Daily Archives: February 9, 2015

The Optimism-Pessimism Dichotomy of Engineers

"Boss" the autonomous Chevrolet Tahoe developed by General Motors and Carnegie Mellon University that won the 2007 DARPA Urban Challange

“Boss” the autonomous Chevrolet Tahoe developed by General Motors and Carnegie Mellon University that won the 2007 DARPA Urban Challange

Over the course of the past 30 years, I’ve come to know and respect many engineers and noticed an interesting dichotomy among many of those that work in the field of transportation. They can be at once among the most optimistic and pessimistic people I’ve known. Engineering is all about applying science and technology to develop creative solutions to the problems we face on a daily basis.

Throughout most of human history, mobility often has been fraught with peril. Most of that time we have had to move on foot and while humans have some unique physical advantages such opposable thumbs and our ability to verbalize, we are sadly lacking in speed, strength and endurance compared to many other species. Despite that, we have used our ingenuity to develop tools and devices that enable us to get around more effectively.


2015 Kia Sedona SX-L – A First-Class People Mover

2015 kia sedona sx-l 01If you have a family with more than two youngsters, chances are better than even that the best vehicle for you is not actually an SUV or a crossover, but a minivan. Sadly, despite the fact that minivans are among the most useful vehicles ever created, they just don’t have that cool image that even the hopelessly uncool among us strive for. That’s really a shame because the current generation of minivans including the 2015 Kia Sedona are really great vehicles.


60 Minutes pushes the panic button again 1

I'm sure that after last night's +60 Minutes report about DARPA hackers taking remote control of a car (and btw what a lame job they did on masking that Chevy Impala to prevent people from knowing what it was) people will start to panic again about automotive security.

First of all, we've yet to see any evidence that they did this without first having physical access to the vehicle and tampering with it as all previous hacks have required. If they did tamper with the vehicle prior to the demonstration, then that really isn't any different from someone going in and cutting the brake lines. If however, they managed to take control without any initial access, this is much more serious. I've been telling people within the industry for years that they need to set up a bounty program like tech companies do for responsible disclosure of security exploits. At least Tesla has been hiring some black hat attackers to try to puncture its systems. Perhaps, this will finally spur everyone to more serious action.?

Time for Automakers to Get Real on Vehicle Security
Recently, the annual Black Hat and DefCon computer security conferences took place in Las Vegas, and this week the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a notice of propo…

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