cross pond high tech
114.5K views | +0 today
cross pond high tech
light views on high tech in both Europe and US
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Philippe J DEWOST!

Apple's $1 Billion Bet On Didi Chuxing, & 12 Big Questions About What's Next For Cars | F@stCompany

Apple's $1 Billion Bet On Didi Chuxing, & 12 Big Questions About What's Next For Cars | F@stCompany | cross pond high tech |

How widely and how quickly will autonomous cars be accepted? As hard as it might be for an urbanite to imagine, many people love their cars. And if early autonomous vehicles cause a few well-publicized accidents, fear of the unknown could slow the trend, even to a halt.

Is owning a car factory an advantage or a disadvantage? In the minds of many from Silicon Valley, "Detroit" is a euphemism for inept. They believe the most important part of a car is its software, and they're probably right. But isn’t a century’s worth of expertise worth something? And don’t get carried away about Tesla: Last year it delivered 50,580 cars, approximately one-quarter of one percent of Detroit's output.

Is ride-sharing a commodity product? In Brooklyn, I can use a car-hailing app to get Uber, Lyft, Juno, or a taxi. I don’t see any significant difference between any of the services, each of which arrive quickly, charge similar fares, and offer clean cars and knowledgeable drivers. Selling a commodity tends to be a pretty awful business.

How long can ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft take a loss on many of the rides they provide, in their race to garner riders and drivers? "There’s never been a market as subsidized as this," one venture capitalist told me. "We’ll only know the winners and losers after that settles down."

Will governmental regulations slow or speed this transition? The environmental benefits of electric vehicles and fewer cars on the road are clear. Yet cities like New York, Austin, Berlin, and Paris have at different times threatened to strangle car-sharing with regulations. Look at the airline business: governments like regulating travel, for better or for worse.

What kind of "driver" or "passenger" insurance will be required? The average American driver now pays a bit less than $1000 per year for auto insurance. But who is responsible when driverless cars collide?

Will we continue to personally own cars, or will we instead have monthly subscriptions to companies that will provide all the rides we need? Subscription services seem likely, but if my current subscriptions—to companies like Time Warner Cable and Verizon—are any model, quality suffers and prices creep up.

Why is it so difficult to design a driver-friendly dashboard? Mapping services and accurate engine diagnostics are welcome additions to the information a driver can see, but more data has resulted in cluttered screens using interactive controls designed for phones or laptops. Steve Jobs understood that the user interface was the most important part of any consumer technology. Can Apple solve this problem?

Are Uber and Lyft drivers employees or contractors? This is an issue of short-term importance, but is caught up in a broader societal concern: How to define those who participate in the so-called ‘gig economy.’

Who has the most important leverage? The company that designs a car's software? The manufacturer? Or is it Uber, whose app is used by so many consumers? As with any nascent transition, it's hard to know what will emerge as the most important bottleneck.

Can any ride-sharing company become a truly international brand, or will local services trump those ambitions? Uber is losing billions of dollars trying to snare a leading market share in Asian countries. No one know exactly how much resistance it will face from governments that prefer local providers.

How strong are the network effects that Uber gains by being such a well-funded first mover? Benchmark VC Bill Gurley likes to point to this tweet as a key reason that Uber will continue to thrive. But if car-sharing has as much subsidization and government interference as the airline industry, will those network effects hold true?

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Which of the 12 questions raised by Apple's investment in Didi do you favor ?

No comment yet.
Rescooped by Philippe J DEWOST from L'aggrégateur M.I.S.I.!

Silenced For 2 Years By Volkswagen, Car Hackers Reveal Their Paper On Security Hole

Silenced For 2 Years By Volkswagen, Car Hackers Reveal Their Paper On Security Hole | cross pond high tech |

Two years ago, a trio of researchers were preparing to present the findings of their investigation into the security of car immobilisers used by luxury cars.

The way these devices are supposed to work is like this:

You sit in your car, and push the “Start” button. The engine should remain immobilised, and refuse to start, unless a cryptographic algorithm on the key’s RFID transponder correctly verifies the identity of the key being used to start the motor.

If you don’t have the right key on you, the car should refuse to start. The car thief, hopefully, walks away in frustration.


The researchers, a lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Birmingham in the UK, and two colleagues from the Radboud University in the Netherlands, found a problem with the Megamos Crypto system used on some cars, and believed that the public had a right to know about the security weakeness.

The research paper planned for presentation at the USENIX Security Symposium in August 2013, would describe both the algorithm and the weakness within it.


However, their hopes of making the flaws public were dashed by the UK’s High Court of Justice, who ordered that the talk should not be presented and that key parts of their research must not be published.

The court’s concern was that the research by Flavio Garcia, Baris Ege and Roel Verdult would mean “that car crime would be facilitated”, as criminals could exploit the security weakness to steal expensive cars such as Audis, Bentleys, Porsches, and Lamborghinis.


And who had asked the court to silence the researchers? Car manufacturing giant Volkswagen and French defence group Thales.


Now, in August 2015, the researchers’ paper is finally being presented at the USENIX security conference in Washington DC, two years later than originally planned, detailing how the Megamos Crypto system – an RFID transponder that uses a Thales-developed algorithm to verify the identity of the ignition key being used to start their motors – can be subverted.

Via Frederic GOUTH, Thierry Evangelista
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Chrysler is not alone when it comes to hack cars. Best answer to date to this mounting issue is probably Tesla's approach combining zero-day acquisition strategy with OTA regular patch deployments.

Emmanuel HAVET's curator insight, September 1, 2015 6:00 AM

As P.J Dewost said : OTA, OTA, OTA. Car manufacturers should have for years and not depend on OEM providers for this.

Scooped by Philippe J DEWOST!

Cars Have Become Complicated, Hackable Computer Systems On Wheels

Cars Have Become Complicated, Hackable Computer Systems On Wheels | cross pond high tech |

Cars are no longer what they seem to be. On-board computers and their algorithms have invaded all organs, making cars better, but also more susceptible to hacks and invasions of privacy.

Having driven Route 85 between Cupertino and Mountain View a few thousand times, I’m familiar with every rift and gap in the concrete, every subtle camber shift as I follow an habitual, gradual arc through curves and lane changes. Some early Chevrolet episodes aside, I’m behind the wheel of a European vehicle, silent, good lungs, surefooted, precise, the kind of car that translates the driver’s steering motion into a smooth trajectory, no ifs or buts, no need for correction as the suspension takes its time to settle. After 31 years of driving this pleasant road, the feeling doesn’t get old.

A few weeks ago, I drove the familiar route in a new vehicle freshly delivered from Sindelfingen. Something is wrong: The first curve line is “dirty”, it lacks Germanic rigor. At the next curve the steering wheel argues with me, politely but clearly demanding a different trajectory.

When I get back home I look around the dashboard and notice two red indicators that had been hidden by the steering wheel while I was driving. The walkthrough tech at the dealership had set the vessel to autopilot. In retrospect, I should have seen the argumentative steering coming: I had ordered the autopilot and other geeky features that were unknown when I bought my previous chariot just five years ago. On the road, the autopilot had interpreted my steering ‘optimizations’ as daydreaming lane drift and had stepped in to keep me in line.

I disconnect the autopilot and go for a drive; the familiar pleasant feeling returns.

In a 1957 essay about the Citroën DS (pronounced “Déesse”, goddess) Roland Barthes hailed the modern car as

“…the exact equivalent of the great Gothic cathedrals: I mean the supreme creation of an era, conceived with passion by unknown artists…it excites interest less by its substance than by the junction of its components. ”

The striving, energetic copulation of the arts and technologies, the ‘junction of components’ has continued. Cars are now nearly completely penetrated by automation and algorithms.

Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

CDO stands for "Car Digital Officer" and such role is a incredibly complex one

No comment yet.
Scooped by Philippe J DEWOST!

Audi and Google Team up on Android Powered dashboards

Audi and Google Team up on Android Powered dashboards | cross pond high tech |
Google has just forged a partnership with German automaker Audi to bring an Android-powered entertainment and information system to Audi vehicle dashboards in the near future. It's a clear shot against Apple, which announced an 'iOS in the Car' program last year, with the collaboration of Mercedes, BMW and Honda — as well as GM in the United States. Here's the Wall Street Journal's take on the deal, which was their scoop: "With 80 million new cars and light trucks sold each year, automobiles represent a significant new opportunity for Internet-based software and services. 'The car is becoming the ultimate mobile device,' said Thilo Koslowski, an analyst at the research firm Gartner. 'Apple and Google see that and are trying to line up allies to bring their technology into the vehicle.'"
Philippe J DEWOST's insight:

Time to remember that mobile started as a car phone, and that Microsoft announced 'Auto PC' a few years ago...

Emmanuel HAVET's curator insight, December 31, 2013 4:15 AM

Il y a quelques mois, les constructeurs ne voulaient surtout pas dire si Android était embarqué. C'est le cas depuis longtemps. Une excellente chose que cela soit enfin clair...