FBI Warns That Cars Are Increasingly Vulnerable to Hacks

It’s no surprise that hackers have taken an interest in connected vehicles, but not everyone is actually aware of their cars’ vulnerabilities. That’s why the FBI has decided to make a public service announcement alongside the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in which it warns people of the dangers of hacking and tells them what they can do to protect themselves from these attacks. Interestingly enough, the announcement doesn’t come in the wake of some new discovery, which means that the agency probably should have issued it quite some time ago. In any case, it includes some pointers that can diminish the risk of being hacked, such as keeping the car’s software updated and making sure to verify the authenticity of various notifications.

Since a team of researchers managed to successfully demonstrate how to control a car’s critical functions using an insurance dongle last year, the FBI also informs about the dangers of connecting various third-party devices to your vehicles. The bulletin included these exact words:

“The FBI and NHTSA are warning the general public and manufacturers – of vehicles, vehicle components, and aftermarket devices – to maintain awareness of potential issues and cybersecurity threats related to connected vehicle technologies in modern vehicles. Modern motor vehicles often include new connected vehicle technologies that aim to provide benefits such as added safety features, improved fuel economy, and greater overall convenience. Aftermarket devices are also providing consumers with new features to monitor the status of their vehicles. However, with this increased connectivity, it is important that consumers and manufacturers maintain awareness of potential cyber security threats.”

Are you worried about potential hacking attempts on your vehicle?

Dying Light Season Pass And Expansion Get Price Increase

Dying Light sees players running through a zombie filled world using both their skills, weapons and parkour movement to fight and outrun their enemies. That is until night time when the creatures suddenly empower and hunt the player, quickly turning the tide on their attackers. The developers for the game at Techland have recently announced that their latest expansion may have been a little more than they expected, as a result, they will be raising the price to match the expanded size and features of the expansion this December.

The reason for the price increase, from £9.99 to £15.99, was given as follows:

“Over the past weeks Dying Light: The Following has almost reached its final stage: main quests, side quests, new skills, and driving challenges are ready. Looking at it, it’s clear how big the expansion pack has grown – it would be a stand-alone title, but since it would mean a launch delay, we decided against it”

With the expansion being part of the season pass, that will also receive a price increase from £15.99 to £23.99. The price changes won’t come into effect until December 8th so you still have a chance to grab the game at a discounted price.

Dying Light is currently on sale till December 1st on Steam for 66% off (£39.99 to £13.59).

Halo Mod for Arma 3 Looks Amazing!

A Halo mod for Arma 3 released by Foehammer Studios has just been released under the name of The Eridanus Insurrection. Its description tells us that the mod focuses on the civil war between the UNSC (United Nations Space Command) and the Insurrectionists, who are various groups of rebel factions within the human colonies.

The mod is said to add a multitude of factions, wider variety of weaponry and vehicles and a custom-made terrain for users to play on when the final version is released. Currently, the mod is at its 0.1 alpha stage and can be downloaded from here.

Halo fans should know that the mod will not include Covenants or Master Chief himself. Still, the idea itself seems promising!

Thank you DSOGaming for providing us with this information

100 Real People to Test Volvo Self-Driving Cars in 2017

Volvo, the Scandinavian automaker, has said that they will begin testing of their first driverless vehicles with real drivers in 2017. Yes, that means anyone, not special scientists or engineers. The tests will also be on public roads as well, in real traffic on the streets of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Volvo is seeing this as an example of their edge over the competition. The head of R&D at Volvo, Peter Martens, poked fun at their German counterparts.

“We do this in real traffic with real customers and real cars,” he said. “It’s relatively easy to put together a mockup or a show car which drives around race circuits with 250 kilometers [per hour] or put living rooms on four wheels and pretend that this is the car interior, how it looks like in 10 years. It’s much more complicated and much more real-life to really put the cars into the traffic where it’s the most complicated situation.”

If Volvo’s plans go ahead, they would mark a significant development in the evolution of driverless cars, marking the first literal public testing programme.

Source: The Verge

New Traffic Lights Let You Play Pong

Meet the ActiWait, the new product behind an Indiegogo campaign that promises to let you play Pong while waiting to cross the road.

The concept is the result of work by 3 German design students that replaces the usual buttons and ‘WAIT’ sign with a touchscreen display that lets you play a unique version of Pong, allowing you to compete with your fellow pedestrian on the opposite side of the street.

The idea may just seem like a fun time waster, but the designers believe it could bring some real benefits. They say it could increase safety by reducing the phenomena of jaywalking – getting people off their phones and concentrated on the road (the ActiWait ends the game and flashes green when it’s safe to cross). They also say that the screens could be used for other applications like public surveys, speed dating, navigation and road safety education for kids.

While one setup has been installed in Hildesheim, Germany since 2012, the designers say they need €35,000 to get the ActiWait into more towns and cities. You can contribute here.

Source: Gizmodo

Driverless Cars to Be Tested in Four UK Cities

Driverless cars will be tested in 4 UK cities starting 1st January. Coventry, Bristol, Milton Keynes and Greenwich in south-east London will be the first to see the vehicles hit public roads.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne announced the plans during today’s Autumn Statement in Parliament. The initiative was launched back in July, but plans are now starting to take shape. Mr Osbourne also announced an extra £9 million of government funding for the project, adding to the earlier £10 million.

The project is formed of a number of schemes backed by different companies and organisations. In London there will be the Gateway scheme which is being organised by the Transport Research Laboratory consultancy, in Bristol there will be the Venturer consortium, which is backed by insurance company Axa, while Coventry and Milton Keynes will see the UK Autodrive programme, which is being backed by Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Arup.

The individual schemes will test and experiment with different issues facing the introduction of driverless vehicles, such as insurance implications and the effect of the vehicles on reducing traffic congestion.

Source: BBC News

Cost of Electric Vehicles in UK Rising, Due to Subsidies Ending

The end of UK government subsidies will likely make it more expensive to drive an electric car than driving a traditional petrol-powered vehicle.

The installation and maintenance of electric chargers, which was overseen by the Department for Transport, ended in April – and now prices have gone up as local cities are working with private companies to increase support.

Current electric vehicle prices in the UK are about £8,000 more than petrol fuel or diesel, but the UK government has a £5,000 subsidy for residents – and helps install home-chargers for new vehicle owners.

There were almost 2,000 electric vehicles sold in the UK through the first five months of 2013, more than double than the time frame year-over-year.  The industry is still growing, but if select government subsidies are not restored, then adoption will take a hit.

For success of electric vehicle adoption, offering monetary compensation, tax breaks, and other perks, which has helped drive growth in the United States, Norway, and other select markets.  Without these added incentives, consumers are less likely to spend money on a vehicle with limited range – and price tags that aren’t simply appealing enough quite yet.

Thank you to BBC for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Green Auto Blog