No, the BMW did Not Crash

It’s funny how your feed reader can juxtapose random, unrelated items, yet making them look like a thread:

Jeff Nolan discusses how BMW is experimenting with the IP protocol to network automotive controllers.

The engineers found that IP could well suit the real-time requirements even of safety-critical applications.

Jeff’s conclusion:

In many ways modern cars are beginning to resemble PCs with standard I/O and integrated networking.

(Mumbling to myself: that’s what I said when I made the lifetime mistake of buying a first-model-year Volvo S80 T6 in 1999 … not a car, but a computer network on wheels. Consequently, nobody knew how to fix it)

But, no, I am not talking about the BMW Crash just below Jeff’s post… it’s just a Big, Fat Billboard, publicly crashing on Times Square. Feed Readers have their funny ways smile_wink


  1. Zoli,
    Your first mistake was buying a Volvo, surpassed only by your decision to purchase a first model year. There is something about Swedish cars that inspires a binary reaction among mechanics.

    On a related note, over the years we have all had experiences with modern automobiles and electronic problems but in recent years I have seen a marked increase in reliability and, more important, troubleshooting capability.

    We have had 5 vehicles that were 2004 or newer model year and not one experienced any electronic problems despite an abundance of gadgets. In fact, on a Denali my wife had, we were notified of a transmission software upgrade via email as part of their automated monthly diagnostics (through OnStar the car sends diag data back to GM), much like modern software update services.

  2. Oh, I know, I was under a lot of stress and allowed myself to be convinced… also, amazingly, was too busy at work to shop around. I’ll stick to Japanase. Still have a 15-year old around Acura Legend that I just don’t have the heart to part with and it runs amazingly.

    The email update you receive is nice… but why not just download it to the car? Can you imaging driving your car, a message pops up that your transmission software just got updated and you need to restart? And if you say later, the annoying window pops up every ten minutes to remind you to reboot.. I mean re-start:-)

  3. I actually called OnStar and asked them why they didn’t do over-the-air updates. My wife had a car that was 1 year newer than mine and the voice command software was much better, so I did what any software guy would do and went looking for the update.

    After working through the tech support levels I ended up talking to a guy who knew something about the onstar network. He said that the data costs were steep so they wouldn’t do software over the air, plus there was the whole issue of an update not properly installed and the car breaking down as a result. Maybe in a few years…

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