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Feds Unveil Rule Requiring Cars To 'Talk' To Each Other (thehill.com) 292

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Hill: The Obama administration released a long-awaited rule on Tuesday requiring all new vehicles to have communication technology that allows them to "talk" to each another, which officials say could prevent tens of thousands of crashes each year. The proposal calls for all new light-duty cars and trucks to eventually be equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology, a safety system that enables cars to send wireless signals to each other, anticipate each other's moves and thus avoid crashes. The rule would require 100 percent of new vehicle fleets to have V2V technology within four years of the final rule's enactment. The proposal will be open for public comment for 90 days. The connected vehicle rule builds on previous work by the outgoing administration to accelerate the deployment of innovative safety technology. The Department of Transportation released the first-ever federal guidelines for driverless cars in September. "We are carrying the ball as far as we can to realize the potential of transportation technology to save lives," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "This long-promised V2V rule is the next step in that progression. Once deployed, V2V will provide 360-degree situational awareness on the road and will help us enhance vehicle safety." Officials say V2V has the potential to mitigate 80 percent of non-impaired crashes and can interact with other crash avoidance systems, like automatic braking. V2V uses dedicated short-range radio communications to exchange messages about a car's speed, direction and location. The system uses that information from other vehicles to identify potentials risks and warn its driver. A pair of Democratic senators called on the agency to ensure that vehicles have "robust" cybersecurity and privacy protections in place before automakers deploy V2V.
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Feds Unveil Rule Requiring Cars To 'Talk' To Each Other

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  • by pellik ( 193063 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2016 @05:14PM (#53479203)
    Let's attach a unique ID transmitter to every car in America!
    • It uses short range radio. You could gain the same information as a camera reading license plate numbers.

      • Does the license plate have access to the engine management computer, and all speed, acceleration, and breaking data? (Or GPS if so equipped?) Can the license plate use the collision avoidance to activate your breaks are make you swerve to the right? Will it get security patches?
    • tracking (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Let's attach a unique ID transmitter to every car in America!

      Does it matter? Most people have cell phones on them, so are tracked anyway. When was the last time your phone was more than a metre from you?

      Besides, if your car has tire pressure monitors then they emit a radio signal with a unique ID already:

      * https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2008/04/tracking_vehicl.html
      * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tire-pressure_monitoring_system#Privacy_concerns_with_direct_TPMS
      * http://www.rtl-sdr.com/receiving-decoding-tire-pressure-monitor-systems-using-rtl-sdr/

    • I stand with Lard Ass and Chief on this issue, "I'll tell you my car's ID#, later."
  • But I sure don't want a self-driving car that pays more than the most cursory attention to V2V data. Using it to determine whether the freeway is blocked ahead is fine. Using it for much of anything else is a horrible idea.

    • by mlts ( 1038732 )

      I can imagine someone randomly giving "my vehicle is braking hard" just to cause vehicles behind to actually do just that, to cause traffic jams, or deal with yet another tailgater. That or giving fake "this road is congested with cars at a standstill" to get people to go to other routes.

      • I can imagine someone randomly giving "my vehicle is braking hard" just to cause vehicles behind to actually do just that, to cause traffic jams, or deal with yet another tailgater. That or giving fake "this road is congested with cars at a standstill" to get people to go to other routes.

        I knew a guy who'd connected his brake lights to a button on the dashboard for this exact purpose. Ie press the button, brake lights go on.

        Scared the hell out of tailgaters!

        • I knew a guy who rigged his windshield washer fluid to spray rearward out of a nozzle on the trunk, and kept it filled with water and red food coloring, to much the same effect. People backed off pretty quickly after a squirt or two of red liquid.

        • Strange , I have tried left foot fake braking to get tailgaters to back off in situations where I can't get rid of them. They didn't move an inch off my bumper. The only way I have found is too slow way down (construction zone on interstates makes it legal) and then when they back off speed up.

          Of course this varies by state I am sure. Someday I will make a bumper sticker in tiny letters saying " If you can read this while driving go back to New Jersey.
      • Or "swerve right to avoid immediate crash" just for the lolz... It will happen.
      • by sl149q ( 1537343 )

        Can do this now by tapping the break pedal.

      • I imagine that might be as criminal as tampering with brake lights in some jurisdictions.
  • by barc0001 ( 173002 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2016 @05:16PM (#53479225)

    This is going to be abused. People will have so much fun with this, it'll be unreal. Imagine a little box you can buy/build that spoofs a vehicle system and tricks all the cars in a 100 meter radius into executing an emergency stop...

    • This is going to be abused. People will have so much fun with this, it'll be unreal. Imagine a little box you can buy/build that spoofs a vehicle system and tricks all the cars in a 100 meter radius into executing an emergency stop...

      Yea, that won't be difficult to extract from a rolled vehicle at all...

      • by mlts ( 1038732 )

        There will be rolled vehicles, but good luck finding the culprit, assuming the perp tosses their device as soon as they can. It is like cellphone jammers, which can be almost impossible to catch unless someone leaves it running long enough for LEOs to get a good fix on.

        • Unless it transmits a cryptographically-signed VIN as part of the broadcast, and receivers log that VIN to some kind of persistent storage if they rely on its data. It wouldn't necessarily prove that a specific INDIVIDUAL is guilty, but it could ABSOLUTELY pin financial liability on the owner of the vehicle associated with that VIN for negligently allowing a car he owns to spoof bad data.

          I know that in Florida, you can't get license plates without registering the VIN, and I'd be shocked if any state DIDN'T

          • > Unless it transmits a cryptographically-signed VIN as part of the broadcast, and receivers log that VIN to some kind of persistent storage if they rely on its data.

            And in this day and age, people can clone your car's wireless fob when you use it to open a door. Or clone your SIM card, RFID payment card, and others. Seeing as these boxes would probably be highly illegal to begin with, the users of such will have no problems with the morality of cloning an innocent bystander's vehicle VIN signature.

    • by SirSlud ( 67381 )

      You can already abuse tons of things. As usual, there will be a generally decent technology barrier to abuse, and the laws again abuse will be sufficient to keep it an reasonable level. And we make adjustments along the way as appropriate.

      Saying something is going to be abused doesn't really add anything. Everything can and will be abused against mechanisms in place to a degree we can live with.

      • You can already abuse tons of things. As usual, there will be a generally decent technology barrier to abuse, and the laws again abuse will be sufficient to keep it an reasonable level. And we make adjustments along the way as appropriate.

        Saying something is going to be abused doesn't really add anything. Everything can and will be abused against mechanisms in place to a degree we can live with.

        This argument is non-falsifiable.

        Parent provided a specific scenario about spoofing signals that can be falsified and the merits of his specific argument weighed.

        What you have done is discounted his specific scenario by saying "you can already abuse a ton of things" This concept cannot be falsified. The same argument can just as easily be used to justify giving a Windows XP computer with no services packs a public IP address.

    • The cops will have this "Car stop now!" box FIRST!

  • by Max_W ( 812974 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2016 @05:18PM (#53479249)
    will be over. More than 20 million were killed in car accidents in the 21st century alone.
    • will be over. More than 20 million were killed in car accidents in the 21st century alone.

      Let's not even pretend this will suddenly end death related to car accidents. Sadly in today's landscape, this only opens up the door to even more nefarious hacking, with truly deadly results.

      • will be over. More than 20 million were killed in car accidents in the 21st century alone.

        Let's not even pretend this will suddenly end death related to car accidents. Sadly in today's landscape, this only opens up the door to even more nefarious hacking, with truly deadly results.

        Let's suppose that there is a collection of evil hackers out there who could make that happen when the technology arrives.

        Are you seriously suggesting that these people would rack up a body-count that even approaches what humans do to themselves in cars right now? And that they won't be caught, or stopped as exploits are discovered and fixed?

        • will be over. More than 20 million were killed in car accidents in the 21st century alone.

          Let's not even pretend this will suddenly end death related to car accidents. Sadly in today's landscape, this only opens up the door to even more nefarious hacking, with truly deadly results.

          Let's suppose that there is a collection of evil hackers out there who could make that happen when the technology arrives.

          Are you seriously suggesting that these people would rack up a body-count that even approaches what humans do to themselves in cars right now?

          No, I'm implying that those who are selling the concept of automation are doing so under the guise that it is much safer while not properly mitigating the risks. And those who can hack this system may not think twice about racking up a considerable body count. Also, what happens when even 5,000 people are killed at once? The death toll isn't the killer. The lack of trust in the system is, which can affect entire economies and hundreds of millions of people reliant on it.

          ...And that they won't be caught, or stopped as exploits are discovered and fixed?

          That is correct. They won't be c

        • Let's suppose that there is a collection of evil hackers out there who could make that happen when the technology arrives.

          Are you seriously suggesting that these people would rack up a body-count that even approaches what humans do to themselves in cars right now? And that they won't be caught, or stopped as exploits are discovered and fixed?

          We have seen cars getting hacked and attackers disabling steering controls, stopping cars, accelerating cars.. things that can easily get people killed under the right circumstances. If some terrorist outfit decided they were going to create self propagating worm and systematically enable this globally at a predetermined time you would certainly find and fix the exploit but not after massive carnage had been inflicted.

          It is critically necessary to understand what it is your weighing these risks against. H

    • will be over. More than 20 million were killed in car accidents in the 21st century alone.

      So what does 20 million have to do with V2V? Are you saying when V2V is rolled out nobody is going to die? If this is not your claim what are you saying?

      What is the benefit of V2V specifically over other technologies in terms of lives saved? What does it prevent specifically that rollout of technologies based on sensors and CV does not already prevent?

    • More than 20 million were killed in car accidents in the 21st century alone

      And another 60 million in the century before [wikipedia.org].

  • Spoof V2V data, trick car into thinking car in front is braking. Kidnap/rob from target vehicle. Profit.
    • by SirSlud ( 67381 )

      Point gun at car, make car stop. Kidnap/rob from target vehicle. Profit.

  • You can see where this is going. 300-car pileups.

  • I don't know anyone has any concrete proposals for how this would work, what each car would transmit, what it would receive, or what it's expected to do with the data.

    The problem, as I think about it, is we've got a chicken and the egg problem. I'd love to say that the manufacturers should experiment, try some stuff out, and converge on some recommendations. Problem is, it's kind of useless to have all that expensive gear in my car if no one else does. There'd be no one listening and no one talking to me. S

  • Scary **** (Score:5, Insightful)

    by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2016 @05:29PM (#53479343)

    I am extremely worried about this.

    1) It will be abused. Period. You know it will contain the VIN or other unique ID. So readers on the side of the road will be monitoring everyone everywhere- where you go, how fast you were going, etc. Endless tickets in the mail.

    2) It will be hacked. Period. And once it is, it could cause chaos and devastation on the roads- causing other vehicles to panic and brake, others to swerve, etc. It would be one thing if this data were read-only, but we all know it will be linked into active controls. Road rage weapon. Stupid teenager prank. Whatever.

    3) It will be hijacked. With active controls tieins, police cars could use spoofed info as one way to kinda remotely-control other cars. And, of course, if they can do it, so can criminals. It will give a new meaning to the word "carjacking"....

    4) It will often be non-upgradable. Car manufacturers have a proven dismal track record on keeping ANYTHING updated on their cars. Once it is sold, they couldn't care less about the vehicle, unless they can somehow turn it into an endless stream of revenue.

    Like any technology, there are good things and bad things with each "improvement".

    • Did you know that *right now* you can go get into a vehicle, drive it any direction at high rate of speed and cause as much damage as you want? No technology needed.

      You can drive the wrong way on the highway. You can light a car on fire and roll it down a hill. You can put a brick on the accelerator and set it loose into a crowd of people. You can throw nails on the road to stop any vehicle you fancy. You can string up wire across the road for motorcycles.

      No technology required.

      • Of course you can. But those are higher risk of being discovered than doing it electronically. And they all require a physical presence to do such stuff. Hacking into systems can be done remotely and can affect far more people at once.

      • Did you know that *right now* you can go get into a vehicle, drive it any direction at high rate of speed and cause as much damage as you want? No technology needed.

        You can drive the wrong way on the highway. You can light a car on fire and roll it down a hill. You can put a brick on the accelerator and set it loose into a crowd of people. You can throw nails on the road to stop any vehicle you fancy. You can string up wire across the road for motorcycles.

        No technology required.

        Sick and tired of these lame arguments.

        You can already do X therefore concern Y is invalid.

        Or the classic "BUT UR CELL PHONE!!" battle cry whenever someone has any privacy concern about anything.

        Two wrongs don't make a right. Existence of one vulnerability does not excuse responsibility for piling on of new ones.

        Convenience and stealth matter. If you can broadcast a signal that causes LOLz or havoc or renders wholesale cyber stalking trivial with minimal effort or risk to yourself this is to quote our out

      • Did you know that *right now* you can go get into a vehicle, drive it any direction at high rate of speed and cause as much damage as you want? No technology needed.

        You can drive the wrong way on the highway. You can light a car on fire and roll it down a hill. You can put a brick on the accelerator and set it loose into a crowd of people. You can throw nails on the road to stop any vehicle you fancy. You can string up wire across the road for motorcycles.

        No technology required.

        This technology will get hacked. No human required behind the wheel.

    • In the abstract, I think it could be done in a way that would be helpful but with minimal danger, but it wouldn't be easy.

      The key would be to construct the system so that information coming from another vehicle is never trusted. The information might still be useful, but only in terms of refining estimates gathered from the car's own sensors.

      • >"The key would be to construct the system so that information coming from another vehicle is never trusted. The information might still be useful, but only in terms of refining estimates gathered from the car's own sensors."

        Bingo, +1 to you

        Ultimately, such outside information should always be untrusted AND able to be overridden by the driver in ALL cases. But will systems be designed that way? And even if so, hacking into them and presenting false information can still be dangerous, distracting, and v

    • I don't realistically think we have much to worry about. The mandate doesn't mean anything if auto manufacturers can't develop a working system like this in the first place, and it also won't mean anything if nobody buys the vehicles because they're too expensive. Also, consider this: The mandate would have to apply to foreign cars as well as domestic. How do they think they're going to enforce that? It's about as enforcable as China deciding that an American website violates their laws when not a single we
    • by Ksevio ( 865461 )
      1) There are already readers on the side of the road monitoring everyone everywhere, how fast you're going, etc. All cars already have unique IDs on the back that can be scanned. Many cars also have transponders.

      2+3) Probably, but you also "hack" cars with spike strips or plain old rocks. These things are illegal in general.

      4) It should have an option to upgrade it then. Pretty simple.
  • Imagine a metro crippled for days by a car to car worm. Or, how about an entire city's autonomous automobile population commanded to layer 1 DDoS a business... "This drive thru line is ridiculous."

    Luckily, the peer to peer signaling code will be secure. Especially if the industry rolls their own protocol from scratch. Phew!

  • I'm sure the vehicle speed will be among the telemetry data, which will be so useful to LEOs - who will undoubtedly record your data. Why rely on radar when your vehicle will simply narc on you. Maybe some historical data will be available too, so they can nail you for speeding earlier.

  • by XSportSeeker ( 4641865 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2016 @06:19PM (#53479691)

    Man, lately I've been having a hard time imagining the thought process of feds, government administrators, and people in charge of proposing policies like that.

    How can they extol the supposed advantages of a system like that so much without giving a single thought - or thinking that people won't - of all the horrible potential dangers of it?

    Like, dang dude, I could have a very nice adrenaline surge in my system which would feel nice and be potentially benefitial to my health if I jumped out of my balcony right now from the 20th floor or something... *silence*

    I mean, let's all ignore how regular non connected car systems were already hacked, how dangerous it'd be to make it obligatory for car companies to have a system in place, the track record of car systems' security and then overall IoT, the history of unwarranted fed tracking and spying... let's save lives by forcing everyone to wear short choke chains to be controled remotely by proprietary closed software no one has access to and hackers would eventually find a way of taking control. It's not like we have weekly reminders on how badly companies handle security.

    • They most likely don't even drive themselves. Just like the politicians coming up with all the ridiculous gun laws that have never touched a firearm.
  • It's adding more and more crap like this to new cars that keeps them from getting cheaper over time. The average new car (in constant dollars) has actually gotten about 30% more expensive since 1980, while the price of a new PC has plummeted.

  • Why are pedestrians, pets, bikes, and wildlife being left out?

  • by subk ( 551165 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2016 @07:00PM (#53480023)
    This is why I keep buying older cars and refurbishing them instead of buying new. You can build a truly awesome retro (or late model) vehicle for half the price of anything new with comparable specs. There is no "new car" feature you cannot add to an older vehicle with aftermarket equipment, and as regulations like this start coming out, all the more reason to drive an older sled. No state has succeeded (and few have even tried) to legislate older cars off the road because it disenfranchises the poor, so this tactic should work right up to the point when the Feds finally mandate next-generation vehicles (which do not exist yet, frankly).
    • by Ksevio ( 865461 )
      But older cars lose out on the safety features, gas millage, reliability, and of course the parts aren't as available.
  • Buy a new car each 2-3 years as updates will stop after 2-3 years and the car manufacturers will say want to keep legal buy a new car or an 2-3K computer upgrade each 2-3 years.

  • As long as there is no data roaming or overages fees.

  • If you treat cars like a swarm system, yes, vehicles need v2v. We do it on our drone system (p2p mesh network) since jamming and RF bandwidth limitations don't allow functional safety to work if it was centralized (which is very common on wired systems).

  • by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2016 @08:11PM (#53480415)
    Oh boy. I can't wait to start hacking other vehicles to order them to get out of my way. A nice side benefit to this is that eventually (and likely sooner rather than later) there will be a lot less vehicles on the roads.
  • by trailerparkcassanova ( 469342 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2016 @09:29PM (#53480795)
    it hates other cars.
  • Is there a standard protocol for V2V? Or is there a given protocol backed by the feds? Otherwise it seems rather useless.
  • requiring all new vehicles to have communication technology that allows them to "talk" to each another

    To each "another"?

    Here's what they might say:

    Car 1: Lookout, I have an idiot controlling me.
    Car 2: Yeah, steer clear of me too, the fool at the wheel is on their damned phone.
    Car 3: My driver is drunk again.
    Car 4: My driver is texting. I say F-it! Let's get them all together and let them all crash. Darwinism at its finest.

  • I dont see them, where is the nobody may track monitor other otherwise watch you via this. Till then it's antenna is getting clipped, hell after then it's getting clipped.

"To IBM, 'open' means there is a modicum of interoperability among some of their equipment." -- Harv Masterson

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