San Francisco's bike lanes have become Uber's pickup/dropoff zones (and the cops don't care)

IMG_20160712_184721-580x329

It's no secret that San Francisco's cops hate cyclists -- they won't investigate hit-and-runs, they blame cyclists for accidents and harass them, they run them down in bike lanes -- so it's no surprise that they stand by idly while San Francisco's busy biking lanes are turned into pick-up and drop-off zones by Uber and Lyft drivers, forcing cyclists to swerve into traffic. Read the rest

To hell with the Trolley Problem: here's a much more interesting list of self-driving car weirdnesses

animation

Jan Chipchase has assembled a provocative, imaginative, excellent list of "driver behaviors in a world of autonomous mobility" that go far beyond the lazy exercise of porting the "trolley problem" to self-driving cars and other autonomous vehicles, including flying drones. Read the rest

Rolls-Royce's futuristic self-driving luxury car

rolls-vision-100-1
Revealed yesterday in London, the Rolls-Royce 103EX is the car company's vision for a futuristic luxury autonomous whip. The (way) over-the-top concept car features a massive OLED display, Macassar wood detailing, silk carpeting, and an artificial intelligence named Eleanor.

Read the rest

Kickstarting beltbuckle multitools

c321ef80779d018b5524a2f85cd78a30_original

Tony Zentil, a mechanical engineer, has a fully funded Kickstarter for a variety of multitool belt-buckles aimed at skateboarders, snowboarders, and motorcyclists -- they're a significant advance on my old, beloved 686 belt-buckle stolen by the security staff of London Gatwick airport in 2011. Read the rest

Hot Wheels is making a Spock-leaning-on-a-64-Buick car for Comic-Con

jl1wl9u5sapm1xezj473

The classic photo of Leonard Nimoy in Spock costume leaning on the 64 Buick Riviera he bought with his Star Trek earnings will be immortalized in dinkycar, thanks to the good offices of the Hot Wheels Corporation. Read the rest

DoD public relations' highest-ranking civilian gets community service for stealing license plates and harassing neighbor's nanny

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1089

Bryan Whitman -- familiar to many as the Pentagon's top spokesman during much of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq -- has settled a case with people who live near him in DC, who caught him repeatedly stealing the license plates off their nanny's car using a hidden camera. Read the rest

The Steampunk Roadster: Jake von Slatt's final steampunk project, and it's for sale!

IMG_6492-900x600

Steampunk pioneer Jake von Slatt sez, "Unbelievably, The Steampunk Workshop will be ten years old in just a few months so it's kind of fitting that I've just completed my biggest and probably my last steampunk mod of my steampunk career. It's a car and it's for sale." Read the rest

Straddling buses would only work if they were made out of rubber

1464297316756966

Chinese engineer Song Youzhou has been trying to get traction for his straddling bus, a huge elevated bus that goes over, rather than through, traffic, since 2010. Read the rest

The Homer: now a real(ish) car from Hot Wheels

homer

In 1991, The Simpsons episode called Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? aired, in which Homer becomes an auto-executive and designs a car that is used to show why American auto-manufacturing had failed: now you can own that car. Read the rest

Mitsubishi's dieselgate: cheating since 1991

Mitsubishi_eK_Wagon_rear

Mitsubishi has admitted that it cheated on emissions standards tests for a quarter of a century, and it admits that this affected 600,000 cars, but the company says that the cheating cars were only sold to Japanese people. Read the rest

VW offers to buy back 500K demon-haunted diesels

21759030250_850675ab6a_o

Reuters reports that VW is about to tell the federal judge in San Francisco in charge of its case that it will offer to buy back nearly half a million of its diesel vehicles from owners who were deceived about the cars' emission standards and performance when the company engineered its cars so that they would act daemonically, performing differently based on whether they were being tested or not. Read the rest

Luxury overnight bus with sleeper cabins shuttles between LA and San Francisco

sleepbus1

Sleepbus is a startup that's "disrupting long distance transport" -- it's a bus. Read the rest

Volkswagen's internal Dieselgate probe stuck because the company used code-words for its cheat software

swordfish

The internal Volkswagen investigators who are trying to figure out who knew what, when, about the company's illegal, lethal practice of programming its cars to cheat on emissions tests say they've been slowed down because the company assigned dozens of secret code-names to the software, such as "acoustic software." Read the rest

Dozens of car models can be unlocked and started with a cheap radio amp

animation (1)

A group of German researchers from ADAC have published their work on extending last year's amplification attack that let thieves steal Priuses with a $17 gadget that detected your key's unlock signal and amplified it so it would reach the car. Read the rest

FBI issues car-hacking warning, tells drivers to keep their cars' patch-levels current

giphy

More proof that all devices in the modern world are just computers in fancy cases: the FBI's joint warning issued with the DoT and the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration tells drivers that they're at risk of local and remote hack-attacks against their cars, and tells them they have to keep their cars' patch-levels current or they'll be in serious danger. Read the rest

Office chairs made out of old Vespa scooters

C_1560-755x1024

Barcelona design firm Bel & Bel makes chairs out of the front farings of old Vespa scooters, with the option of working turn-signals (no side-mirrors in sight, alas). Read the rest

The Car Hacker's Handbook: a Guide for Penetration Testers

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x980

The 2016 Car Hacker's Handbook expands on the hugely successful 2014 edition, in which the Open Garages movement boiled down all they'd learned running makerspaces for people interested in understanding, improving, penetration testing and security-hardening modern cars, which are computers encrusted in tons of metal that you strap your body into.

No Starch Press has taken on the task of turning The Car Hacker's Handbook into a beautifully produced, professional book, in a new edition that builds on the original, vastly expanding the material while simultaneously improving the organization and updating it to encompass the otherwise-bewildering array of new developments in car automation and hacking.

Author Craig Smith founded Open Garages and now has years of experience with community development of tools and practices for investigating how manufacturers are adding computers to cars, the mistakes they're making, and the opportunities they're creating.

The Handbook is an excellent mix of general background on how to do threat-modelling, penetration testing, reverse engineering, etc, and highly specific code examples, model numbers, recipes and advice on how to put a car up on a bench, figure out how it works, figure out how to make it do cool things the manufacturer never intended, and figure out how to understand the risks you face from people doing the same thing without your best interests at heart.

A lot of the advice is theoretical, but there are a bunch of highly practical projects, from improving and customizing your in-car satnav and entertainment system to tuning your engine performance. Read the rest

More posts