Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Technology

GM's OnStar System Hacked 404 404

Makarand writes "According to this Mercury News article users of GM's OnStar system are finding that they can modify their OnStar unit to make it work with commercially available mapping software after disconnecting it from the OnStar network. Websites and message boards are rife with step-by-step instructions to personalize OnStar's navigational and communications components. When a driver requests directions from OnStar his GPS data is routed over an analog cellular network to OnStar computers and the directions are read back to the driver on the same network. The price for this service is around $400 each year. Those who tap into their OnStar systems pay no such fees."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

GM's OnStar System Hacked

Comments Filter:
  • Yes, but... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 26, 2003 @01:37PM (#7813209)
    When your arm gets cut off in your next auto accident, who will call for the ambulance?!
  • by csnydermvpsoft (596111) on Friday December 26, 2003 @01:39PM (#7813226) Homepage
    All they're doing is modifying the GPS unit to work with a regular computer, while at the same time making the rest of the system (including emergency functions) inoperable. Why not just pay $50 for a basic GPS receiver?
    • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Friday December 26, 2003 @01:57PM (#7813355)
      All they're doing is modifying the GPS unit to work with a regular computer, while at the same time making the rest of the system (including emergency functions) inoperable. Why not just pay $50 for a basic GPS receiver?

      It seems to me that having wardriving componentry integrated into the car is stylish amd more discreet, so it does have value.

      I guess the next step will be to add a 802.11b interface to the engine computer and port Linux to it.
    • They are also voiding the warranty on the whole car as per GM. Doesn't sound like it's worth it, especially if you shelled out extra for an extended warranty.
      • This could be FUD on the part of GM. I remember a few years ago, Mazda Canada tried to claim that your warrently would be void if your car was serviced by anyone other than a Mazda dealer. Needless to say, they lost the court challenge.
        • This could be FUD on the part of GM. I remember a few years ago, Mazda Canada tried to claim that your warrently would be void if your car was serviced by anyone other than a Mazda dealer. Needless to say, they lost the court challenge.

          This isn't service, this is a modification to the vehicle. Given the tie-ins the vehicles computer systems have to each other, I'd expect the manufacturer could successfully argue to a judge that hacking into one of the systems is sufficently capable of causing harm to the

          • by mindstrm (20013) on Friday December 26, 2003 @03:25PM (#7813878)
            If something went wrong with the electrical system, and they could reasonably show that your modifications to onstar could have caused it, fine, fair enough..

            But "voids the warrantee" means that, if you modify the onstar system, and then a week later the rear axle falls off and the right front door hinges sieze up, they can say "sorry, you modified your onstar system, it's your problem".

            The act in question means they can't just invalidate teh entire warrantee on the vehicle just because of one unrelated part.

          • by forkboy (8644) on Friday December 26, 2003 @03:29PM (#7813897) Homepage
            I think GM would have a hard time convincing a judge that your meddling with the car's computer network caused a leak in the coolant or made a ball joint crack. You can't really cause physical defects to a car via the computer.

          • Some volkswagen dealers won't hook their diagnostic computers to your car if you have an aftermarket stereo for just this reason. The stereo computer is connected to the engine computer, and the diagnostic computers can check and set things in the radio system. There are conditions that can exist which cause third party radios to fry diagnostic computers.... I am sure that OnStar components could be just as integrated into the engine computer...
            • This is likely because VW's are shit. If it's that easy to fry their diagnostic equipment, then why in the hell don't they put an opto-isolator inline with the diagnostic box's connection and prevent all electrical surges from making it to the diag box? Because they are idiots, that's why.

              The radio and OnStar and such is tied together in GM vehicles too, using what is known as a class 2 network. Basically, there's a single wire running to every module in the car, including the radio and the OnStar box (and
              • Anyway, this guys mod is pretty basic and doesn't involve tinkering with the "brain" of the OnStar box in any way. All he did was to solder a serial connection onto the GPS board and then disconnect that board from the OnStar system.

                I couldn't figure out from his description whether he did, but it should be possible to tap onto the serial signal and still keep the OnStar connected and functioning. I don't know if that Motorola protocol is a two-directional protocol, but normally with GPS protocols (like w
            • There is a good explination of the "Aftermarket Radio Problem" here [ross-tech.com] and it even tells you how to test for it (I think your average dealer would have a voltmeter) and how to repair it if necessary.

              I think rather than it being a technological issue it's more of an example of how the manufacturers will do whatever they can to try and generate more income for their mechanics and dealerships, and also how a distreputable dealer will use any excuse to avoid honoring a warranty. On the one hand they go out of th
        • by Otto (17870) on Friday December 26, 2003 @02:43PM (#7813624) Homepage Journal
          This is definitely FUD on the part of GM. The Magnusson-Moss Act of 1975 specifically addresses this. Mainly, while modifying your OnStar system may void the warrenty on the OnStar box, they need to be able to *prove* that your modification was the actual cause of whatever is wrong with the car before they can claim that it's not covered under the warrenty.
          • Disputing only one thing. GM is nowhere quoted as saying that this may void the warranty on your car, so it isn't "definitely FUD on the part of GM". The OnStar CTO quoted specifically says "From my own perspective -- and GM may feel differently" in the article.

            Now, yes, OnStar is a subsidiary of GM and so this guy is, ultimately, working for GM. But this guy really is a fairly minor cog in the GM machine expressing a personal opinion. He quite likely knows nothing about car warranties, and is almost c
      • This is incorrect. See the Magnusson-Moss Act of 1975.
    • OEM units (Score:5, Informative)

      by hey! (33014) on Friday December 26, 2003 @07:07PM (#7814919) Homepage Journal
      I agree. It seems like the point of this "hack" is to get access to the GPS unit. Seems like a bad idea to mess with an expensive unit and possibly void your warranty, especially when you're just getting access to a $20 OEM GPS unit.

      I'd say the main thing about doing this is that they've already mounted the GPS antenna and routed the cable. This is going to be cleaner looking and probably get better signal than slapping a GPS on the dashboard. It'd be nice to make a little box that sat under your dashboard, or maybe in your glove box, that you could just plug your laptop into.

      I've had a little experience with the OEM GPS units in embedded systems. They send the standard NMEA strings so any GPS program can use them. The main issue is that they output TTL level (0,5V) rather than RS-232 (-12/+12). Your laptop probably won't care but some PDAs won't be able to read the data. I'd just mount the thing on a little breadboard,wire up th e power leads, run the two I/O wires to an DB-9 shell and the antenna input to the appropriate connector. Then unplug the GPS antenna from the onstar unit and plug it the antenna jack. The advantage of this is that there are no warranty issues; just plug the antenna lead back into the onstar unit when you take it in for service and nobody's the wiser.

      You can get completely assembled, self contained, true RS-232 units for about $120. For less than $200 more, you can have differential GPS with 3m accuracy.

      Another option I've messed with are little bluetooth enabled GPS receivers. These would be very clean and unobtrusive on a dashboard.
  • Consider the cost (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dacarr (562277) on Friday December 26, 2003 @01:40PM (#7813236) Homepage Journal
    People will pay about US$30-35 to have this and get directions based on numerous things, or they can hack it and find a way to collect the data locally. Most people who hack this aren't going to be the type to need somebody's help for $30/mo though, and many people who can't hack this but can read maps might just have it done.

    So in the end, you'll be left with people who have an Onstar box and will rather pay the $30/mo as well as their cellphone bills, blissfully unaware that they can make 911 calls for free on disconnected cellphones.

  • DMCA in 5..4..3... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CarrionBird (589738) on Friday December 26, 2003 @01:41PM (#7813241) Journal
    How long will it take for GM to claim that the Onstar devices are licensed, not sold? Either way, a big part of onstar is the live operator service for emergencies, how do you replace that?
    • by I Like Swords!!! (668399) on Friday December 26, 2003 @01:58PM (#7813360)
      Use some kind of artificial intelligence! Something like HAL or Elisa...

      Wait... Can you imagine the conversation?

      You: I need help.
      Elisa: Why do you want help?
      You: I had an accident.
      Elisa: Can you elaborate on that?
      You: My car crashed.
      Elisa: Why do you say your car crashed?
      You: Because, some asshole ran me off the road!
      Elisa: Do any other reasons not come to mind?
      You: No dammit!
      Elisa: You are being a bit negative.
      You: Negative? I NEED SOME HELP!
      Elisa: Why do you want some help?
      You: I TOLD YOU ALREADY!
      Elisa: Do you wish to told me?
      You: DAMN YOU! JUST GET ME SOME HELP!
      Elisa: Oh, i just get you some help.
      You: YES! YOU DO THAT!
      Elisa: You are sure?
      You: YES YOU MORON!
      Elisa: You are sure?
      You: FOR THE LAST TIME, YES!
      Elisa: You are sure?
      You: JUST GET ME SOME HELP NOW!!!
      Elisa: Can you elaborate on that?
      You: *die from your blood curdling*


      Ok.... maybe that's not such a good idea after all.
    • Why should GM care?

      I mean, this amounts to, "If you have a passenger and a laptop in your car, you can replace a tiny subset of the OnStar service by either buying a GPS reciever, or spending time and effort to render your OnStar device otherwise uselss and voiding your waranty."

      I'm sure GM is terrified.
  • I *like* OnStar (Score:5, Informative)

    by valkraider (611225) on Friday December 26, 2003 @01:41PM (#7813242) Journal
    I don't want OnStar for directions to restaurants or gas stations.

    I like On-Star for being able to have police/rescue know exactly where I am if/when my Airbag deploys. I like On-Star for when my "check engine" light comes on, I press the button, they run a remote diagnostic on my engine's computer, and can tell me how serious the problem is and can call me a tow truck if needed. I like OnStar for being able to unlock my car when I lock my keys in the car (with an infant in the carseat). I like OnStar for being able to track, and stop my car if it is stolen.

    That's worth the OnStar subscription... The other stuff is just gravy, which we never really used - so we cancelled....
    • Re:I *like* OnStar (Score:4, Insightful)

      by zakezuke (229119) on Friday December 26, 2003 @02:10PM (#7813442)
      I like On-Star for when my "check engine" light comes on, I press the button, they run a remote diagnostic on my engine's computer, and can tell me how serious the problem is and can call me a tow truck if needed

      Diffrent people have diffrent skill levels when it comes to automobiles. I for example have a 1998 sentra, so nothing like onstar, but I do have a CHECK ENGINE light as well. Diffrence is, I know where my access port is, and it blinks the engine code. I'd suspect that's all ONSTAR does for ya, rather then running remote diagnostics, they run local diagnostics and read to you what your engine is telling you.

      I like OnStar for being able to unlock my car when I lock my keys in the car

      Ok, that is a cool feature. That is actually more spiffy then calling a locksmith. From what I read, the mod is only for reading GPS info to a 3rd party device. I don't know if that would affect the other onstar fuctions. I don't feel that ONSTAR is offering you anything special there... as in you could easily invest in a old pager and attach the vibrate motor to a relay which would open the doors upon calling it's number. I'm sure you could get into the more advanced logic, requiring a specific code.

      I like OnStar for being able to track, and stop my car if it is stolen.

      Righto... that too is a cool feature! In theory this can be done with any old cell phone wired into your automobile, in theory that is. Getting the police to track down your stolen cellphone is a difficult enough task in it self. I've not actually been able to do this, dispite the fact that they have access to the technology... and the authorization from the owner. When i've talked to cops about it, they've said "we can't do it" or "we don't know how". If the phone were to call 911 if stolen... and relay an automated message "help me, i'm a car, this isn't my driver", this might work.

      I should actually research the issue and see the difficulty level in the following

      #1: Added cost of an additional mobile phone
      #2: Small system who's job it is reading GPS info, sending that info via an easily readable text message or other remote computer readable format.
      #3: Relay that info to a site where a human can make the valued judgement of transmiting that info to police or whowever.

      That's worth the OnStar subscription...

      Hey.... that's cool and fine. ONSTAR(tm) offers a valuable marketable service that is perfectly spiffy. I would never knock anyone who wanted that form of service. I will agree with the hackers that it's cool to beable to mod your ONSTAR(tm) box to read the GPS info to a 3rd party device.

      What would be cooler IMHO would be a slightly more subscription free solution, where by you give your car a phone, and have the logic to beable to be flaged as being "stolen" and relay it's location to someone.

      • ...or you can just pay the $30 a month and be done with it. Which is what you're gonna have to do if you wire a cell phone and pager up to the thing anyway. Yes, disconnected cell phones can make 911 calls, but hacking the car to tell the phone it's been stolen/in a wreck/etc. will almost certainly void the warranty on any electrical components and probably need to interfere with the diagnostic computers (which, on new American cars have very much closed and proprietary interfaces. Japanese cars tend to be
    • by MAPA3M (718897) on Friday December 26, 2003 @02:16PM (#7813479)
      I like On-Star for being able to have police/rescue know exactly where I am if/when my Airbag deploys.

      GPS:
      Please make a left turn.
      ...
      Why did you not make a left turn?
      ...
      Please make a left turn here or I will deploy the airbag repeatedly until a left turn is made

    • Re:I *like* OnStar (Score:5, Interesting)

      by transient (232842) on Friday December 26, 2003 @03:28PM (#7813895)
      I like OnStar for being able to track, and stop my car if it is stolen.

      This is an incredibly useful feature. My aunt had her car stolen at gunpoint a couple months ago. The police used OnStar to track down the car and bust a ring of serial car thieves that had been working in the Twin Cities for some time.

    • Re:I *like* OnStar (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jridley (9305)
      I like On-Star for when my "check engine" light comes on, I press the button, they run a remote diagnostic on my engine's computer, and can tell me how serious the problem is and can call me a tow truck if needed.

      Uh huh. So, the computer in EVERY car has a ton of diagnostic info in it, but the manufacturers have done work to keep you from getting that information out of the computer that you bought. Then you pay them a subscription fee to let them read the info out of the computer that you bought and sp
  • Call me silly... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zakezuke (229119) on Friday December 26, 2003 @01:42PM (#7813245)
    I'm not about to dismiss the geek value of this, far from it. Never the less... It seems to me based on what I read all you are doing is modifying the onstar usin so your 3rd party device can get the GPS information, rather then it sent to ONSTAR(tm). Such a mod requires you to have a vehicel with the onstar device, and some basic soldering skill.

    Now... assuming you don't actually own a vehicel with the ONSTAR(tm) system onboard... is there something special about it's gps reciever that would make it worthy to find one at a junk yard and purchace one? Rather then buying your own GPS reciever, laptop, and load in the approperate maping software for your enjoyment and pleasure?

    • Re:Call me silly... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Nogami_Saeko (466595)
      Well, I suppose the hack is handy for those who don't want to purchase a GPS unit, but personally, I'd just buy an RS-232-only GPS receiver (can be around the size of a quarter) and hook it up rather than hacking my system apart and voiding the warantee.

      N.
    • Re:Call me silly... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Dun Malg (230075) on Friday December 26, 2003 @01:55PM (#7813344) Homepage
      ONSTAR(tm) system onboard... is there something special about it's gps reciever that would make it worthy to find one at a junk yard and purchace one?

      Not really. The Motorola Oncore GPS unit has slightly more informative proprietary software [motorola.com] to talk to than your average NMEA serial GPS unit, but it's no better than a decent stand alone Garmin GPS unit.

  • by Savatte (111615) on Friday December 26, 2003 @01:42PM (#7813246) Homepage Journal
    hacking somone's onstar and sending them to the physical location of the goatse.cx server.
  • by NoData (9132) <_NoData_&yahoo,com> on Friday December 26, 2003 @01:42PM (#7813247)
    0wn3dStar
  • When I went in the Site counter was

    0000032

    Wonder what it will be soon as /.'s go there ...

    But more importantly is this a big trend, (only 32 visitors yet?) or are /.'s going to make it a big trend ...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 26, 2003 @01:43PM (#7813258)
    Maybe they can call the new system "Homestar." I'd suggest "Strongbad" but that would probably not be very popular.
  • FBI (Score:2, Funny)

    First the FBI [slashdot.org], now this! You can't buy this sort of publicity!

    • by t0ny (590331)
      The service that article discussed was NOT OnStar.
      • I was going to point out how full of it you were, when I discovered you were apparently right.
        Supposedly it "Tele Aid", primarily used in Mercedes.
        Since this probably wasn't around before the .com crash, most /. readers shouldn't be concerned.

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Friday December 26, 2003 @01:47PM (#7813279)
    The price for this service is around $400 each year. Those who tap into their OnStar systems pay no such fees./I.

    $400 per year for onStar suddenly seems very cheap : that's the price of a hour with the lawyer who will defend you against GM during your brutal encounter with the DMCA ...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...will result in discharge of airbag.
  • I'm all for hacking OnStar to see what happens. But to tout this as a brilliant move because it saves you a few hundred bucks a year is ridiculous.

    For $420 a year, you're also getting a call to emergency vehicles instantly when your air bag [onstar.com] deploys, a Lojack [lojack.com]-like tracking system [onstar.com], remote door unlocking [onstar.com] when you lock your keys in the car, and more [onstar.com]. That seems like a pretty good deal.

    It seems to me that if you've bought OnStar with your car, it's not for driving directions. Or at least, not just for drivin

  • by Big Ryan (11871) on Friday December 26, 2003 @01:54PM (#7813333) Journal

    Has anyone seen the OnStar commercial where the OnStar rep opens the vehicle doors remotely?

    How long do you think it would take to come up with a crack that allows third parties to do the same? It would make stealing cars so much easier...

    • You can unlock the doors, but without the special chip embedded in the car key the motor won't start, and the transmisson is locked. Assuming you can hack the ignition to bypass the key, the transmission still won't go in gear so you are stuck. So, until someone comes up with a way to fake the code in the key and communicate that to the system, the doors unlocking isn't a big dealfor theft except for ripping off your stuff.
  • by HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) on Friday December 26, 2003 @01:55PM (#7813340)
    What kind of self-respecting hacker would own a late-model GM vehicle with Onstar anyway? Most of the serious bit-pushers that I know are driving 12 year old Subarus, Volkswagon Rabbits and clapped-out Honda motorcycles.
  • This is foolish. (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheSHAD0W (258774) on Friday December 26, 2003 @01:56PM (#7813348) Homepage
    I'd have to opine that this is an extremely foolish thing to do, tear apart one's OnStar module simply to access its GPS unit. A PC-interfaceable GPS costs well under $100, and doing these modifications to your OnStar system may void your vehicle's warranty or reduce its resale value enormously.

    Just disconnect the power on the damned thing and get a separate GPS for your onboard PC.
    • You are not a lawyer:

      I'd have to opine that this is an extremely foolish thing to do, tear apart one's OnStar module simply to access its GPS unit. A PC-interfaceable GPS costs well under $100, and doing these modifications to your OnStar system may void your vehicle's warranty or reduce its resale value enormously.

      Would you stop with these idiotic proclamations about how it could "void your vehicle's warranty? You can't void an entire vehicle's warranty by modifying the OnStar unit. You may void the
  • I know nothing about GPS and OnStar, but why couldn't GM encypt the signal going out, preventing use of any other systems?

    Frankly, I could buy a lot of maps for $400, but I would think about paying that for the emergency services.
    • My guess is that GM won't bother because nobody is going to perform this "hack".

      Why?

      Because the GPS module in the unit, or one very similar, can be had on ebay for $20. It's worth spending the $20 to not lower the resale value of your car.
      • Good point: "Buy My Cadillac! By the way, I broke OnStar..."
      • FYI, if you are capable of performing this particular hack, it's a matter of about 10 seconds to restore it to functionality with OnStar.

        The hack itself involves the following steps:
        1) Solder a serial cable onto the GPS unit.
        2) Hookup a laptop
        3) Send a command that sticks the GPS unit into a different mode (NMEA) which is standard and works with all the mapping software you could want.

        Getting it back to working with OnStar involves:
        1) Sending a command to it to stick it back into Motorola binary mode
        2) Un
  • After all, from the commercials we know that Batman uses OnStar...
  • by Xibby (232218) <zibby+slashdot@ringworld.org> on Friday December 26, 2003 @02:02PM (#7813388) Homepage Journal
    Is if GM took a hint and provited a way to access the GPS without hacking the OnStar system. IR, Bluetooth, or even a cabled interface.

    I see the main appeal of using the GPS unit built into the vehicle instead of buying a hand held GPS as it's one less device that needs it's battieres charged. It's likely that the people doing this already have their laptop plugged into the car's cigarette lighter/power outlet and their vehicle only offers one outlet.

    It's also one less device that needs to be hidden away or carried with you when you leave the car.
  • Oh, come on... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SamMichaels (213605) on Friday December 26, 2003 @02:05PM (#7813407)
    Most of the comments here are ripping this poor guy apart for wanting to do this. Give me a break. He's just telling you how you can do it...I seriously doubt any geek is going to get OnStar SOLELY to have a GPS.

    This is like saying to the person who broadcasts AM radio from his monitor that a cheap $10 AM transmiter kit from Radio Shack is cheaper than a $100 monitor and that his idea is dumb.
  • This story was in the NYTimes Dec 18th: NYTimes article - costs money to read now [nytimes.com] in their Circuits section.
  • So onstar works via cell phone, if I don't pay the $400 a year, i'd assume they disconnect the number, so how would this hack work? Or am I missing somthing here?
  • by Phoenix (2762) on Friday December 26, 2003 @02:22PM (#7813509)
    Two ways of looking at it.

    Either:
    $400/year for EMS contacting, vehicle location, vehicle unlocking, directions, mapping, list of local services. This is far more than what the crippled Onstar would be able to do and in my opinion well worth the investment

    Or:
    Delorme Mapping software - $40
    Delorme Earthmate GPS - $90
    Laptop Computer - $1100

    This is capable of:
    Mapping, GPS Location, local service look-up (gas stations, hotels, businesses, eateries, etc.) play DVD's, play MP3's, let your driving companion play Q3A. Again well worth the investment.

    However since many of us geeks out there already have laptops and since it would seem that you need on to do the OnStar hacks, the $130 for a Delorme GPS rig seems to be the cheaper and FAR simpler solution.

    But that's just my humble opinion

  • by Otto (17870) on Friday December 26, 2003 @02:40PM (#7813607) Homepage Journal
    This isn't all that new. All that it is really doing is building a serial interface onto the GPS part of the OnStar module and letting you access the data directly. Why bother?

    1) The data is there already. It's cool to have access to it.

    2) Many people, myself included, find OnStar somewhat useless, and don't pay for a subscription after the first free year. So it's nice to get some use out of that hardware that was already in the purchased vehicle anyway.

    3) Using the built in GPS unit means no visible GPS antenna or hardware or what have you.

    4) Because you can.

    There's other parts of the OnStar hardware that are kinda cool too. The thing is basically a brain unit hooked to an analog cell phone and a GPS receiver. There's a built in microphone (in my case in the rear view mirror) and a connection to the car stereo system (both for audio and data, data being to display information on the radio display). Mainly I've been trying to hack the thing to let me use my own cell phone with the unit and thus make hands free calls, using the brain unit for the voice dialing functionality and so forth. Thus letting me make calls on my own phone without pahying the buck a minute charged by OnStar for their phone service.

    Hey, the box in the car is *mine*. I paid for it, and I can do as I please with it.
  • The point? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lisany (700361)
    If you can afford a car with OnStar in it you can afford to pay the monthly fee.
  • From what I understand, onstar is most useful when coupled with northstar; GM's latest and greatest V8 which is chock-full of sensors and supposedly will relay all kinds of information to GM, as in your number three spark plug isn't firing, or you're starting to get detonation, and your timing is being retarded however far. This data can then be sent to the appropriate service department when they schedule your service. This way they have an idea of what to look at before you even drive in. Modern ECUs look at an amazing amount of information when deciding what to do with your fuel delivery. Consider this, a modern auto with sequential electronic fuel injection monitors intake air flow, intake air temperature, O2 output, sometimes CO output, exhaust gas temperature, throttle opening position, crank angle, and they generally have a knock detection sensor. They can advance or retard ignition and fuel delivery timing. And that's just the stuff that basically every car does now; Many cars now have variable valve timing, so they can adjust valve timing, duration, and/or lift, some have multiple-stage intake runners so they can make the intake system more restrictive to enhance low-end torque, there are cars with coil on plug ignitions which means that the ignition timing is not advanced or retarded, but simply carried out by the ECU... Hell, Subarus tie the Transmission and Engine computers (which are separate) together so that the traction control system can instruct the ECU to reduce engine output during some types of slip situations.

    It would be fantastic to be able to get all that information out of the car in realtime, all the time. Especially since Northstar engines are reputedly some of the most wired engines ever, and most cars with them have Onstar, it seems like something that some people might like to take advantage of. However, those motors are usually in fantastically expensive cars, so the market probably isn't very large.

  • by joeytsai (49613) on Friday December 26, 2003 @07:50PM (#7815072) Homepage
    Those worried about big brother may want to check out this article [newsmax.com] concerning On Star. Basically, once the FBI found out they could snoop on people (OnStar apparently has a "listen" feature) they were all over it.

    Not to mention the possibilities of random strangers listening in...

"Why waste negative entropy on comments, when you could use the same entropy to create bugs instead?" -- Steve Elias

Working...