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Intel Wants To Computerize Your Car

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the your-volkswagen-will-be-assimilated dept.

Transportation 191

cartechboy writes: 'Google just unveiled its cute self-driving car prototype, and now Intel is the next tech company looking to get in on the rapid digital change coming in cars — a potentially lucrative area for expansion. Intel is releasing what it's calling an "in-vehicle solutions platform" — processors, an operating system and developer kits Intel is hoping automakers and others would use to build in-vehicle infotainment systems. From the developer perspective, there is a chance the Intel release makes building easier and cheaper. But is it good for automakers to be building these systems instead of Google and Apple? So far, no automaker has done so well on software, and some have seriously damaged their reputation (ex: MyFord Touch and Sync, Cadillac CUE).'

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How did you guess? (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#47160985)

Why yes, actually, it is my job to sell microprocessors, and not to ask whether they are the right tool for the job. Why do you ask?

Asshole companies want to DRM your car (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161161)

We've already seen this in some cars, where they try to prevent everyone but 'certified' mechanics from fixing the cars. None of this is a good thing for consumers. This technology could be a good thing in theory, but asshole corporations and governments will use it for all sorts of nasty shit.

Re:Asshole companies want to DRM your car (1)

Noishkel (3464121) | about 6 months ago | (#47161431)

Well they kind of do that already by require high specialized tools to repair certain systems. Although I wouldn't call that DRM being that it's not software.

Re:Asshole companies want to DRM your car (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about 6 months ago | (#47161499)

I agree. You won't be allowed to open the hood, and check the oil level, or add windshield washer fluid, because of DRM/DMCA issues - you're messing with someone else's intellectual property, and might reverse engineer something and guess the passwords by which all parts, like chipped ink cartridges, interact, and build a replacement part yourself on a lathe instead of buying it only from the intellectual property holder of the car design. The only windshield washer fluid refill "cartridge" the car will accept will be one with a chip made by the original company, costing a mere $2000/gallon of windshiel washing fluid. Oh, and you can buy a new car for like ten bucks or free during special promotions, but don't expect it to run without these super expensive and chipped refill cartridges, inlcuding oil change chipped/passworded refill cartrdige, windshield washer fluid chipped/passworded refill cartridge, gasoline chipped/passworded refill cartdrige at a mere $10/gal of gas when other gas is $4/gal (hey the car was free, you gotta pay for it somehow!) Ah! The wonders of chips and computerization!

Re:Asshole companies want to DRM your car (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161841)

No worries, the pirated version will be stripped of all DRM protection.

Re:How did you guess? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161569)

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Integrated Infotainment, why do I want it? (3, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | about 6 months ago | (#47160989)

Let's assume I have bluetooth on my smartphone so I can listen to music and it gets correctly interrupted by incoming calls, and can give me turn-by-turn directions by GPS. I put it into a cradle on the dash so I can also see a moving map and shoot dashcam video if I want.

As far as I can see, that solves my infotainment "needs." What exactly am I missing out on?

Re: Integrated Infotainment, why do I want it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161021)

It's not what you're missing out on. It's what Intel is missing out on.

Re:Integrated Infotainment, why do I want it? (3, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | about 6 months ago | (#47161151)

Closed systems that go out of date quickly and are incompatible with anything newer.

Want an Example? BMW 525 Iphone cradle system. doesn't work with the iPhone 5, 5c or 5s.

Re:Integrated Infotainment, why do I want it? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161389)

Yeah? And? Your fucking car doesn't run (well) on whale oil anymore either. Throw your old ass car in the garbage and get something modern. I bet you still use a 50s refrigerator and a horrible 2 SEER heat pump if not one of those stupid and antiquated split systems.

Re:Integrated Infotainment, why do I want it? (2)

litehacksaur111 (2895607) | about 6 months ago | (#47161537)

I think that Intel is just trying to jump on the internet of things (IoT), trillion sensors, and cloud computing bandwaggon.

Re:Integrated Infotainment, why do I want it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161985)

The cool part about that example is that the fault lies with both BMW for closed, proprietary, and non-modular systems interfacing with Apple's closed, proprietary, and largely non-standard connections (both wired and non-wired).

Re:Integrated Infotainment, why do I want it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161189)

As far as I can see, that solves my infotainment "needs." What exactly am I missing out on?

onstar style privacy violations, expensive repair bills, obsolescence, unaddressed security vulnerabilities and generally putting up with half-assed, proprietary and poorly implemented garbage.

Re:Integrated Infotainment, why do I want it? (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 6 months ago | (#47161191)

What if you're in a city like Sydney, where there are mazes of roads underground? You phone GPS won't work there.
An in-vehicle navigation system has a much better chance of getting you to where you want to go, since it uses the vehicle speed sensor, a gyroscope and the map data to determine current position in absence of of a GPS signal.

How about countries like Japan, where they have the VICS network that gives road users helpful information like road works and traffic congestion via microwave, infra-red and FM radio data? You cellphone can't do that, nor can it do automated toll road payments.
It doesn't offer handy features like trip/fuel economy displays either.

Re:Integrated Infotainment, why do I want it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161395)

It doesn't offer handy features like trip/fuel economy displays either

My copies of Torque and DashCommand would like to argue with you about that.

Re:Integrated Infotainment, why do I want it? (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 6 months ago | (#47161453)

What if you're in a city like Sydney, where there are mazes of roads underground? You phone GPS won't work there.

If you're phone cant get a GPS signal, neither can your car. It will be equally as stuffed. Also phones can handle the loss of a GPS signal. My Galaxy Nexus seemed to handle it just fine through the tunnels of Sydney using Google Maps for navigation.

How about countries like Japan, where they have the VICS network that gives road users helpful information like road works and traffic congestion via microwave, infra-red and FM radio data?

Phones are capable of picking that up as well. In fact, my phone can use applications that go beyond the functionality of these systems.

You cellphone can't do that, nor can it do automated toll road payments.

Actually it can and does. But most toll roads use your number plate these days.

It doesn't offer handy features like trip/fuel economy displays either.

I've used Torque [google.com] in cars that do not have fancy on board computers. It provides a hell of a lot more info than just fuel economy/trip displays.

Besides this, any car from 2008 onwards has a fuel efficiency display and as for a trip display... every car from the late 80's onwards.

And unlike your "infotainment" system, my phone is upgradeable and transferable to my new vehicle. Your infotainment system has been forgotten about by the manufacturer before your car leaves the dealer. So you're stuck with a unit that is not user upgradeable and completely useless 3 years later. Not only that, they have the most useless interfaces known to man. Who at BMW thought the knob to control iDrive was a good idea?

Re:Integrated Infotainment, why do I want it? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 6 months ago | (#47161629)

Who at BMW thought the knob to control iDrive was a good idea?

I remember that being announced on the 'net when it was just being released. Pictures and everything. It was being touted as very cool.

My reaction was: "WTF? How is THIS supposed to be a good interface for THAT?"

Re:Integrated Infotainment, why do I want it? (1)

WinstonWolfIT (1550079) | about 6 months ago | (#47161819)

What if you're in a city like Sydney, where there are mazes of roads underground? You phone GPS won't work there.

I was just in Sydney and my phone did quite well. It predicts your location while it waits to re-establish signal. If you stick to the plan it works pretty well.

Re:Integrated Infotainment, why do I want it? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 6 months ago | (#47162055)

Google maps also works on Lower Wacker Drive

Re:Integrated Infotainment, why do I want it? (1)

alen (225700) | about 6 months ago | (#47161309)

a car maker is missing out on the $2000 extra option you're not buying but only using your USB port

Re:Integrated Infotainment, why do I want it? (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 6 months ago | (#47161397)

As far as I can see, that solves my infotainment "needs." What exactly am I missing out on?

This.

My car was made in 2002, the "in car entertainment" was also constructed in 2002, it was made by a company called Garrett and the model number is GT2540R. It's a turbocharger, attached to an SR20DE engine and six speed manual transmission. That's entertainment, the joy of the drive.

If you dont enjoy driving, it's time for you to start saving for the Google autonomous car which you can outfit with your garish curved, oversized 4K TV to watch Days Of Our Lives on.

Damaged reputation? (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | about 6 months ago | (#47161015)

Wait, since when has Ford Sync damaged their reputation? I've been very satisfied with my Ford Edge, and I've had a few Ford rental vehicles with Sync that I've had zero issues with. I find it hard to drive a car without that type of system in it anymore.

Re:Damaged reputation? (1)

hguorbray (967940) | about 6 months ago | (#47161071)

same here -gf bought a CMAX plugin hybrid and the UI looks pretty good and has the built in handsfree with the bluetooth phone connection as well as USB and SD card slots for music, etc

I'm just sayin'

Re:Damaged reputation? (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 6 months ago | (#47161299)

Several reviews of Ford and Cadillac models I've read, particularly models with older versions of SYNC/QUE, have been overwhelmingly positive with the exception of the infotainment system.

Re:Damaged reputation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161423)

Several reviews of Ford and Cadillac models I've read, particularly models with older versions of SYNC/QUE, have been overwhelmingly positive with the exception of the infotainment system.

Everything I ready about the original Ford Sync was very good, it seemed to be MyFordTouch that people didn't like.

Re:Damaged reputation? (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | about 6 months ago | (#47161855)

I should clarify, Sync is still the base platform, Touch is the touch interface on top of Sync. I have Touch in my Edge. I like it. I'm not fond of the touch system in my Subaru. I like the system that Jeep has in their new Cherokees(no idea if they're in other Jeeps, but it wasn't in the Wrangler I rented).

Re:Damaged reputation? (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 6 months ago | (#47161889)

Several reviews of Ford and Cadillac models I've read, particularly models with older versions of SYNC/QUE, have been overwhelmingly positive with the exception of the infotainment system.

Every review of BMW models is overwhelmingly positive.... except for the *bleep* infotainment system.

All car owners want entertainment along the journey. Some get their entertainment from music, maps, and the like. The others get their entertainment by hitting the cloverleaf at 90 MPH. Intel can help the first group; Intel can do nothing but frustrate the second group.

Re:Damaged reputation? (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 6 months ago | (#47162017)

Several reviews of Ford and Cadillac models I've read, particularly models with older versions of SYNC/QUE, have been overwhelmingly positive with the exception of the infotainment system.

Every review of BMW models is overwhelmingly positive.... except for the *bleep* infotainment system.

All car owners want entertainment along the journey. Some get their entertainment from music, maps, and the like. The others get their entertainment by hitting the cloverleaf at 90 MPH. Intel can help the first group; Intel can do nothing but frustrate the second group.

Yes, I remember the dreaded iDrive that BMW forced upon it's customers years ago. I suspect it caused many BMW enthusiasts to become Mercedes owners. One would have hoped that the rest of the auto industry would have learned from BMWs mistake and not tread down this path.
Personally, I think the industry needs to re-think it's entire approach to electronics. A car is expected to give 10+ years of service whereas the electronics are still evolving at a rapid pace. I would like for it to be easy to retrofit new technology over the life of the car but these new 'infotainment' systems make it exceedingly difficult to do so, particularly the ones that integrate climate control and everything else.

Re:Damaged reputation? (3, Insightful)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 6 months ago | (#47161301)

I find it hard to drive a car without that type of system in it anymore.

I'd say that qualifies as a problem.

Re:Damaged reputation? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161409)

I'm so sorry that we disappoint your clearly superior ass. I know you built your car yourself, including mining and smelting the metals, so that you would know precisely every single thing about your car. We are mites on the backs of the mice under your feet. We're not worthy of being here.

Re:Damaged reputation? (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | about 6 months ago | (#47161845)

Please elaborate

Re:Damaged reputation? (1)

Polo (30659) | about 6 months ago | (#47161869)

It's probably fine as long as you don't upgrade your phone for the life of your car.

Seriously though, people keep cars for many MANY phone lifecycles.

I really think car manufacturers should standardize on some sort of mounting system. Imagine a 19" stereo rack, but for a car.

Do you know anyone with a 2007 car? It was built before the iPhone existed, which was announced in June 2007.

Re:Damaged reputation? (4, Informative)

plover (150551) | about 6 months ago | (#47161893)

My 2011 Taurus' Sync interface is a Microsoft UI designed in hell. It starts out where the destination selection is as awkward as it gets: instead of entering a nice friendly address like 1234 County O, Wausau, Wisconsin, you have to enter an address according to computer hierarchy rules: "State: Wisconsin. City: Wausau. Street "County O". Number: "1234". The first problem is that the autocomplete kicks in late, but still takes the buffered touch as the next input: W..A..U..S ... up pops the WAU listings of Wauketon, Waunakee, and Wausau, and Wauketon happens to be located where the S was. Guess who has to start over again? The next problem comes if all you have for an address is 1234 County O. The auto complete demands that you specify which County O. Do you mean North (1-4799), North (4800-9999), West, South, or Southwest? Hell if I know, I'm from Minnesota and I was just reading an address off a web site. It turned out that only one of those four choices actually happened to be located in Wausau, but the damn machine felt the need to offer me all four.

For a machine with 40GB of hard drive, limiting the address book to 100 destinations is simply insulting my intelligence. I can't have a hundred and one places to go?

There is very poor integration with smart phones. The most it can do with an iPhone is play music, but only after spending minutes downloading the entire catalog of tracks before letting me even play a song. I can't send it a contact's address for navigation, nor can it dial an entry in my contact list.

The icing on the cake was the first time I really needed to use the voice interface. As a lifelong Minnesotan, I have a flat, boring, monotone Midwestern accent, yet the so-called voice "recognition" couldn't recognize common words like 'courthouse', 'capitol', or 'state capitol'. Instead it offered me really odd choices that were nothing like the words I spoke, such as answering my saying 'capitol building' by asking 'Did you mean pizza?' (yes, that really was its clarification.) Neither my wife nor I ever did get it to take us to the State Capitol building in Madison - (we ended up stumbling upon it because it's located at the center of a pretty small city.) At one point I gave up on the voice interface and said "exit". The machine had the temerity to ask me "Did you really mean to exit, yes or no?" A freakin' pop-up dialog box in a voice interface?!?! At that point we nicknamed it "Useless".

Thankfully my car is slightly too old to suffer from MyTouch, which was inflicted on the model year 2012 cars, and newer. The problems are as obvious as a cold sore: next to a touch screen interface, capacitive buttons are about the worst possible user interface possible in a car. When driving, you need to access controls by feel, as your eyes need to keep looking out the windows. And tactile feedback is a simple concept that people intuitively understand: when you reach for a knob, you feel if it's the twisty kind or the clicky kind, and you can easily adjust it without looking. But if you reach a touch-button by feel, though, you are by definition touching it - therefore you are also triggering it. If you would normally expect to run your fingers down the dash, feeling for the third button in order to turn on the defroster, you can easily trigger the air conditioner and the fog lamps before reaching the defroster. And it turns out they don't even work at all with gloved fingers (cf. Minnesota and Wisconsin in the winter!) When you hear "touch" and "driver", if they're not talking about the car's handling, you are listening to a very stupid person.

Consumers who hate Sync and the MyTouch interface are not alone: Consumer Reports consistently reduces the scores of Ford vehicles so equipped by 4-6 points, which typically drops them from a tie for a top-of-the-class rating to a middle-of-the-class rating. They are really, really bad systems.

Slap a computer on it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161037)

Why won't it work? Just slap a computer on it! From the biggest brand in computing! What can possibly go wrong?

Car makers do two things well: Make cars, and sell them. Not even designing them, too many models are simply butt ugly. But making cars they do reasonably well, and with sufficient thrust they even sell reasonably well. intel likewise does two things well: Replicating fabs and fab process. They're two process nodes ahead of the competition. But designs? Not so much. itanic, anyone? Or, who came up with x86_64 again? There's much more to this, but this'll have to do.

This has historic precedent: Their first (not the first, mind, but I'm going to leave the rest as an exercise) was the 4004, and they're really proud of that. Little known fact: The 8008 was being developed concurrently, and repeatedly got engineers poached to work on the 4004 instead. Because the 4004 was in-house and the 8008 was a commission for a boring client company. Anyway, I digress. They're pretty good at some things and not so good at other things. Take home point is that it's not always that obvious what the good and the bad points are.

For car makers, software is so out of left field for them that it's not going to go right. So using a drop-in turn-key COTS thing from a large well-respected company, after all, just about everyone in the company has a peecee with chips from that company on their desk, don't they?, isn't going to be a firing offense, is it?

Well... maybe. Probably not but it probably should be. It's like picking windows for embedded projects. Just not such a great fit. There are better options, but those require that you know your stuff. And car makers and software? Thus we see that intel will likely have plenty market for this thing, but it's not going to be the right thing. The car makers will have to learn the hard way to make better choices. In the meantime and like a good little consultant, intel will happily supply the rope and the feet-pointing guns, as will certain well-known software vendors.

Just What I Need (2)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 6 months ago | (#47161041)

My car blue screening while hurtling down the highway.

This is finally the right time! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161417)

OMG! The radio BSODs while you're driving down the road! .....wait for it...... WHATCOULDPOSSIBLYGOWRONG?

Nothing, abso-fucking-lutely not a goddamned thing. Get back under your bridge, troll.

Question about school zones (1, Offtopic)

Ichijo (607641) | about 6 months ago | (#47161103)

When a self-driving car enters a school zone and sees the "speed limit 25 when children are present" sign, how does it know whether a person it sees is a child? Does it always brake just to be on the safe side? And if no "end school zone" sign exists, does it keep on going 25 until it sees the next speed limit sign miles down the road?

Re:Question about school zones (1, Informative)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 6 months ago | (#47161183)

I don't believe that the Google self-driving car actually reads signs. That stretch of road is coded in its database with the speed limit.

I always thought that "Speed Limit X when children are present" really means "during school hours". With a little bit of logic ability, the car would know what the speed limit was for that time and date.

Re:Question about school zones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161213)

Depending on how this is all implemented, this could very well be a privacy nightmare. Is it always sending data back to Google? How do we know what it's doing? Is the software free and open source? I doubt it.

Re:Question about school zones (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 6 months ago | (#47161291)

If I can take a nap on the way to and from work, they can transmit my location directly to NSA headquarters.

Re:Question about school zones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161305)

How principled you are. Just what I'd expect from the land of the free.

Re:Question about school zones (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 6 months ago | (#47161375)

Yes. I'm FREE to voluntarily opt in to a system of my choosing. When things are required by the government, that's a different situation.

Do you grasp the difference?

Re:Question about school zones (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 6 months ago | (#47161657)

Yes. I'm FREE to voluntarily opt in to a system of my choosing. When things are required by the government, that's a different situation.

There has often been no real difference.

Many people freely opted in to have their data collected by online services. They did not suspect that later, the government would be demanding that data from those services.

So there you have a case in which voluntarily opting in, and the government forcing it from you, have exactly the same result. Do you honestly think it would be limited to such cases?

Re:Question about school zones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161253)

How does it know? After-school functions, sports, concerts, etc.

Re:Question about school zones (1)

Ichijo (607641) | about 6 months ago | (#47161771)

I don't believe that the Google self-driving car actually reads signs. That stretch of road is coded in its database with the speed limit.

It would be interesting to hear Google's defense in traffic court when the database doesn't match the signs.

Re:Question about school zones (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 6 months ago | (#47161777)

For the foreseeable future, it will be the driver's responsibility to make sure that the car follows all applicable laws.

Re:Question about school zones (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 6 months ago | (#47161235)

This is about infotainment systems, not self-driving cars.

Re:Question about school zones (1)

PvtVoid (1252388) | about 6 months ago | (#47161519)

This is about infotainment systems, not self-driving cars.

I would certainly hope that any car with an "infotainment" system is self-driving, so that the driver isn't looking at the fucking "infotainment" instead of the road.

Any bets on how much of the "infotainment" is going to be ads?

Re:Question about school zones (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 6 months ago | (#47161921)

TV's are common in Japanese cars for over a decade now, as both OEM and after-market equipment.
Japan has nearly 3x lower road fatalities than USA per capita, half the road fatalities per vehicle and fewer per km as well.

Re:Question about school zones (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 6 months ago | (#47161345)

When a self-driving car enters a school zone and sees the "speed limit 25 when children are present" sign, how does it know whether a person it sees is a child? Does it always brake just to be on the safe side?

I would sure as hell hope it would stop for the person, regardless of whether it's a child or not. Or do you just run over little old ladies if they get in your way while driving through a school zone?

And if no "end school zone" sign exists, does it keep on going 25 until it sees the next speed limit sign miles down the road?

It should, as that is the law. It should also slow down before it crosses the threshold for a lowered speed limit. While most people don't even start to slow down until after passing the lower speed limit sign, legally you are to be doing that speed as soon as you pass the sign.

Re:Question about school zones (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about 6 months ago | (#47161557)

Self driving cars are absolute nonsense. It requires intellect to decide whether an object is a plastic bear or a real bear about to enter the road, and has to be braked for. Any business/investment into this self driving car design field is setting themselves up for a major lawsuit because the basic principle is that you require artificial intelligence on par with a human to make the same correct decisions while driving, identifying objects and predicting their future behavior correctly. Even a dog's level won't cut it, as shepherds have dogs and sheep, and the trio exists well together, but dogs and sheep can't coexist, or at least wolves haven't figured out a way yet, and you need a human to decide things like we're gonna take that mountain pass yonder instead of the one over here. Alpha wolves and wolf packs make similar decisions, and a whole lot of wolf lives depend on a good or bad decision, in middle of winter, similar to the Donner Party back in the Oregon Trail/California Trail days. Even humans make horrible judgment calls sometimes which way to drive, or in an accident piling up in front of you which way to swerve, how are you gonna trust these decisions to a machine, or intellect less than a human? Driving is a matter of life and death. If anything you need a machine smarter than a human in comprehending the world around it, and predicting actions of objects like insane people as pedestrians, walking in the middle of the road. Saying you ran someone over "legally" does not fly far in court, just because someone crossed the street before you when they had red light and you had green, or stopped in the middle like Rain Man, you still have to judge for yourself what to do.

Re:Question about school zones (2)

PvtVoid (1252388) | about 6 months ago | (#47161585)

Self driving cars are absolute nonsense. It requires intellect to decide whether an object is a plastic bear or a real bear about to enter the road, and has to be braked for. Any business/investment into this self driving car design field is setting themselves up for a major lawsuit because the basic principle is that you require artificial intelligence on par with a human to make the same correct decisions while driving, identifying objects and predicting their future behavior correctly. Even a dog's level won't cut it, as shepherds have dogs and sheep, and the trio exists well together, but dogs and sheep can't coexist, or at least wolves haven't figured out a way yet, and you need a human to decide things like we're gonna take that mountain pass yonder instead of the one over here. Alpha wolves and wolf packs make similar decisions, and a whole lot of wolf lives depend on a good or bad decision, in middle of winter, similar to the Donner Party back in the Oregon Trail/California Trail days. Even humans make horrible judgment calls sometimes which way to drive, or in an accident piling up in front of you which way to swerve, how are you gonna trust these decisions to a machine, or intellect less than a human? Driving is a matter of life and death. If anything you need a machine smarter than a human in comprehending the world around it, and predicting actions of objects like insane people as pedestrians, walking in the middle of the road. Saying you ran someone over "legally" does not fly far in court, just because someone crossed the street before you when they had red light and you had green, or stopped in the middle like Rain Man, you still have to judge for yourself what to do.

Well, I for one would totally totally feel better if you were replaced by a machine.

Re:Question about school zones (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about 6 months ago | (#47161595)

Driving on regular roads is a matter of life and death, but they could have high-way like traffic zones where the cars get hooked onto each other by a chainlike fashion, and move together as one, as a train, and no deer or accidents are expected on the highway, just like with trains, and the whole train follows signals and semaphores by computer systems, and if someone gets stuck in the middle of the track while one of these trains is coming, well they are out of luck, just like they are out of luck when falling off a platform in a regular train station, with the train coming around the corner, unable to stop even if braking hard. At least some regions of traffic you could automate in this "tough luck" if you get caught up in the wheels of the "traffic machine" fashion, the traffic machine train can't stop.

My car is from 1975 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161167)

and I am quite happy driving a car without a computer.

Re:My car is from 1975 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161331)

My every-day car is a classic VW bug. Still uses points.

Re:My car is from 1975 (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about 6 months ago | (#47161617)

I envy you. My dream car is a car-computerless Porsche, and I think all fuel injectors are computerized, so if carburetted, it's terribly inefficien at miles per gallon. Maybe somebody, like Tesla, needs to start an open source car that people can program all the chips themselves.

Re:My car is from 1975 (1)

mirix (1649853) | about 6 months ago | (#47161947)

They made a lot of Porsches with K-Jetronic. (mechanical fuel injection), 1970s - early 80s, maybe into the 90s on some models.

Though surely the later ones had a computer for spark? Which isn't related to the fuel injection... and could be deleted if you were dedicated, I guess.

various jetronic types were common on all the euro marques before 1995 or so. K doesn't require a computer. L has an analog computer, etc.

Re:My car is from 1975 (1)

mirix (1649853) | about 6 months ago | (#47161973)

I have a bug with points too - and solid lifters, a carb, generator, no AC and basically no heat without the auxiliary, and various other bits of cave tech..

But you do realize why we quit using them, right? If a new car needed new points and valves adjusted every couple thousand miles, no one would buy the bloody thing. It's simple, but it's still a PITA, especially for people that can't wrench.

How can we stop them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161179)

How do we stop it? A lot of people don't care; but there is a significant group of people like myself who just want the KISS philosophy in our cars. It's a lot harder to organize a car company than it is a piece of software so the whole peace, love and open source philosophy doesn't seem to apply.

When it comes to things like this it really does seem that you really have no choice but to chose. If none of the choices satisfy because some company like Intel gets all the manufacturers to drink their kool-aid, then you're SOL.

As long as it's not the Pentium 4... (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 6 months ago | (#47161197)

(I'm from the South, and it's already hot enough) I have no problem Intel flogging their kit to car manufacturers.

Re:As long as it's not the Pentium 4... (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 6 months ago | (#47161249)

A Pentium 4 would be great for electric/hybrid cars.
You need something to power the heating system.

I'll vote with my wallet (4, Insightful)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 6 months ago | (#47161219)

I try my best to avoid buying any car that has a computerized display that is a wannabe tablet or phone. Car manufacturers think they're so cute trying to roll their own solutions when in fact all they're making is dead end technology that makes their cars more expensive.

They can keep th em (2)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 months ago | (#47161257)

The *only* computer i want in my car is my phone, so i can listen to music if i feel like it.

And yes, i realize that means no fuel injection, or other modern garbage, that has no business in *my* car.

Re:They can keep th em (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 6 months ago | (#47161429)

Or safety features either. Or any hope in passing current emissions standards.

Re:They can keep th em (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 months ago | (#47161479)

I could care less about those trumped up rules designed to take away our freedoms.

Re:They can keep th em (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 6 months ago | (#47161899)

You mean the ones that take away your freedom to try and break your neck when the seatbelt stops your body in a crash but nothing stops your head?
Air bags aren't mandatory on new cars to take away your freedom.

Please no (4, Interesting)

epyT-R (613989) | about 6 months ago | (#47161259)

I don't want infotainment.. I don't want apps or wifi or cell network connectivity, or ads, or remote government tracking. I don't want large lcd panels or nagging proximity beepers either. Absolutely NO microcontroller driven functionality that might decide spurious negative values mean 'floor it', 'dont turn the radio on until the car is restarted', or 'the alternator needs replacing but really doesn't.' I want simple, tactile buttons and sliders instead of touch panels and tiered menus that require visual inspection. This way I can control the basic functions of the car without taking my eyes off the road. The HVAC controls should only have three knobs for the fan speed, direction, heat level, and AC button. Also, let me open the side vents to let fresh air in even while the AC is on. I am willing to tolerate a certain amount of complexity for the radio/sound system, but that's it. In fact, design the console so I can rip the radio out and put in one of my choice without making a bigger mess out of the offensively curvy and effeminate aesthetics of the interior and dashboard. It's a dashboard, not a catwalk for the sexually ambiguous.

Speaking of aesthetics, please stop overdoing it with the curves and folds and bubble look. Kia is the worst offender, but some of the other makes are pretty bad now. Just because you can mold that plastic into any shape doesn't mean you should. It's ugly. Stop. Also, I am an average height 5'11" male with medium/largish sized hands. Please stop modeling the ergonomics for a 5'2" soccer mom with tiny hands. I'm tired of bumping the signal/wiper blade controls randomly when I turn the wheel over.

Re:Please no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161369)

You might not be part of their target demographic.

Like it or not, the mass market car mfgs aren't going to design cars for people who "dont' want microcontrollers" in their cars. That's a tiny niche, but you do have a shot at it if you go to the kit-car market. (Or alternately, very old used cars before such things existed).

Re:Please no (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 6 months ago | (#47161669)

Of course I'm not. I bet if the average 5'2" woman they target understood the implied risks that come from the excess complexity, they wouldn't want them as part of critical component design either.

Re:Please no (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 6 months ago | (#47161421)

I suppose you don't want ABS, airbags or seat belt pre-tensioners either. All microcontroller controlled.

Re:Please no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161621)

I suppose you don't want ABS, airbags or seat belt pre-tensioners either. All microcontroller controlled.

ABS is for pussies.

A real man is willing to pay the price for his poor driving technique.

Of course if you hit ME, you will pay the price too, motherfucker, and
I am not talking about money.

Drive carefully, the life you save will be your own.

Re:Please no (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 6 months ago | (#47161719)

I actually agree with this. An attentive, contextually aware driver is the best safety feature, for himself and those sharing the road with him.

Re:Please no (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 6 months ago | (#47161699)

Actually, I'd rather not have the ABS. Airbags? My parents rode/drove on the roads for 40 years without them, and I spent the majority of my childhood years without them in the cars I rode in. We're all still here to tell about it. If I'm hit, it'll be hard enough that an airbag wont' make the difference..and if it does, it'll mean life as a paraplegic vs death.. I'll take death. As far as pretensioners go, they existed long before computer-assist. It's not necessary, and ones designed around the laws of physics are going to be much more reliable than the uncertainty of software these days. The best safety device is an attentive driver behind the wheel. That means no cell phone conversations or distracting video and audio cues from this idiotic featureitis.. Just me, some music, and the open road, and if it gets distracting, the music gets shut off..

I just think that today's society has been slowly conditioned to a phobomanic state.. It's afraid of the most minor things and demands crazy overcompensations for them.

Re:Please no (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 6 months ago | (#47161929)

So it's just a coincidence that road fatalities have dropped over time, even though more people drive now?

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that the number and rate of traffic fatalities in 2010 fell to the lowest levels since 1949, despite a significant increase in the number of miles Americans drove during the year.

Re:Please no (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 6 months ago | (#47161987)

I think it's more a function of how you learned to drive.. I find ABS counterintuitive. I realize most do not. As far as airbags go, I really don't care. I'd rather have them as options. Those who want them would then be free to pay for them. I'd like to knock 5 to 10k off the cost of the vehicle. Those multi airbag systems are expensive, and if they go off from a minor fender bender, it can push the insurance company to total an otherwise perfectly good car.

It's interesting that you bring up this statistic, because, to hear the self-driving car crowd talk, we're all mass murdering lunatics behind the wheel.

Re:Please no (3, Insightful)

eWarz (610883) | about 6 months ago | (#47161439)

I do. I just want a better user experience. I hate having to rely on my cell phone for GPS (due to expensive map updates), music (cause pandora is better than satellite radio), voice control, and more. Car manufacturers are trying too hard to make 'infotainment' into something profitable, instead they should focus on making a fantastic user experience (oh shit, your gas is running low, here is the cheapest, most reliable gas station in your range)

Re:Please no (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161663)

Oh fuck that! Just make a standard that allows the smartphone to remain both the brains and connection point for the rest of the car via. Want a faster internet connection, more storage, or better navigation? Ok, get a new cell phone. Far easier to upgrade that than the rest of the hardware.

Re:Please no (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 6 months ago | (#47161743)

Fine, get an aftermarket box and install it (or have it installed) into the double DIN slot in the car. Make sure it has gps, music, voice control and whatever else.. Replace it every 5 to 10 years instead of the whole car when the OEM computer is left in the dust.

Wrong mod (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161451)

Sorry, I didn't mean to mod you OT. I meant to mod you flamebait. Seems you hate the homosektuals. Just go ahead and say it. Cmon, you'll feel better. Just take your keyboard and type it out. Don't be a pussy and AC it either. Do it! Call me a fag. I know you want to.

Re:Wrong mod (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161749)

So expressing preferences for ergonomics is offensive now? Society needs to quit coddling perpetually offended pantywaists like you.

What about DIN and half-DIN ? (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 6 months ago | (#47161295)

Many cars sold today are so integrated with the radio that it makes it very expensive to replace the radio (that is if you can fit a standard radio in the dash)

Re:What about DIN and half-DIN ? (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 6 months ago | (#47161733)

Like I was told above, we're not part of the market demographic anymore.. Basically, if you're not a soccer mom or an aging boomer, you don't exist in today's market.

I JUST WANT A CAR (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 6 months ago | (#47161445)

I want to get in, turn the key, drive to my destination, and turn it off. Later, I would like to repeat the process to get home.

Intel and others take note: I do not want to Tweet, blog, Instagram, or masturbate to some kind if computerized entertainment system while this happens. I want to safely arrive where I'm going.

Re:I JUST WANT A CAR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161551)

Well if you want to just "get in, turn the key, drive to my destination, and turn it off" then you're gonna need those computers. But you're hipster hardcore right? You love adjusting valves, setting points, changing plugs every other month, and tweaking your carb all the time. Fuck! I bet your car is so cool it has a hand crank starter on the front. Watch out and don't get your handle bar mustache too close. It'll rip it right off!

Oh and in case your were unaware, the LHC is in Europe.

Re:I JUST WANT A CAR (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 6 months ago | (#47161757)

They could build in most of the reliability that comes with modern mechanical design without overdoing the plumbing. This is NOT about hipsterism..at least not for me.

Re:I JUST WANT A CAR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161809)

that sounds a bit too much like ``I just want a phone'' crowd---who now mostly happily use smartphones :-)

Re:I JUST WANT A CAR (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 6 months ago | (#47161995)

Quite a leap, no?

How long before we see a virus in a car? (2)

Noishkel (3464121) | about 6 months ago | (#47161501)

I'm honestly curious is this is going to happen. Much like the Smart house story from a few days back I wonder what's going to happen when more of this rather useless crap gets wedged into a car and someone has a real serious failure that results in a crash. Well... actually we may have already had that. There was some rumors out there that the whole Toyota brake system fiasco wasn't actually caused by some weird problem with the floor mat but was actually a software issue.

Either way I'm really wondering if all this extra technology is really all that useful. Compared to just keep the systems in a car kind of 'dumb' and just sticking to hardened PLC style systems for engine management. Nothing flashy, just something rugged that won't fail.

Re:How long before we see a virus in a car? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161571)

Holy fuck! The sky is falling! We'll have Winblowz on our ECUs! ERMAHGERD! Oh wait, we're talking about the goddamned radio, not the ECU. Can't even read the goddamned summary... I must be new here.

Re:How long before we see a virus in a car? (1)

jmv (93421) | about 6 months ago | (#47161601)

Don't worry, weekly recalls for firmware updates will totally fix the problem.

Re:How long before we see a virus in a car? (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 6 months ago | (#47162005)

..or just not have the unneeded complexity and avoid the costly recalls. A metal cable and spring prevents an out of control throttle much more reliably than a computer running complex software.

Re:How long before we see a virus in a car? (1)

Noishkel (3464121) | about 6 months ago | (#47162023)

Well I personally don't think it needs to be THAT simple. But trying to wire everything into an advanced computer probably isn't the answer either.

Re:How long before we see a virus in a car? (1)

Noishkel (3464121) | about 6 months ago | (#47162025)

Well I personally take a rather... Fight Club look at it. The part at the beginning where Jack is talking to the lady on a flight about his job as a recall coordinator.

2003 called... (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 6 months ago | (#47161587)

...and they want intel's relevance back.

Re:2003 called... (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 6 months ago | (#47161767)

I guarantee most of the media you consume on your little atmel cpu devices was created on an intel (or even amd) x86 based workstation. They are still quite relevant.

I don't want to be infotained while driving (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161603)

I want to drive. I want to listen to radio to cut the monotony and to know about delays. Maybe not even that last one - every time I have needed to take a detour - SO HAS EVERYONE ELSE ON THE SAME ROAD WITH GPS which has the net effect of moving the traffic jam from the interstate to the secondaries. But I don't want my car telling me the price of stocks, the dew point in Dubai, or how many kilojoules are distributed between my fratastat and my semi-regenerative gismautch. I'm looking at you, Prius. I don't want Bluetooth integration - a trusty Plantronics M50 is more than enough.

Car = driving (1)

sinij (911942) | about 6 months ago | (#47161633)

Why do I want this? Would it make my car drive better?
 
For everything else I prefer BYOD and to not be locked.
 
My Sunny Sunday convertible was made in the 80s, if it had integrated computer I'd still have to deal with DOS-prompt and keeping 64K clear. Today's cars and electronics will be 30 year old some day. Are you sure you want to integrate them?

Re:Car = driving (2)

AndroSyn (89960) | about 6 months ago | (#47161981)

Today's cars and electronics will be 30 year old some day. Are you sure you want to integrate them?

Most cars on the road today certainly aren't going to be on the road in 30 years. Especially not cars with out of date radio systems. This is on purpose you know? Automakers want you to buy a new car every 3-5 years, not every 20 to 30 years. They *WANT* the cars to feel outdated in 5 years. You don't make money selling reliable cars anymore. You make money selling an endless line of lemons that mostly do the job of driving while otherwise having the interior fall apart into exploding bits of plastic over time.

No Thanks...Now Go Away (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47161683)

The title says it all, right?

I don't (3, Interesting)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 6 months ago | (#47162011)

I just want my car to be a car. Hell, I barely even use the plain old stereo in mine. Anything some bullshit infotainment system can do, a smartphone can do faster and better. And you won't end up with a two-ton, obsolete, glorified tablet on wheels a year later (or less).

At most, any such systems should be nothing more than a standardized interface for controlling your smartphone. It could even have hardware buttons with standard control mappings, which would be great.

With the latest witch hunt out there for v"distracted drivers", I'm surprised I've never seen a proposal to ban or limit these things. I'm generally against curtailing technology by force of law, but in case, I would say good riddance.

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