expected limit and it is safe to take the action. Typically they use sensors like radar and other kind of sensors and on board data or data from multiple sources to ensue that it is safe to act on the data. Otherwise it should request manual intervention or come to a safe emergency halt.
Security is certainly an issue, but there are also other network effects to take into account. I was driving on a freeway in L.A. a while back when suddenly everyone went diving for the next exit. Just about then I noticed that my GPS (with traffic info) was recalculating. I bucked the trend and kept on the same route, even after my GPS wanted to point me towards the exit as well. There was an incident ahead that was reported, but the lighter traffic meant that that route actually wasn't a problem. I can see real opportunities to direct crowd behavior that might tempt me to do some hacking.
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.