March 20th, 2015
The Optima is vital for Kia’s American success–that is clear, considering it has been the Korean automaker’s best-selling model in America for three consecutive years. It’s time for an all-new model.
You know how it goes. Only a teaser image here and there, with the planned reveal to be at the New York Auto Show in April. The drawings and renderings tell us that the design itself is heavily borrowed from the Sportspace concept that was shown in Geneva.
The Kia Optima was introduced just five years ago and is built globally, with plants around the world–including one in Georgia. The fourth version of the Optima is coming soon.
Can’t wait for the new installment? The 2015 Kia Optima still has plenty to offer.
February 27th, 2015
In this age, hacking is very relevant. And it poses serious threats to our digital lives. Cars are now vulnerable as well. Maybe not the old ‘67 Ford, but today’s modern vehicles are essentially computers on wheels. Most of the American public may not know much about this world of car-hacking–pens and pads out friends, welcome to Car Hacking 101.
It began with German researchers who found a flaw in BMW’s remote-services system that allowed them to access the telematics units in vehicles. To put it more simply another news story covered by 60 Minutes demonstrated that technicians could remotely infiltrate a Chevrolet Impala and override functions as critical as acceleration and braking. In a more current report, a US Senator revealed that most automakers are not prepared to handle these hacks.
This all can be quite concerning, but knowledge is the first step:
Sure, the exterior changes to cars are easy to notice, but what’s on the inside is a great deal more tricky. New cars generally employ more than 50 microprocessors known as electronic control units. ECUs control a host of functions, including airbag deployment, navigation, throttle control, braking, and much more.
In this context, it is unwanted or unauthorized cyber invasions into a vehicle that alters the state of the car. From eavesdropping and unlocking car doors to overriding driver inputs and controlling vital functions such as braking, steering, and acceleration, once inside, the hacker can get to almost anything.
Little did you know, there are more gateways in your vehicle than just the side doors. Any service or part of the car that has the capacity to communicate with the outside world can serve as an entry point for hackers.
The most at-risk equipment in the vehicles is the computing power behind your infotainment features, especially when smartphone connections are an option. It’s not just your infotainment system. Bluetooth and smartphone connections certainly are vulnerable, but there’s also areas you may not have considered–diagnostic devices, dongles, and even tire pressure monitoring systems.
You’re not behind, don’t worry. Car hacking is fairly recent. Seeing that, in just 2010 researchers at the University of Washington and California-San Diego published their findings, which demonstrated how they could compromise a regular car through hacking.
2013 rolls around, and Dr. Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek manipulate a Ford Escape and Toyota Prius and share their research with the public.
More recently, dongles that plug into OBD-II ports have been targeted. An Israeli-based research firm, Argus Cyber Security, has remotely exploited a device that provides driver feedback. Then researchers also found a dongle that Progressive Insurance was using to collect insurance data from customers.
There’s been no real-world incidents that have harmed drivers in any way. But there is the potential that they could. Car hacking shouldn’t be taken lightly. Hackers are becoming more familiar with more advanced terrain. In a digital world, there are unknown dangers in almost everything we do–it doesn’t stop us from doing these things of course, but at the very least, we should all be aware of what dangers we may find ourselves in with a simple click.
February 27th, 2015
We’ve all had our fair share of road rage–especially here, in Massachusetts, a place known for its aggressive driving. Not to be confused with bad driving. No matter what they call us, we know how to drive–we just do it with a bit more passion than others. Despite the many jokes about a Mass driver’s temper, road rage isn’t a game and it can lead to some serious situations. Cool off with these seven ways to avoid road rage:
Now for the serious stuff. Some surprising facts about road rage:
Focus on getting where you need to go. Apply these tips the next time you drive, and you’ll likely end up with a better experience than before. There’s already several feet of snow clogging up our streets, do we really need to get into each other’s way too?