Articles about cars

Surveillance van's interior

Fan of FBI cosplay? Enjoy freaking out your neighbors? Have we got the eBay auction for you

A rather unusual auction on eBay could appeal to aspiring spies and X‑Files fantasists alike. A bloke in North Carolina is offering up what is described as a restored 1989 FBI "surveillance" van, complete with listening equipment, LCD monitors, and two DVD players, apparently. The van, an otherwise not unsettling brown Dodge …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2017
Mom backseat driving photo by shutterstock

You're all too skeptical of super-duper self-driving cars, apparently

Lamenting the 35,000 people in the US who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2015, Senator John Thune (R-SD), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, on Wednesday held a hearing in Washington, DC, on the need to win public support for automated cars and to rethink regulation. "Industry must …
Thomas Claburn, 14 Jun 2017
Grand Theft Auto (1997)

Sons of IoT: Bikers hack Jeeps in auto theft spree

A Tijuana-based biker gang is accused of hacking hundreds of trucks over two and a half years as part of a multi-million-dollar auto theft ring. The San Diego offices of the US Department of Justice and the FBI said that nine members of the Hooligans Motorcycle Club used stolen dealer credentials and handheld diagnostic …
Shaun Nichols, 31 May 2017
Lix Toll Land Rover photo Mark Whitehorn Paul Hazell

Iconic Land Rover Defender may make a comeback by 2019

Jaguar Land Rover is to resurrect the venerable old Defender – and it may be built abroad, according to media reports. The Defender design was discontinued in 2016 thanks to EU regulations on vehicle emissions. Unlike Volkswagen, JLR decided to halt production rather than engage in software trickery to defeat emissions testing …
Good clear controls

VW Dieselgate engineer sings like a canary: Entire design team was in on it – not just a few bad apples, allegedly

A Volkswagen engineer has agreed to spill the details of his involvement in the VW emissions scandal. Former engineer James Robert Liang took a plea deal with the US federal government to cooperate with its ongoing investigation of how the German carmaker cheated American emissions tests and passed off its "clean diesel" …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Sep 2016
A Corvette

Airbag bug forces GM to recall 4.3m vehicles – but eh, how about those self-driving cars, huh?

General Motors (GM) says a software bug has left as many as 4.3 million of its cars and trucks with potentially defective airbags. The US auto giant said that problems with the embedded software in the vehicles can cause the front airbags to fail to deploy in a crash. The bug resides in the software used to control the sensors …
Shaun Nichols, 9 Sep 2016
scrooge

Generous Fiat Chrysler offers $1,500 for car security bugs – or two minutes of annual profit

Fiat Chrysler has finally got around to offering a bounty on bugs found in its cars. But the scheme is unlikely to get any takers considering the pitiful amount of money on offer. Last year car-hacking artistes Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek took remote control of the engine, brakes, and minor systems of such Fiat Chrysler …
Iain Thomson, 13 Jul 2016
Woman motorist waves from a red car. Photo by Shutterstock

What Brexit means for you as a motorist

The UK has voted in favour of leaving the European Union and in the past few days the markets have reacted violently, plunging the pound to its lowest level against the US dollar since the mid-1980s. Nobody’s really sure what the future holds for the UK or for its economy, but the referendum result has gone against the wishes …
Ryan McElroy, 29 Jun 2016
Google car

Reavers! Google patent would affix pedestrians to car hoods

Google has been granted a patent on a system that would adhere victims of car strikes to the vehicle for their own safety. US Patent 9,340,178 describes a substance that would be hidden under a protective layer, only to be exposed on impact to adhere pedestrians or crash victims to the car rather than tumbling to the pavement …
Shaun Nichols, 19 May 2016

Mechanic computers used to pwn cars in new model-agnostic attack

Nullcon Hacker Craig Smith has designed an attack whereby a car bearing malicious code could infect computers used in mechanics' workshops. The workshop computers emerge capable of infecting nearly any other vehicle that arrives for service. Smith's attack is a significant improvement on his proof-of-concept first brewed during 2015 …
Darren Pauli, 13 Mar 2016
Johnny Cab

Google robo-car backs into bendy-bus in California

Alphabet has filed an accident report with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, in which it says one of its autonomous cars had a low-speed bingle with a bendy-bus. The report says its self-driving kitted-up Lexus found itself baulked by sandbags at an intersection. The car “was travelling in autonomous mode eastbound …
Big wheels, big performance

Software, not wetware, now the cause of lousy Volvo drivers

Volvo has issued a recall for cars that have buggy software. The code flaw means that engines in about 59,000 2016-model series 60 and 70 cars sometimes stop, for no apparent reason. The engines then restart. Volvo's not said anything about the circumstances that trigger the stop-start problem, so we don't know if it can …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Feb 2016

Back to the Future's DeLorean is coming back to the future

DeLorean Motors has announced that it hopes to resume construction of the DMC-12 sports car made famous by 1985 flick Back to the Future. In the film and its two sequels, the car houses a time machine that operated when the stainless-steel-mobile hits 88 miles per hour. The DeLorean was chosen for the role because it looked …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Jan 2016

Hackers pop grease monkeys' laptops to disable Audi airbags

Hackers can quietly disable airbags in cars sold by Volkswagen using a zero day vulnerability in software popular with car mechanics. The attacks demonstrated on an Audi TT require a mechanic's computer to be first compromised or for a malicious USB device to be plugged in for the exploit to work. Research trio András Szijj, …
Darren Pauli, 23 Oct 2015

Top VW exec blames car pollution cheatware scandal on 'a couple of software engineers'

Volkswagen America CEO Michael Horn has played the "rogue employee" card to explain how and why his cars' engine software cheated in pollution tests. While being grilled by the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Thursday, Horn said he only learned of the existence of the so-called emissions-hoodwinking "defeat device …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Oct 2015

The remote control from HELL: Driverless cars slam on brakes for LASER POINTER

What do you get if you put a cheap laser pointer together with a Raspberry Pi? An attack that works against today's "assisted driving" vehicles and could make life hard for the driverless cars of tomorrow, according to researcher Jonathan Petit. Petit, of Security Innovation, says $60 worth of laser with a bit of smarts makes …
Darren Pauli, 10 Sep 2015

Jeep Cherokee 2.2: Capable, comfortable ... but just not very Jeep

Vulture at the wheel Ever since Fiat became FCA – Fiat Chrysler Automotive – there has been something a bit incongruous about the mix of brands. An Italian Jeep takes a bit of getting used to. Refined ride, exceptionally nice leather, a responsive automatic gearbox, multi-link rear suspension. It’s all a bit, well, not-Jeep. And the good things …
Simon Rockman, 29 Aug 2015

Nokia sells HERE maps to Audi, Daimler and BMW for €2.8 billion

Nokia has announced that a consortium comprising AUDI AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG will drive off into the sunset as joint and owners of its HERE maps unit. Readers may know HERE as “Navteq” and recall that Nokia acquired the company back in 2007 for the small matter of US$8.1 billion. The company later renamed the service “ …

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