‘The Pros and Cons of Software Running Your Car’ – Slashdot

This week the automotive site Edmunds discussed “the pros and cons of software running your car.” One advantage is that software “allows for the introduction of features that wouldn’t have been possible in the past.

Genesis, Hyundai’s luxury arm, is using facial recognition and fingerprint scanning with its new all-electric GV60 crossover. The physical key is required to set up both functions, but after that the owner can basically operate the car as easily as a smartphone.

Established companies are jumping in as well. Last summer, Ford used software to enable its BlueCruise hands-free driving system in tens of thousands of F-150s and Mustang Mach-Es. The vehicles had the hardware for the system already installed; the over-the-air update made it complete. It applied to the cars wirelessly, without the need for a dealer visit. Maintenance is another potential advantage. These highly digital vehicles can monitor preventive and predictive maintenance and even diagnose problems from afar. It takes the guesswork out of what could go wrong and what needs to be adjusted without a visit to a mechanic shop or dealership….

The downside of this new tech…. Issues that PC users are all too familiar with can crop up in cars. It might be a touchscreen that goes blank and is inoperable while driving, glitchy operation of certain controls, or advanced driver assist features that aren’t as fully vetted as they should be before being added to vehicles. The risks of software crashes and privacy breaches are real issues. It’s not outside the realm of possibility for someone with malicious intentions to take over the operation of a car and cause damage. Also, some experts are both applauding the technology and advising caution as it relates to personal data privacy: the more data collected from drivers, the more potential for hacking.
Their conclusion? “Software will continue to evolve to change the vehicle ownership experience….

“But technology-averse shoppers will likely prefer a vehicle with a more traditional design, which might include buying used.”

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