Missy Cummings - one of the US Navy’s first-ever female fighter pilots, who’s an engineering professor at Duke University, rained all over the car industry’s robot car parade, at a recent US Senate Commerce Committee hearing.
Professor Cummings - who is director of the Humans and Autonomy Lab at Duke, and who previously managed a $100 million US Navy project to build a robotic helicopter - spoke to Automotive News after the hearing and said of autonomous cars:
“We’re just not ready, and I haven’t seen any test data to suggest we are.”
So take that, useless Google robot car. [TILT HEAD] More on the biggest problem with robot cars here.
Video Report: Will robot cars kill? >>
MODERN CARS: READY TO HACK
Also in the US, the FBI and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a warning that modern cars are increasingly vulnerable to being hacked. The two agencies are jointly:
“Warning the general public and manufacturers to maintain awareness of potential issues and cybersecurity threats related to connected vehicle technologies in modern vehicles.”
That means: Don’t leave backdoors open so malicious arseholes with laptops can connect via Bluetooth and take control of the car while it’s driving, or just unlock it and steal it using - I dunno - an iPad instead of a key. In 2014, Wired magazine reported that hackers (correction: cybersecurity researchers - so: professional hackers) Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek cracked the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, remotely seizing control of brakes, steering and transmission. Sounds like fun … but you probably wouldn’t want your ex-wife doing it.
That lead to a July 2015 recall of 1.4 million Fiat Chrysler vehicles.
Holden Equinox: strong engines and polished dynamics, so ... not a bad effort, but definitely not worth the risk. Here's why:
If your car has just gone poopy in its trousers, prematurely, well before automotive dementia is supposed to set in … here’s what you do
Coming up: What’s safer - a plastic fuel tank or a steel one? Plus - the idiot’s guide to destroying a nuclear submarine. (That sounds like fun.)
The Tesla truck - the much-hyped, as-yet unreleased, battery-powered Semi - is heavy-hauling electrified pie in the sky. Here's why:
That engine power figure you read in the specs: Where does it really come from? How is it determine? Is there any guarantee?
Using cruise control in the wet: Is this a good idea, or a good way to summon a demon from the pit of hell? I get this question a lot...
The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is the blistering performance bargain of the decade. Here's why you should not buy it (no matter how badly you want one)
Has fuel diluted your engine oil? Is this a real thing in engines? Is it wreaking havoc? How would you even know, and what can you do?
If there's an easier way to void your factory warranty, I haven't found it - and yet an increasing number of people seem to think servicing is optional