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It seems that the VW debacle is making people think. With my future XC90 updating over the air ,it seemed like a good idea to throw it in the group.

I was viewing a discussion yesterday in which they were cautioning car end users about having the software of the car updated. There were some very valid points in it as that car manufacturers are very protective of the software they are installing in the car, on the one hand it is very understandable they want to protect their knowhow and tunings. The enhancements need to be distributed to the customers as soon as possible to fix defects in existing software , protect the connected car from detected security issues and so on. It is very important to have the cars updated ASAP(connected cars especially), to the point that when you put your car in your dealer the software is updated as a part of the service . Yet we do not know the detailed feature list of the software update.

From a governmental point of view , the car is tested and approved with a specific version of software which gives the car a behaviour viewed from an emission point of view. That behaviour van change over time as software evolves and new ways to 'save' energy are programmed in. Changing that behaviour could have your car outlawed since it would not behave anymore as it should according to the laws in your country. This is what happened to VW where the software was detecting a specific set of conditions and changed the cars behaviour , here with as purpose to defeat emission regulation checks.

Lots of countries see emission as a taxing basis, which also means that changing software in your car can change your taxation. Who will pay the difference : The car manufacturer or the customer?

One of the 'bad' ideas they had was that maybe the software update should be banned. I don't follow that.
I think that on the long term such technologies could even be used for the good of people , if the conditions detected would be crowded cities and low speeds , they could tune the emissions down , maybe even at the cost of power in populated areas. I think this is one area where a connected car could really make a difference and make our air more breathable.

I think our German friends at VW have opened pandoras box on this topic. Let's see how it plays out.
In the meanwhile I am happy that volvo chose for their path with my future XC90 T8 ,which I now believe is one of the better paths for the modern cars.

GM
 

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Enjoy your car ownership while you can. It won't be long before you won't be able to own your car, but lease it from the factory and every 2-3 years you'll give it back and they'll give you a new one. You won't be allowed to work on them or modify them, with the exception of maybe wheels. You won't even be able to look under the hood. Only the factory or dealer will be able to do this.

California's CARB is already working on smog testing that fails your car if the software it was shipped with is not present, going back all the way to 1995.

Is this really the world we want to live in?? I'm so glad I can build my own vehicle, and some really good examples exist...

 

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Is this really the world you want to live in?

I'm interested in the world where my future grandchildren can live in. I can live with anything to facilitates that. It's not my world, I'm just borrowing a little silver for a moment in time.
 

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Aside from VW cheating, SW that affects emissions is tightly controlled. Should a manufacturer develop new SW for an Engine Control Module to perhaps correct a driveability issue, it must be verified by the manufacturer to confirm that there is no effect on emissions, either by engineering analysis or by emission testing. Then a running change document describing the change must be submitted to CARB/EPA. Then and only then can the SW be released to dealers for installation in customers vehicles. Should CARB or EPA discover any emissions anomaly via random testing or vehicle in-use testing, the manufacturer is fully responsible to ensure that any issues are then corrected. In the end, the manufacturer is always responsible that the car should perform as designed, assuming it is in good running order.

Statement issued today by Volvo cars:
“Volvo Cars never has and never will fit any device to its cars that manipulates emission test results. Volvo engines have the same settings no matter whether they are being tested or in everyday use.
Furthermore, every car launched by Volvo carries a certificate that attests to this fact. No Volvo car is launched without this certificate.
Volvo Cars believes the current testing regime for emission by diesel cars provides an industry standard that allows comparisons to be made between cars.
That said, in partnership with the rest of the automotive industry, Volvo is working towards the design and implementation of new emission tests that better reflect everyday driving conditions.
Volvo welcomes moves to design Worldwide Harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedures and will contribute in every way it can to ensure their successful introduction.”
 

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As a software engineer, I find these views (the politicians views) quite disturbing. IMHO, it is a case of ignorance from their part.

Back in the days when cars had a single processor controlling the ignition and not much more, yes, the code could be fixed forever without too much harm.

But, nowadays, where cars and airplanes can be hacked due to security holes that, most of the time, go unnoticed for a long time, it would be reckless to prohibit software updates.

Yes, there should be plenty of testing of the new software but it should be updateable. Hopefully, the update process uses encryption and authentication validation to prevent unauthorized updates.
 

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Is this really the world you want to live in?

I'm interested in the world where my future grandchildren can live in. I can live with anything to facilitates that. It's not my world, I'm just borrowing a little silver for a moment in time.
No, but government control over every aspect of my life is not it either. I chose not to have children, because the world I see in the future is not one I would want to live in.
 

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No, but government control over every aspect of my life is not it either. I chose not to have children, because the world I see in the future is not one I would want to live in.
Wow, imagine if everyone thought like you, at the onset of WWII, not to mention other dark periods in history...
 

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Enjoy your car ownership while you can. It won't be long before you won't be able to own your car, but lease it from the factory and every 2-3 years you'll give it back and they'll give you a new one. You won't be allowed to work on them or modify them, with the exception of maybe wheels. You won't even be able to look under the hood. Only the factory or dealer will be able to do this.

California's CARB is already working on smog testing that fails your car if the software it was shipped with is not present, going back all the way to 1995.

Is this really the world we want to live in?? I'm so glad I can build my own vehicle, and some really good examples exist...

Nice friends you've got there. Just like mine!
 

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SW updates are a whole new playing field. But as a consumer I could care less. What I could more about is how a daily driver is affected by any SW or update. I posted this on another thread, but instead of the sketchy circumstances of current EPA testing, id like to see more progress on randomized field testing, where the instruments are generic. I see OBD metered testing and vehicle mfgs in the same relationship as how Samsung was with mobile benchmark testing a couple years ago. The minute the benchmark application loaded, the device would overclock itself to showcase how beastly the device was, but the minute the application went off the device underclocked and gave less then precise performance (which is basically the VW story). If your gonna give me testing numbers for emissions and mpg, do it without the car knowing. Pick a random vehicle, no need for an obd scanner, just good ole fashion rolling road, and a tail pipe setup. see what it does as you go.
 
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