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Linux Powered Dodge

CmdrTaco posted more than 13 years ago | from the picture-of-calvin-pissing-on-auto-logo-goes-here dept.

Linux 147

Dan Koppenheffer writes "Wow! Linux (and Java) underlies the Dodge Super8 concept cars's Infotronic information/entertainment system. " The car looks pretty terrible, but hey, embedded Linux! You'd have to be a lot more careful hacking on that system, then, say, your Tivo. (Segmentation Fault: Welcome to Idaho)

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Watch the Linux concept car video (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#515999)

Bad news:http://www.theautochannel.com/ has the full length
press confference videos for all the new concept cars (and the rest of the 2001 models, too).

Good news: free, no registration, uncut footage.
Bad news: you need Microsoft Media Player.

follow the links to 2001 auto shows, NAIAS...

Can you imagine... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#516000)

a beowulf convoy of these?

Re:Pretty hideous (1)

drsoran (979) | more than 13 years ago | (#516002)

Bah. Just give us a rear-wheel drive Intrepid with a nice big V-8 engine in it and forgo all this fancy embedded Linux crap.

Re:A Point-by-point Refutation. (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 13 years ago | (#516004)

"It's called safety through being bigger than everyone else"

That's complete BS. Only an ignorant person would claim such a thing. Occupants of most of the American SUVs on the roads are more likely to sustain injuries, or to sustain worse injuries in the event of a crash. That's a proven fact. All those big vehicles do is give you a false sense of security.

Re:Good Thing It's Linux (1)

Keith Russell (4440) | more than 13 years ago | (#516006)

I'll be damned if I can find it now, but I saw a picture of the Nissan Fusion concept [cardesignnews.com] that had a Windows 95 login screen on the in-dash display. I seriously doubt it was for real; whoever did the paste-up in Photoshop got the edges of the dialog totally askew to the edges of the screen. But damn, don't scare me like that, Nissan! I've been soooo looking forward to the new Z. [cardesignnews.com] Windows 2000, I could live with, but not 95!

I hate to admit it, but the Super 8 is the first Chrysler concept in a long time that I thought was anything less than awesome. In a way, it was inevitable. Chrysler design has been living on the edge for years. The Super 8 finally pushed them over. At least Chrysler will have the good sense to not put something that ugly into production. [pontiac.com]

If you're looking for something easier on the eyes, try the aforementioned Z, or the Chrysler Crossfire. [cardesignnews.com]

We're not scare-mongering/This is really happening - Radiohead

Re:Embedded Linux - Does it *need* mods? (1)

GeorgieBoy (6120) | more than 13 years ago | (#516007)

They aren't hacking the car's CPU at all.

Linux is running on it's own SuperH board (four of them in this vehicle), and these embedded systems are (likely) just the Infotronic system. The computers that handle RPM/Speed-limit and another other functions related to the operation of the vehicle are part of much more critical real-time systems!

This is a definately a separate entity that doesn't have anything to do with a car "crashing," either.

Re:Aspen was a *compact*, and RWD is a good thing. (1)

pivo (11957) | more than 13 years ago | (#516010)

Of course, mondern all wheel drive is far better than only front or rear wheel drive. Note that I'm *not* talking about four wheel drive that can really suck on things like Jeeps etc.

Please don't argue with me, I already know I'm right! :)

Beg the Question Police! Freeze! (1)

pivo (11957) | more than 13 years ago | (#516011)

You've misused the phrase, "begs the question." You have the right to remain silent, etc. etc.

Here [drury.edu] is a discusion of how to actually use the phrase correctly so you won't make a fool of yourself in public again in this way.

Hey, I'm just doing my job, but you're welcome anyway!

Re:Java? (1)

pivo (11957) | more than 13 years ago | (#516012)

It's related because /. is a hive of raving anti-Java, anti-OOP amatures who will say anything to discredit either technology.

Re:A Point-by-point Refutation. (1)

pivo (11957) | more than 13 years ago | (#516013)

That is the most spectacularly ugly car I've seen since the Slashdork car. Gaudy and stupid looking, it's the perfect car for most 'Merkins.

Re:A Point-by-point Refutation. (1)

kevlar (13509) | more than 13 years ago | (#516014)

Rock on!

4speed autostick? Why? (1)

dirty (13560) | more than 13 years ago | (#516015)

All I can say is icky. Honestly this car looks like crap. The design looks a pickup that crunched down. *wretch*

Re:A Point-by-point Refutation. (1)

Quikah (14419) | more than 13 years ago | (#516016)

SUVs are safer than smaller cars.

I wouldn't go that far. SUVs have been shown to have a much higher rollover rate than a normal sized car. Rollovers are very bad.

I can understand SUVs for many people. It is the loosers in LA who buy SUVs because they are hip which give them a bad name. I was recently in Texas on business, the client commented that "thats the state car of Texas" pointing to an SUV. I replied it is the same in LA, except in Texas you actually have mud on the car. (ie it is actually used for what it is meant for)

Re:Pretty hideous (1)

Quikah (14419) | more than 13 years ago | (#516017)

Someone in Chrysler's design department really likes the 30/40/50 era of cars (not a big car nut, so not positive on exact era). The PT Cruiser and this are definately influenced by that period. Just as long as we don't start getting those giant fins again...

Re:HEMI is more important than Linux! (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 13 years ago | (#516019)

Amen. I drive a 1990 Caprice, bought used. It started out life as a State Police cruiser, and it's fun as hell to drive. Handles like a dream. Corners so much better than FWD.

Still, I would consider trading it for a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T, we all know why.

--

Knight Rider (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 13 years ago | (#516020)

"Oh, no. Those litter bugs just got on a boat! We'll never catch them now!"

"Incorrect, Michael. Look, a scenic footpath that is just wide enough for me given my precision driving program."

"You're right! Precision Driving Mode activate!!!"

--

not SEGFAULT! (1)

dawg (18967) | more than 13 years ago | (#516021)

You're probably going to get a NullPointerException than segmentation fault... which begs the question: if you're going to just run Java, why Linux vs. some embedded device from Sun or others?

Neat sidebar (1)

the_tsi (19767) | more than 13 years ago | (#516022)

Who cares about linux in a concept car... check out the sidebar: Dodge stock cars to be used in NASCAR next season! And by teams that actually win sometimes, unlike Pontiac drivers. This sure will be interesting after decades of being dominated by chevy and ford.

-Chris
Geek first, Redneck second

.
...More Powerful than Otto Preminger...

Re:Java? (1)

scode (22551) | more than 13 years ago | (#516023)

How are script kiddies in any way related to Java?

Re:Car cracks? (1)

scode (22551) | more than 13 years ago | (#516024)

You clueless anti-Java people need to shut up.

The ONLY reason Java is not TRADITIONALLY suitable for a real-time system is because of the garbage collection. HOWEVER, there ARE real-time garbage collection algorithms, and I'm told there are already real-time JVMs in existense.

Re:A Point-by-point Refutation. (1)

maw (25860) | more than 13 years ago | (#516026)

You admit to going to car shows?

Heh.
--

Yes it's UGLY in my opinion, BUT... (1)

Zwack (27039) | more than 13 years ago | (#516027)

What's with the marketing blurb used on the website...

"The goal of the "Infotronic" system is to provide Infotainment, Edutainment and Entertainment services that meet the lifestyle of each individual driver or passenger. "

So now I'll not only be driving a seriously ugly car, but it will be simultaneously feeding me adverts that it thinks I will like based on my "lifestyle"...

How in heck is it going to know anything about my lifestyle? Is it going to require me to fill in a lifestyle questionnaire before I can start the engine? And what do those words mean?

Infotainment - Information that is entertaining. So it won't tell me "You are now wasting gas at 2MPG" or "There is a problem with the Brakes" because they are not entertaining. Instead it will tell me "You are now passing the largest stockist of Microsoft software in the state of Oregon" as everyone in marketing knows that Geeks like Software...

Edutainment - Educational facts that are entertaining? What the photon is this? I get to find out about stuff I couldn't care less for, because they think I want to know...

Entertainment - AAAARRRGGGGGHHHH it's going to force feed more adverts to me on the grounds that they are entertaining. At least this one is a real word.

Zwack...

p.s. The car looks like they took the worst of 50's and 90's design, combined them and said "hey that looks good" If I see one of these on the street I'll probably barf on it... it will improve the paint job.

For all you HEMI fans (1)

namgorf (28374) | more than 13 years ago | (#516028)

After reading this article about the HEMI dodge I was curious what the rest of Mopar was cooking up. Turns out chrysler has a new HEMI concept car as well. Hmmm. in addition to various other concept cars that, well, look better than dodge's. Except the charger r/t. I like that one. If for nothing else than just that they're bringing the charger back!

http://www.mopar.com

check it out.

*sigh* (1)

namgorf (28374) | more than 13 years ago | (#516029)

Super 8, if I'm correct, is in reference to much older 8 cylinder engines. Not to the film.

Slashdot is a hard community to please. (1)

namgorf (28374) | more than 13 years ago | (#516030)

I went and read the article and thought it looked quite neat. Brings back some of the great styling of the mid 1900's. Sure it's not absolutely amazing and the wheels are a bit excessive, but overall it's a pretty cool idea. Besides, they've finally brought back HEMI!

I think I'll stick to my '49 Dodge with it's bulletproof straight-six though. Despite this super8 sort of *looking* like a classic car. It's still a new car that most likely will be snapped up by trend-conscious yuppies.

I can't imagine them selling it for less than $40,000 so that rules out us ordinary folk who don't want to spend that much money on that thing when you can spend half that and get yourself a really nice street rod.

Regardless, I don't think it's that bad. Certainly not deserving of hundreds of "Oh barf!", "Horrible!" and "Hideous!" posts. Keep in mind that when compared with *most* cars these days it's brilliant. Honestly I'm really disapointed in the auto industry after about 1975. All these little mental boxes with no styling whatsoever. Oh well. I guess that's how it goes. Cudos to mopar for at least *trying* get some CHARACTER back into their cars. Even if it is just a cheap shot to get all the 50 year old ex-hotrodders turned corporate executives to buy overpriced cars...

Re:A Point-by-point Refutation. (1)

Wah (30840) | more than 13 years ago | (#516031)

I replied it is the same in LA, except in Texas you actually have mud on the car. (ie it is actually used for what it is meant for)

Even as a rabid Texan I have to call you on this. On a recent return trip to Dallas I was nearly run off the road by a single person in an Excursion, who was watching a movie on three! screens, and talking on the cell phone. Of the other cars on the road nearly 20% are SUV's and I can assure you that 95% never see any off-road usage (outside of spoiled teenagers going muddin'). There's no need outside of status for such auto's, except maybe that you don't want to be killed by one. Welcome to America, where we take our arms build-up to the streets!
--

Re:A Point-by-point Refutation. (1)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 13 years ago | (#516034)

Wow thinking like this is the reason SUVs are popular and there is a gas shortage.
It's called safety through being bigger than everyone else. It's also called living in a free country, instead of letting the environmentalist wackos dictate that we all drive tin-cans-on-wheels that do 0-60 in five minutes, fall apart if you look at them the wrong way, and put you in mortal danger in what would otherwise be a minor fender-bender.
I cant think of a well designed american car. American cars are either designed to show how small their owners brains are or how short their dicks are.
...and your average stickered-up rice burner isn't? Yeah, right. My Cutlass [worldzone.net] has gone 24 years already, and will still be hauling ass when your Civic has long rotted away in some junkyard.

Re:HEMI is more important than Linux! (1)

TheTomcat (53158) | more than 13 years ago | (#516039)

And it's a Hemi to boot!

Heh, first thing I did after clicking on this story is CTRL-F, "BigBlockMopar" (-:

Re:Linux powered but .. (1)

BorgDrone (64343) | more than 13 years ago | (#516041)

Why not use real, it can run on windows AND linux.
---

Obligatory distributed.net/seti@home Joke (1)

Puk (80503) | more than 13 years ago | (#516044)

Now all you distributed number crunching addicts will be forced to continually drive your car in order to inflate your stats!

-Puk

Gee.. I think its purdy... (1)

Hell O'World (88678) | more than 13 years ago | (#516045)

I personnaly get tired of every car looking the same.

At least. . . (1)

Raffy (89138) | more than 13 years ago | (#516046)

(Segmentation Fault: Welcome to Idaho)

. . . it would be a Private crash, if it were to happen.


Rafe

V^^^^V

Re:HEMI is more important than Linux! (1)

glacial23 (93573) | more than 13 years ago | (#516048)

> Still, I would consider trading it for a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T, we all know why.

Only if you weld the doors shut and get a horn that plays 'Dixie'...

We're bought and sold for corporate gold

Re:A Point-by-point Refutation. (1)

letchhausen (95030) | more than 13 years ago | (#516049)

Testify brother! And actually this car seems to help with the SUV problem since these features might make it more popular with those that might otherwise buy SUV's. I understand the desire for an SUV but I sure hate not being able to see around them on the road, and there are sure a lot of people driving them that seem unskilled with the larger mass.......go Dodge. Seems strange that these guys have been leading the way in design for the last ten years but someone's got to do it. Kinda makes me remember those halycon days of the early 70's when MOPAR was king......

and uhh, yea, embedded Linux to boot, yay Open Source!

Re:A Point-by-point Refutation. (1)

JoeMac (102847) | more than 13 years ago | (#516052)

It's also called living in a free country, instead of letting the environmentalist wackos dictate that we all drive tin-cans-on-wheels that do 0-60 in five minutes, fall apart if you look at them the wrong way, and put you in mortal danger in what would otherwise be a minor fender-bender.

Did it ever occur to you that maybe those environmentalists you make fun of are right? Just because you don't want to do something doesn't mean your point of view is morally right. Here's an idea: you go ruin the environment up Mars, and I'll stay on the Earth. Until that happens, show a little fuckin' respect for the Earth.

Some Americans spend so much time being angry that an environmentally-conscious person has determined something they like to do is harmful that they never stop to wonder whether that person might actually be right.

Did someone say ugly? (1)

MrBlack (104657) | more than 13 years ago | (#516053)

It looks like a god-awful, ugly as sin version of the audi tt.

Re:HEMI is more important than Linux! (1)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 13 years ago | (#516055)

Bleah. If you want big unrefined power, get ready to pay $4/gal, plus a LARGE gas guzzler surcharge every year.

Here goes my karma, but... (1)

pac4854 (130343) | more than 13 years ago | (#516058)

Shouldn't they have made it "Dodge RAM" resident first?

Re:'Merkin Cars (1)

DennisZeMenace (131127) | more than 13 years ago | (#516059)

10) a beeper for the rear gear, otherwise blind people running across parking lots might get hurt.

Dunno, (1)

prisoner (133137) | more than 13 years ago | (#516060)

I think it's butt-ugly. Interesting concept. Daimler seems to have some interesting ideas about the future of electronics in automobiles. Now if they could just get a couple of designers...

yeah but this is slashdot... (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 13 years ago | (#516061)


...you could make a binder clip that ran linux, and people would go ga-ga over it.

Unfortunately, the auto industry (my obsession of choice, right before computers)(the auto's not the industry) seems to be swinging more towards gimmicks and gadgets than to fun, powerful, and beautiful cars.

cars - the most high-tech thing that most people would rather have on old one of

Re:Java? (1)

Rew190 (138940) | more than 13 years ago | (#516062)

Right on, Pivo ;) Well the definition of a script kiddy is a person who doesn't even know what code means, they just do cut and paste jobs and stuff like that. So it works with any language. So how do you figure it's NOT related? (That was for the guy you responded to, Pivo, not you)

Java? (1)

Rew190 (138940) | more than 13 years ago | (#516063)

I can just see the script kiddies asking how to turn their new cars into KITT from Knight Rider... pray.

Re:Slashdot worthy? (1)

Rew190 (138940) | more than 13 years ago | (#516064)

Because the majority of people here find it interesting. That's the platform they code for. Besides, if this is just a "car ad," then /. would have to take down every other article about anything with Linux in it because it's just an "ad."

Re:Pretty hideous (1)

carlos_benj (140796) | more than 13 years ago | (#516065)

Maybe that's why it's wired up? To distract you from the fact you're driving a god-awful dog of a car?

To each his own. I kind of like it. The only thing I didn't care for was the black-hole where the grille should be....

Re:Linux powered but .. (1)

elbane (144924) | more than 13 years ago | (#516066)

Well making car buyers agree to a Windoze EULA might not be so great for sales.

I wonder... (1)

brad3378 (155304) | more than 13 years ago | (#516067)

If I were to buy a car with say "Windows CE" or something, would I have to sign a special windows licence agreement to drive the car? If I let a friend drive it, would they have to?

OK (1)

jaroca (157689) | more than 13 years ago | (#516068)

I don't think I have seen a car that looks worse than that. I mean that car is just plain ugly.

Re:A Point-by-point Refutation. (1)

nicku (158877) | more than 13 years ago | (#516069)

Wow thinking like this is the reason SUVs are popular and there is a gas shortage.

I cant think of a well designed american car. American cars are either designed to show how small their owners brains are or how short their dicks are.

-This is a flame...

Good Thing It's Linux (1)

SigVn (166099) | more than 13 years ago | (#516070)

That would bring a WHOLE new meaning to the Blue screen Of Death eh?

Imagine trying to reboot your PC (Personal Car) on Highway 401 (or M40 or whatever)

Had to be said... (1)

jonfromspace (179394) | more than 13 years ago | (#516073)

BEOWULF!!!! :) imagine... mobile supercomputing..

want one

um.. I done, you can stop reading...

Re:What? (1)

Yunzil (181064) | more than 13 years ago | (#516074)

Can anyone name ONE good design that came out of a US company,

Dodge Viper? Chrysler PT Cruiser? Plymouth Prowler? Chevy Corvette?

Lately it seems like all the good designers work at Chrysler and all the bad ones work at GM (I think the new Impalas are *really* ugly, not to mention those Pontiac Aztecs or whatever), the Corvette being the exception at GM. :)

I'm kind of partial to my Mustang. :)

Ugly Car! (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 13 years ago | (#516076)

It looks a bit like an "after" photo of the taxi that ran up the back of me last month...
Total damage to me - cracked tail light, bent bumper, dented hatchback.
Total damage to taxi - twisted front end, bent bonnet, smashed plastic everywhere.
Heigh-ho... I like early 80's estate cars.
An inbuilt MP3 player? That would save my girlfriend complaining about all the cables and stuff from my "in development" car mp3 player.

I'd rather hack a Dodge... (1)

smartfart (215944) | more than 13 years ago | (#516078)

...than push a Chevy.

embedded computers unveiled... (1)

Rick Lehrbaum (224327) | more than 13 years ago | (#516080)

This LinuxDevices.com article [linuxdevices.com] based on an interview with the project manager provides some technical info about the vehicle's Linux+Java based "Infotronics" system, which consists of four PC/104-based single-board computers running Red Hat 6.2, Sun JVM, and Espial DeviceTop. "The goal of the Infotronic system is to provide Infotainment, 'edutainment,' and entertainment services that meet the lifestyle of each individual driver or passenger," says DaimlerChrysler. heh. Cool photo of the dashboard "Infotronics" console (with embedded linux), too.

amazing (1)

canning (228134) | more than 13 years ago | (#516081)

Leave it to Doge / Chrysler. They know what the people want and that's a realiable operating system and cool ass retro cars. Retro cars that are rear wheel driver (police applications) that snort large amounts of fuel and can wake babies up from four blocks away. Cars with over 300 hp and near 400 lbs of tourque. Cars that can blast through the quater mile at 14.1 secs. Whew!!

The only thing that turns me off cars like this, is that the first ones will be bought by computer illiterate yuppies that need something that's trendy, a la Plymouth Prowler. They don't care about the history behind the hemi, they just want the newest car available, preferrably the one that's been getting all that attention on the news.

Re:BLEAH!!! (1)

canning (228134) | more than 13 years ago | (#516082)

they could but we have a little thing called emmisions laws now. The cars also have to last because of warrenty issues and saftey.

you probably know as well as anyone that people will sue for the stupidest things now so the car manufacturers are more interested in putting a solid product into the market.

Ughh (1)

Phunction (229908) | more than 13 years ago | (#516084)

Is that thing in the middle of the dash a hub cap or what?

Re:Linux powered but .. (1)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 13 years ago | (#516085)

All good ones my foot. Alfredo "WindowMaker" Kojima, AKA Alfredo "apt-get for RPM" Kojima lives in Brazil, thank you very much...

KDE? (1)

SteveTheRed (244567) | more than 13 years ago | (#516088)

So... Since Chrysler has been taken over by the Germans, does that mean that the cars will come with KDE ?

That would be 733t !

What about (1)

wetdogjp (245208) | more than 13 years ago | (#516089)

"... voice recognition system... two LCD touch screens... real-time trip status information... on-line trivia game... retrieve pictures from the family's Internet-enabled home security camera..."

Does it come with power windows, or is that extra?

-WetDog
"I didn't say it was your fault. I said I was going to blame it on you."

Re:Pffft! (1)

netmeister (250862) | more than 13 years ago | (#516090)

This is off topic, but they really messed up the
Impreza with that Taurusy front end and by
adding the two extra doors...a 4-door sedan
family car as a rally champion? For shame!!!

Re:HEMI is more important than Linux! (1)

netmeister (250862) | more than 13 years ago | (#516091)

PS - That Charger concept ran on CNG...

Re:Slashdot worthy? (1)

jmitchel!jmitchel.co (254506) | more than 13 years ago | (#516092)

Amen to that!

I drive a 1991 chevy caprice (a retired cop car). The 1990s caprice/impalla is probably the fundamentally ugliest car on the road today, but with the modified corvette engine they put in this thing, the outer awfulness just melts away.

New errors (1)

javert (265031) | more than 13 years ago | (#516095)

java.io.IOException: Broken (exhaust) pipe.
java.lang.NullPointerException: Driver is lost.
java.lang.ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException: Too many people in car.
java.lang.SecurityException: Car stolen.
java.lang.RuntimeException: Car crashed.
java.io.ObjectStreamException: Ducks crossing road.
java.net.NoRouteToHostException: Bridge broken.

if this were gran turismo 2 . . . (1)

ender's_shadow (302302) | more than 13 years ago | (#516097)

I'd definitely buy this car:

A prototype 353 cubic inch (5.7-liter) pushrod V-8 engine featuring hemispherical combustion chambers and two spark plugs per cylinder powers the Dodge Super8 Hemi concept. Its estimated 353 horsepower (263 kW) and 395 lb.-ft. (536 Nm) of torque are delivered to the rear wheels via a four-speed AutoStick® manumatic transmission, allowing the vehicle to reach 60 mph (97 kph) in less than six seconds and clock a top speed of 154 mph (248 kph).

The concept's independent suspension with modified MacPherson struts in front delivers precise steering, while the five-link coil-over-shock rear set-up further enhances the ride and handling.

the car may be on the garish side, and the aerodynamics sure aren't looking towards top speed, this car probably rocks. i hope it's not toned down too much for the street-release. and when are those lcd pads going to make it into a production line? those are so sweet -- especially the apps they've put on 'em. and i'm sure we can all think of a multitude of apps we'd like to see run on them (wink wink mp3 players)

Oh come on now... (1)

Tasfalen (303139) | more than 13 years ago | (#516100)

It's not that bad looking. I would ditch the surface excitement on the door panels, but it borrows some interesting motifs.

Sure, I'd never drive it, but it's a hell of a lot more interesting than most of the crap GM is putting out.

For the record, I drive a '73 TVR 2500M. :)

OK, anyone try hacking a Jeep trip computer? (2)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 13 years ago | (#516103)

Just curious, has anyone tried hacking the embedded system powering recent (1999+)Jeep/Durango/Caravan trip computers? I would _love_ to have a 'screensaver' instead of just the compass + temp.. Heck, even horizontal space invaders using the garage door opener buttons would be cool ;)

Your Working Boy,

Re:A Point-by-point Refutation. (2)

jeff.paulsen (6195) | more than 13 years ago | (#516104)

SUVs have been shown to have a much higher rollover rate than a normal sized car. Rollovers are very bad.

Indeed, as Sho Funaki might say. It is necessary to drive SUVs with proper respect for their center of gravity. It's like the Corvair - it handled beautifully, but it didn't have the understeer common to front-engined cars of the time, so people who didn't have a good feel for what their car will do when driven hard found themselves swapping ends and rolling. That's not at all the car's fault, though.

Also, I take your point regarding misuse of SUVs (not ever getting them muddy). It bugs me to see the lady down the block drive all of 1/4 mile in her shiny black Explorer to pick up her kids at the bus stop. I walk down there for mine, and save the big iron for going way up in the hills. The right tool for the job, sort of thing.

Re:A Point-by-point Refutation. (2)

jeff.paulsen (6195) | more than 13 years ago | (#516105)

Wow thinking like this is the reason SUVs are popular and there is a gas shortage.

SUVs are safer than smaller cars. You can drive them over bad / nonexistant roads more easily. They fill the role formerly taken by station wagons (or "estate" wagons, if you speak British), and can also be used for some country work. Some of the advantages of the pickup, and all of the advantages of a station wagon.

As for the gas shortage, I haven't been turned away at the pump yet. BP's market manipulation has had just as much to do with the price going up lately.

I cant think of a well designed american car. American cars are either designed to show how small their owners brains are or how short their dicks are.

Let's see. Great American cars that could not possibly represent evidence of Genital Compensation or Stupidity. The Neon, Valiant, and Corvair (whatever that Commie Nader thinks) spring immediately to mind. Given more reasonable standards, this list would include dozens of full-size, V8 cars. They are more than reliable enough, easy to fix, and amply powerful.

The engineering on foreign cars is sometimes great, but very few of them have that engineering along with adequate size, performance, features, handling, and price. The larger Volvo, Mercedes, and BMW models come closest - but I can get most of those features in a $750 '83 Buick, and I can fix it myself.

-This is a flame...

So is this, comrade.

Re:A Point-by-point Refutation. (2)

jeff.paulsen (6195) | more than 13 years ago | (#516106)

That is the most spectacularly ugly car I've seen since the Slashdork car. Gaudy and stupid looking, it's the perfect car for most 'Merkins.

Don't go to many car shows, do you?

Re:OK, anyone try hacking a Jeep trip computer? (2)

Ian Schmidt (6899) | more than 13 years ago | (#516107)

I drive a '99 Grand Cherokee and would love to see this, although not until my warranty expires ;-)

Re:'Merkin Cars (2)

PD (9577) | more than 13 years ago | (#516108)

NOW YOU'RE TALKING!!!!

An electric car would be VERY nice because they have constant torque, and there are things like capacitors which would allow you to literally SMOKE the tires through an entire quarter mile, for far cheaper than the Viper that a feat like that requires today.

How ironic... (2)

Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) | more than 13 years ago | (#516109)

...they built the important stuff on Linux...but the video is "windows media only". Does this mean drivers won't be able to see the ads for their own car as they drive around? P.S. I have to agree with the "hideous" side of the argument - this car seems to have all of the BAD aspects of 50's retro mixed with the bad aspects of modern "extruded"-looking cars... But, obviously, that's just my opinion.
A vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for Evil.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back? (2)

Spud Zeppelin (13403) | more than 13 years ago | (#516110)

What kind of bureaucrat-driven, masochistic engineering compromise is it to run the system on a JVM on top of Linux? Any gains you make in stability you get from Linux you give right back double by using the JVM on top of it.

This sounds like the sort of design choices driven by the sort of thinking that goes, "Let's see who our strategic partners are and that will dictate our platform choices to our engineers." I noticed Sun's name mentioned in the Dodge release -- a pretty good indication that the Mountain View marketing machine stormed their way into the engineering castle early on in this project's lifecycle.

MOO;IANAL.

Re:Pretty hideous (2)

Silver A (13776) | more than 13 years ago | (#516111)

It's not that awful, and at least it doesn't look like every other big car out there. Though it does look like Dodge's attempt at a VW Beetle.

Re:Car cracks? (2)

scode (22551) | more than 13 years ago | (#516112)

Hopefully all code used to communicate with the outside world is written in Java. If this is the case, there will be no buffer overflows and hopefully no bugs related to some script using an insecure command line parameter.

It's a valid concern of course. I personally think that the use of Java (or Smalltalk, etc, etc) is a good choice of platform to lessen the likelyhood of security issues.

Re:Slashdot is a hard community to please. (2)

British (51765) | more than 13 years ago | (#516115)

Offtopic me, but I'd kill for a Triumph TR-8 with a convertible top, just because it's so unusual, and hated by British car purists/zealots.

Linux powered but .. (2)

BorgDrone (64343) | more than 13 years ago | (#516116)

Linux powered but you need windows media player to see the video.

"All American" hmm .. so all linux hackers live in the US ?
---

Slashdot worthy? (2)

Christianfreak (100697) | more than 13 years ago | (#516118)

This is definatly interesting, but its a car ad. Why does everything that even mentions the word 'Linux' end up on the front page of /.? This article doesn't really say anything about the system other than it being Linux.

On another note I think the car looks pretty cool and who cares what the car looks like the stupid thing has a 353 HP!!!

Never knock on Death's door:

Re:BLEAH!!! (2)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 13 years ago | (#516120)

*shrug* Yeah, but look at what Honda is doing.

178BHP in a 1.8L normally aspirated engine (The Acura Integra). Tweak the same engine, and you get some incredibly good gas mileage, and low emissions. Good engine design produces more power from less fuel, producing less waste emissions.

BLEAH!!! (2)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 13 years ago | (#516121)

Good Lord, what an ugly car! Even for a prototype, it's uglyugly. Yech!

And that engine? 353BHP out of 5.7L? Big (censored) deal! Torque is a bit better, but this is the same as they got out of this size of carburetted engine in 1956!!! For a MODERN two-spark hemi engine, they should be able to drag 100BHP/L out of it easily. (and normally aspirated)

Sorry, just a rant about crappy, big, inefficient engines. I'll behave now.

Java, huh? (2)

wwelch (168084) | more than 13 years ago | (#516123)

It runs Java, huh?

So bascially, you can drive it anywhere ... but you'll be driving the SLOWEST CAR EVER!

/bill

Re:Embedded Linux - Does it *need* mods? (2)

AntiPasto (168263) | more than 13 years ago | (#516124)

Computer controlled timing? That opens up all kinds of arenas for engine tuning! Open-source hopefully ;)

the author proceeded to reinstall, port, and then place a 'powered by freebsd' sticker on the bumper.

----

pimp 2ooo jetta (2)

bergeron76 (176351) | more than 13 years ago | (#516125)

My Jetta is Linux powered and has +many+ more pimp features than that dodge. But it's fun to see where the industry is going. My Jetta has DVD, GPS, HUD, Mp3s, Quake, LCDs in the headrests, etc. Check it out at: http://juno.ath.cx/cbergeron/mp3jetta/ Enjoy!

Care for some cheese? (2)

CritterNYC (190163) | more than 13 years ago | (#516126)

If you do nothing else, watch the video promo for the car (on the page linked to in the article, Windows Media Format only). The cheesiness throughout it as a typical american family 'rediscovers the backroads' is hysterical.

Better use for Linux OS would be (2)

WillSeattle (239206) | more than 13 years ago | (#516132)

a Chrysler PT Cruiser (4 star crash rating) or a Honda X car (unrated, but 2004 model will have a hybrid gas/electric engine, so the mileage will be killer, probably 50+ mpg).

That said, note the supplier is using the Red Hat distro, according to recent PR Newswire articles (which dropped out of my cache, but occurred on Monday or Tuesday this week).

Does that mean you can't get a DVD player for it? (2)

WillSeattle (239206) | more than 13 years ago | (#516133)

Seriously, if it's a Linux OS car, does that mean we can't get the drivers for the DVD player? Or can we take the firmware for the DVD player in the new Linux powered Dodge and use it in other systems?

Hey, it's a hack. An expensive one, but just claim someone stole your DVD player that you ordered and get a new one through the dealer. After a few months, they'll probably notice, but it will be too late.

Embedded Linux - Does it *need* mods? (2)

Bonker (243350) | more than 13 years ago | (#516134)

It seems like the embedded kernel would already be so tweaked for use in the car's cpu that the only thing it would really need in the way of modifications would be an RPM/Speed-limit remover like some chippers already do. Why would you want to hack a car's cpu? This is not rhetorical. Why would you?

My goodness. (2)

perdida (251676) | more than 13 years ago | (#516135)

Why did they choose Linux?

Is it because Gates fears what will happen if people begin to use many Windows power'd computers in applications even more mission-critical than what's in their desktops- their CARS??

A stable system that will not cost hundreds to upgrade every few years, that can be customized to the level of security required by the customer?

Linux.

p.s. that car is beautiful. Taco, can you auction that off instead of the slashdot cruiser?

Car cracks? (3)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | more than 13 years ago | (#516136)

The infotronic center in this car uses a JVM running on top of Linux. This represents a good move on their part IMO, since the software is easier to code and maintain, and the speed hit of a JVM isn't critical in a real time system unless you're using a GUI. It also makes remote administration of the car easier, assuming that they wrote in an XML layer.

My question is, how easy is this car going to be to (maliciously) hack? Imagine some script kiddie rooting your infotronic center and uploading a new version of the software...or sending signals to lock/unlock your doors...or tracking your car's location via the infotronic system....

I really hope that the designers kept privacy and security in mind, and that the infotronic center code was thoroughly tested for cracks. Otherwise we're going to see some really ugly cracks (and scripts!) and another round of oppressive anti-hacker legislation and prosecution in the not too distant future.

ObJectBridge [sourceforge.net] (GPL'd Java ODMG) needs volunteers.

Future Problem Report to lk (3)

Royster (16042) | more than 13 years ago | (#516137)

I crashed my Dodge into a tree and it took forever to fsck the engine.

You think that car looks terrible? (3)

tippergore (32520) | more than 13 years ago | (#516138)

Two Words :

Slashdot Cruiser

Now there's an ugly car.

Pretty hideous (3)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 13 years ago | (#516139)

Good lord, what WERE they thinking?

Part of it looks like a 50's Chevy. Part of it looks like a truck front-end. It makes old Volvos look rounded, when viewed from the front.

Maybe that's why it's wired up? To distract you from the fact you're driving a god-awful dog of a car?

HEMI is more important than Linux! (3)

BigBlockMopar (191202) | more than 13 years ago | (#516140)


The car looks pretty terrible, but hey, embedded Linux!

The car looks pretty terrible, but hey, big V8 without silly things like extra valves per cylinder or front-wheel-drive. And it's a Hemi to boot!

That's the *real* priority. Linux was just a smart business decision.

But the big Hemi-head RWD V8 setup means that the automakers have finally realized that there's a segment of the population that really responds to big, brawny, unrefined American V8s. Myself included.

Sure, it'll be a gas pig, but that's okay. If I can afford to daily drive a 1976 Dodge Ram with a 400 CID (6.6L) big-block V8, I can afford to drive this.

Sadly, it doesn't look anything like one of the concept cars they've had kicking around, the Hemi-powered V8 Charger. I hope this is a signal that the platform is going to happen and that they'll make the Charger, too.

As it is, that's a great market niche for Chrysler. Police departments are screwed, because Ford's dropping the Crown Victoria, GM has already killed the Caprice Classic. And cops love rear wheel drive because it handles so much better than front wheel drive.

You'd have to be a lot more careful hacking on that system, then, say, your Tivo. (Segmentation Fault: Welcome to Idaho)

<grin> As long as you're not hacking the traction control, ABS or airbag computers. It's still not a teleporter, you know.

A Point-by-point Refutation. (4)

jeff.paulsen (6195) | more than 13 years ago | (#516141)

This car would sell great in the US. Here's a list of the strong points:
  1. Big doors - to allow people who weren't malnourished as children to get in and out.
  2. Lots of headroom for tall people unstunted by Communist ideas of proper nutrition
  3. Great big wheels for improved handling
  4. Styling - this looks like a car, as opposed to, say, a bar of wet soap
  5. Gigantic engine, because in America, we have geographical features such as "mountains".
  6. Ample cupholders, because drivin's powerful thirsty work
  7. Bench seats so your girl (or girls) can sit right up next to ya!
  8. 22 inch wheels, because everything's bigger in America
  9. Pushrod engine technology - proved effective, even before we saved Europe's ass in Doubya Doubya Two

Remember that car that was so great, and came from some other country? Me neither.

New Dodge marketing slogan... (4)

Rayban (13436) | more than 13 years ago | (#516142)

Our cars can't crash!

Aspen was a *compact*, and RWD is a good thing. (4)

BigBlockMopar (191202) | more than 13 years ago | (#516143)


363 Horsepower? Rear-wheel drive? Sounds like a 70s-era gas guzzler to me (see also Dodge Aspen).

Okay. Where to begin. Hmmm...

First thing, is the Volare and Aspen were made from 1976 to 1980 as replacements for the compact, efficient and highly reliable Plymouth Valiant [valiant.org] . They were not gas guzzlers, even when equipped with the optional 360 CID (5.9L) V8.

Now, they weren't as good on gas as today's cars, but technology has progressed. The Valiant, with its base engine, the legendary Chrysler Slant-6 [tailfins.com] , was routinely capable of 20-25MPG; the Volare/Aspent, because of emissions controls, got a little bit less gas mileage than that. For their day, good gas mileage. And for their size, good gas mileage.

The cars that were really bad on gas were things like the big-block powered Cordoba/Mirada personal luxury cars, the New Yorkers, etc. of that era. That's because of the sheer size of the car (which was what people wanted at the time, and apparently again want) and the fact that they had three-speed transmissions with a final output drive ratio of 1:1. At the time, overdrive automatic transmissions were just starting to come out. So, yeah, they were gas pigs.

Rear wheel drive does not itself mean bad gas mileage. However, it does mean marginally more weight. And because the entire drivetrain is not assembled as a single unit like in a front-wheel-drive car, it does mean more time and labor going down the assembly line.

However, for the consumer, rear wheel drive is generally a good thing [rearwheeldrive.org] , though most consumers erroneously believe that the opposite is true.

In a front wheel drive car, everything - steering, suspension, engine, transmission, driveaxles, etc. are crammed into a small engine bay. That means that if you have to replace a starter motor, you might have to spend three hours taking out the front axles before you can get at it. It also means that in a collision, everything mechanical is probably screwed, and therefore the car is a write-off.

Finally, rear wheel drive handles better [netscape.net] . Why? Well, if you lose traction on one of your front wheels, you lose the ability to steer. (Ever tried to steer with your front wheels locked up?)

With front wheel drive, how your car will handle on a snowy road depends on how much traction you have, where the wheels are pointed, and how hard you have your foot on the gas. Unpredictably, one or the other wheel can lose traction - when that happens, you lose steering in that wheel. And because there are so many variables for the driver to consider, it's tough to manage.

On the other hand, with rear wheel drive, there's less weight on the driving wheels. Put a bag of kitty litter in your trunk to prevent getting stuck. But the best part is that when you lose traction, your RWD car will fishtail predictably. Let off the gas, it straightens out. If you need to make a right turn, point the wheels a little to the right and punch the gas. With some practice, you can use this tendency to your advantage and control it completely.

(Do your practice in a snowy parking lot so that you don't hurt anyone else, until you've got the technique down.)

I grew up in Ottawa, Canada. It snows a lot there. And now that I live in Toronto, I can spot my fellow Snowbelters - they're the ones who *don't* slow down to take corners, they just fishtail sideways into them, and then accurately pull the car straight. I can take a corner faster in snow than I can on dry pavement.

The same thing occurs on wet or dry pavement, and you can use it to your advantage if you know how. It's a lot more useful than silly little front wheel drive parking brake donuts.

Why do you think it is that most police forces buy rear wheel drive cars [auto.com] ?

My car got H4X0R3D! (4)

Smuj (249217) | more than 13 years ago | (#516144)

[smuj@pepper ~]$ ssh -l root admin.yourcar.com
root@admin.yourcar.com's password:
admin# /usr/bin/honk -o /dev/horn
admin# /usr/bin/speed
Current Speed: 73MPH
admin# rm -f /dev/axle
admin# echo "Hahahahaha" > /dev/console
admin# exit

'Merkin Cars (5)

PD (9577) | more than 13 years ago | (#516145)

This car would sell great in the US. Here's a list of the strong points:

1) Big doors to allow 300+ lb. people to get in and out.
2) Lots of headroom for teased hairdos and cowboy hats
3) Great big wheels for running over tiny animals
4) Antique appearance - this definitely looks like your father's Buick
5) Gigantic engine, because driving 55 in the fast lane is better with 350 horsepower.
6) Probably zillions of beer^H^H^H^Hcupholders
7) Bench seats so the lard doesn't get pinched, plus there's a place to put a whole tray of hot dogs.
8) 22 inch wheels - just like your teenager's Honda Civic
9) Pushrod engine technology - fuck that DOHC shit. This car looks old, so why not use old fashined engines too? Grampa won't get confused when he looks under the hood.

Remember the car that Homer Simpson designed? This is just like it.

Don't shoot me. I'm just the messenger.
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