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Renault Opens Up the 'Car As a Platform'

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the what-could-possibly-go-wrong dept.

Android 318

pbahra writes "Renault has launched what it describes as a 'tablet,' an integrated Android device built into its next range of cars, effectively opening the way to the car-as-a-platform. At the Le Web conference last year, Renault's chief executive, Carlos Ghosn, announced the company's intention to open up the car to developers, safety considerations not withstanding. 'The car is becoming a new platform,' said Mr. Hoffstetter. He said the seven-inch device can be controlled by voice recognition or by buttons on the steering wheel. 'We need help now,' he said. 'We need developers to work on apps.' When it launches, there will be about 50 apps bundled with the device, mostly written by Renault. 'We will open a Renault app store for people to download their own apps,' he said." While I like the idea of such apps for certain purposes — a maintenance interface, less-inconvenient navigation and stereo controls, interesting driving stats — I'm skeptical of the average driver's ability to use one of these without turning his car into a 3,000-lb angry bird.

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318 comments

Or, translated in plain english (4, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331074)

The automotive market is ultra-saturated, fewer people buy cars because of the crisis these days, so we'll come up with any useless concept to sell them.

Re:Or, translated in plain english (3, Insightful)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331090)

And you get car malware.

Re:Or, translated in plain english (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331138)

Already had one of those, I've owned a Ford.

Re:Or, translated in plain english (4, Insightful)

eXFeLoN (954179) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331690)

Funny thing is, I've driven my Ford 272226 miles as of today with very minor repair work done. Maybe in your case, to use a computer analogy, it's user error?

Re:Or, translated in plain english (4, Funny)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331362)

"And you get car malware."

Could be worse. Could be Microsoft/Ford Sync.

Re:Or, translated in plain english (3, Funny)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331146)

New show on "SyFy" network:

Hack My Ride

Re:Or, translated in plain english (5, Funny)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331234)

Your car drives you to a remote location, locks your doors and refuses to relinquish control until you buy $1000 worth of generic viagra.

Re:Or, translated in plain english (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331376)

You need generic viagra to jerk off to internet porn in your mom's basement?

Re:Or, translated in plain english (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331580)

The malware is that you're driving a Renault.

Re:Or, translated in plain english (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331914)

You son of a bitch.

Re:Or, translated in plain english (0)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332332)

True story. I hope my ex gf isn't reading this.

When I was younger, my then girlfriend wanted us to take a late night weekend trip to a porno rental shack. The kind branding an XXX on a small road sign. The entire concept freaked me out. So did the store clerk. I really wanted to go incognito, but she didn't have time for that. Now I know what your thinking. A girl wants to shop for a porno flick by the guy objected, WTF??? Ya I know, but she was a freak and often not in a good way. Anyways, when we walked out to get my car I noticed the keys locked inside it. I called a wrecker to open the door. This 17 yr old rookie on the job instead busted my window from applying too much force. Now we have a bunch of people standing around the parking lot and people slowing down on the street as they pass by. Eventually, the police shows up because my ex starts bitching (never mind it was her damn idea and my car).

I really wish I had OnStar that day.

Re:Or, translated in plain english (1)

Shadowruni (929010) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332382)

Cool story bro!

Re:Or, translated in plain english (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331220)

Seems to me we've taken technology far enough that a motivated customer could put together a design/welding/machining/mechanical crew and build a beautiful, competent automobile for less than the cost of many new cars from big makers. Sure, it would lack the R&D of a factory ride, and you'd probably want to limit the top end, but most of what goes into a car is pretty standard stuff.

Re:Or, translated in plain english (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331380)

My general rule of thumb is that mass produced consumer products are priced at the cost to produce a one-off/reverse engineered copy if your time & labor is not accounted for.

Re:Or, translated in plain english (1)

Capt. Skinny (969540) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332140)

That's more or less the vision of this company's [local-motors.com] owner. I heard him speak at PopTech a couple of years ago, and he has some very interesting goals. Unfortunately, they seem to be limited at the moment to helping you build that ugly-ass rally car on their home page.

Re:Or, translated in plain english (4, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331388)

That's very lacking in imagination. Having computers with UIs in cars is well established. Whilst they provide some useful features there are plenty of useful things third party app developers could supply.

e.g. Apps to direct you to car parks with space. And in future to an actual parking space. Or an app that accesses data in fuel prices and how much fuel you have in your tank to intelligently recommend where to refuel.

Re:Or, translated in plain english (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331774)

If people can't afford cars because of the crisis, they necessarily can't afford cars with those "useless concepts".

Re:Or, translated in plain english (4, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332402)

Not every car company is like the US ones. Renault is doing just fine. This is just the logical extension of selling your car with an iPod/USB interface.

Angry (Thunder)bird (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331076)

I have to agree with the poster ....... the more gadgets you put in a car, the more accidents you get.

One example, people driving off cliffs and into lakes .... because the GPS told them too.

Re:Angry (Thunder)bird (4, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332210)

Blaming people driving off cliffs and into lakes on GPS devices is a little like blaming car accidents on the consumption of bread the prior day. Yes there is a correlation, but that doesn't make it the cause. Barring mechanical failure, or a road hazard, anyone that would drive into a lake or off cliffs is already driving their car in a manner that is completely unsafe, and an accident is inevitable anyway. Blaming the GPS for those kinds of accidents is like driving massively stoned and then blaming the the billboard for you smashing into the car in front of you because "The sign was soooo trippy...."

Re:Angry (Thunder)bird (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332464)

People already have cell phones in their cars, its about as bad as its going to get already.

They already HAVE angry birds in their car.

Thats not to say we don't need to address the fact that people fuck around on their phones constantly in the car, but its not going to get any worse because it already comes with one.

I can see no problems coming from this (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331084)

Basically what the last line of TFS said, but not from an accidental misuse, but because of someone who thinks he's "an awesome programmer/hacker" and somehow mixes his coolant fluid with the oil. (Yeah, yeah, not possible, hyperbole allowance).

Re:I can see no problems coming from this (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331396)

Another case where a walled-garden approach to apps is best. Let someone other than the developers and the drivers decide what is reasonably safe and what isn't.

so only the dealer fix stuff no data plan choice (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331604)

so only the dealer fix stuff and why can't you say have the maps from the provider that they want and you can't pick the the data provider for the 3g / 4g to wifi link that you want or use a sim from a other network so you can say get spirit over verizon or say get a Canadian sim for the time you may be in Candida so you don't pay insane roaming fees.

Re:so only the dealer fix stuff no data plan choic (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331790)

iPhone has a walled-garden store. Multiple map providers. Choice of networks.

Re:I can see no problems coming from this (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332240)

No, it isn't. There is no excuse for this system to have write access to anything that is a safety or basic car functionality feature. The ability of the system to create any unsafe situation beyond distraction (which is going to be there whether this system is involved or not) would indicate that the system was designed incorrectly from the start. Using safety as an excuse to force a walled garden would be nothing more than a con.

Phone interface (5, Insightful)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331086)

I don't really want a lot of intelligence built into my car. Instead of having a screen built into the dashboard I'd rather have a standard way of docking my phone so that I could use its built-in navigation and audio functions.

Re:Phone interface (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331156)

I don't really want a lot of intelligence built into my car. Instead of having a screen built into the dashboard I'd rather have a standard way of docking my phone so that I could use its built-in navigation and audio functions.

And that might be just what you're getting:

The device does not replace existing instrumentation, but rather provides additional services to both the driver and passengers. The device will have access to the vehicles telemetry information and will have mobile connectivity, allowing a number of mobile services to be delivered he said.

OTOH, Did you ever think it was possible that you could answer 'yes' to the question 'Does that car run Linux?'.

Re:Phone interface (2)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331760)

OTOH, Did you ever think it was possible that you could answer 'yes' to the question 'Does that car run Linux?'.

That was one of the goals with meego [meego.com]

Re:Phone interface (1)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331188)

Mercedes already has this.

Re:Phone interface (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331426)

Why on earth would you not want intelligence built in? You scared of Skynet or something?

A purpose built sat-nav device (from Garmin say) is far superior to the sat-nav built in to Android. The same will apply to other aspects. Better to have a specialist computer for automotive needs and a separate smartphone.

Re:Phone interface (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331482)

I'd rather have a car that does everything for me including driving me from place to place. I'd live longer, and get to enjoy the trips instead of getting stressed out over the traffic on a daily basis.

Of course, I don't have control issues like a lot of people do.

Re:Phone interface (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331766)

I'd rather have a car that does everything for me including driving me from place to place. I'd live longer, and get to enjoy the trips instead of getting stressed out over the traffic on a daily basis.

Sounds like you want a pony.

Re:Phone interface (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331878)

I definitely want to be able to use google maps as a navigation system (free map updates) but most importantly... sync up with my contacts list in gmail so that I have the addresses for most places already entered.

Re:Phone interface (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331940)

For under three hundred dollars (as little as $120 or so for a crap can) you can get a head unit with bluetooth including phone support. I get in the car and my $20 crapfone is detected by my $120 crappy jvc and if I get a phone call I press one button on the head unit and I get to yak it up.

Here's an app for mechanics (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331098)

I call it StuxRenault. Guaranteed business booster.

Hiring? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331100)

"We need developers to work on apps" So they will be hiring, just like other those other platform based technologies companies.

At last I can play driving games whilst driving. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331122)

I see no problem playing Asphalt 6 Adrenaline on this whilst driving to work. Or even better, Reckless Getaway. Just hope I don't get the tablet controls and the steering wheel mixed up!

Old News (1)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331168)

Mercedes has been doing this for years. First they did it with the iPod integration where the iPod was fully integrated into the COMAND unit and controlled by steering wheel buttons/paddles with the display routed to the cockpit display. Next was the iPhone integrated into the smartcar and now the smartphone integration with full app support.

Obsolesence (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331178)

The real problem is that the hardware will be hilariously outdated in 18-24 months, whereas the car has a much longer expected lifespan.

Re:Obsolesence (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331394)

Only a "problem" depending on whose perspective you are looking at.

Re:Obsolesence (4, Interesting)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331466)

Compare and contrast with Voyager 1. Made 35 years ago, and the technology is so reliable it's still sending data back home from outside of the solar system.

For cars I can imagine something similar to car audio. You get something up-to date with a new car, and you put up with the fact that it ages. Eventually someone purchases it as a used car and decides the audio isn't good enough, and fits an updated one.

Between those two points, the actual music (the apps) change with the times, even if the hardware doesn't.

Re:Obsolesence (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331524)

I don't want my car to turn into a computer. There are a dozen computers in my house and when I was working, there were computers in every room I walked into. Computer hardware turns into junk in a few years and the most valuable part ends up being the power cord; I don't need my car to be junked because the hardware is no longer supported or the software has fatal security "issues".

Re:Obsolesence (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332252)

Too late. Your car already has a computer.

Re:Obsolesence (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332366)

Quite possibly more computers than your house.

Sounds like a downgrade (4, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331180)

While I'm a big Android supporter, having Android in your car sounds (mostly) like a downgrade. The in-car systems now are VASTLY more reliable than and smartphone/tablet I've come across, and running very reliable real-time OSes like QNX. Unlike phones, they have to meet the regulatory requirements of all other new car parts... being fully functional for 10 years, and working on the last day of the 10th year exactly like they did on day 1. It's a very different model.

The desire to have better in-car navigation systems is completely understandable, but car companies are well aware of this need as well, and will soon be addressing these concerns without throwing away their entire systems. (No, I can't provide any details)

The fragmentation of smartphone platforms is much more significant of an issue than in-car systems. Apps need to be cheap or free to entice end users. But when it's bundled with your vehicle, even a couple hundred bucks for an app is lost in the noise of the car's sticker price. With that kind of money available, in-car systems can be as fragmented as the manufacturers want, and they'll still attract developers because the smaller market and specialized skills are more than made up for by the larger sale price.

Re:Sounds like a downgrade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331810)

Not àll car parts last for 10 years.. though manufacturers have to make and carry X amount of extra parts to replace any bads ones over a set time.

Theres even been electronic systems that have had pretty bad bugs that needed firmware updates within a couple of years of release (for example the 07-10 CRV needed a reflash to fix a bug in the transmission software)

Re:Sounds like a downgrade (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331952)

And QNX (Now owned by RIM) has been in the embedded car market for years so it is already integrated with all the drive systems. They have even opened up the platform. [qnx.com] In fact for everyone espousing RIM's death because of their missteps with the BlackBerry platform should take a look at all the places QNX is entrenched. [qnx.com]

It's not the whole car, just the console (3, Insightful)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332098)

They won't be running all car computer systems on this, only the display/console bit. Brakes, engine, climate and all those computers will still be the same, connected via CAN buses and all that.

The worrisome bit is that car manufacturers are once again getting away with proprietary hardware hookups, so it's hard to replace your "car stereo" or "navigation device" once it becomes obsolete. There was a time where you could just get a DIN or double DIN car stereo and put it in your car, regardless of what brand car or what brand stereo you'd like to get. It seems those days are over and we'll once again be forced to use overpriced proprietary devices that age much quicker than the vehicle.

Re:Sounds like a downgrade (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332266)

Citation please. I don't think I have seen a single car that didn't have SOME part fail within the first 10 years. The entertainment system failing in in some way in less time than that is down right common.

"Car as a platform" (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331186)

Or, more accurately, a car with an Android phone inside it, much like mine is now.

It's a gimmick, not the future of either cars or..uh..telephones.

Stability? (2)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331210)

You could fall if you stand over a moving platform

Speaking as a road user not in a 4,000lb box.... (4, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331238)

Speaking as a road user who is not in a 4,000lb box - this is the last thing we need. Apps for your car? Seriously?

Hang up the phone.
Drink the coffee at your home/work/coffee shop.
Stop texting.
Stop picking out your favorite song on the playlist.

DRIVE. YOUR. CAR. Please. Your car is not an entertainment system, smartphone, web browser, etc. It's a powerful, heavy, moving object. Capable of inflicting life-altering or mortal injuries and enormous property damage, which must be piloted accurately to within less than a few feet at speeds humans were never designed to travel. Treat it as such, which means PAY ATTENTION and keep BOTH HANDS ON THE WHEEL and your EYES ON THE ROAD. Nowhere else, any time your vehicle is moving.

I'm tired of people telling me, "gosh, bicycle? It's SO DANGEROUS!". Yeah, guess why? It's because the same person who declared it "dangerous" can't for one second take seriously piloting a machine capable of so much death and destruction, and instead is texting someone while sipping a mocha grande while checking out that cute person in the shop window.

You want to know why it's so dangerous to jog or walk or cycle along the road? Look in the mirror., across the table at dinner or a business meeting.

It doesn't help that running over a cyclist or (sometimes) a pedestrian is an almost guaranteed way to get away with murder. 99% of the time, the most the driver gets is a traffic ticket for saying "oh, I was changing radio stations" or "the sun got in my eyes." Hell, one asshole in Colorado recently claimed it was "new car smell" in his Mercedes S-class that caused him to pass out, hit a cyclist, and then drive on without stopping until he was across town, where upon he put the damaged bits of his car in the trunk and called for roadside assistance (not 911) for a tow.

Re:Speaking as a road user not in a 4,000lb box... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331262)

Yeah I agree with everyth... -- WAIT! Did you say humans were designed?

Poof! Credibility gone.

Re:Speaking as a road user not in a 4,000lb box... (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332300)

Not quite, SuperBanana said

which must be piloted accurately to within less than a few feet at speeds humans were never designed to travel.

Which could mean either that humans were designed for different speeds, or not designed at all. Also, what verb would you use in place of "designed"? I don't believe that it is the best verb for this purpose, but I can't think of a different one.

Re:Speaking as a road user not in a 4,000lb box... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331350)

cyclists deserve to die anyway. they all suck.

Re:Speaking as a road user not in a 4,000lb box... (0)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331404)

Look in the mirror., across the table at dinner or a business meeting.

I don't think that would help...

Re:Speaking as a road user not in a 4,000lb box... (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331424)

DRIVE. YOUR. CAR. Please. Your car is not an entertainment system, smartphone, web browser, etc. It's a powerful, heavy, moving object. Capable of inflicting life-altering or mortal injuries and enormous property damage, which must be piloted accurately to within less than a few feet at speeds humans were never designed to travel. Treat it as such, which means PAY ATTENTION and keep BOTH HANDS ON THE WHEEL and your EYES ON THE ROAD.

I heartily agree with you. Cars are dangerous and should be treated with proper respect. Every single god damn day there are news of people crashing or hitting someone, and in almost every case it's because of lack of respect for the dangers a car poses. It's easy to dismiss all the warnings and claim you're totally in control, but when you eventually end up in an accident it's not a laughing matter anymore and you could well have destroyed complete families in the process.

Re:Speaking as a road user not in a 4,000lb box... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331440)

As a walker, I've noticed it is usually drivers of upscale vehicles (BMW is especially bad) that try to kill me as I cross streets.

I always assumed it was that only assholes bought status symbol cars, but maybe it isn't just that. Maybe those cars with all the silly worthless crap like windshield wipers for the headlights have more worthless, but distracting, entertainment crap inside them too.

Re:Speaking as a road user not in a 4,000lb box... (2)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331476)

I kinda agree, but on the other hand this could provide real world relief for the distractions that people are going to do anyway. I dread to think how many people have died because of retarded interfaces on car radios. This is something that's gotten harder over the years. A nice voice-activated or large-button touch interface OTOH would mean people taking their eyes off the road for less time.

Re:Speaking as a road user not in a 4,000lb box... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331502)

It doesn't help that running over a cyclist or (sometimes) a pedestrian is an almost guaranteed way to get away with murder.

I understand that you're trying to make an important point about human life and civic responsibility, but as a pedantic, Slashdot-reading nerd, I'm duty-bound to point out that you'd merely be getting away with manslaughter. Now please carry on.

Re:Speaking as a road user not in a 4,000lb box... (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332310)

And to be equally pedantic, there was an episode of Quincy where the driver murdered the pedestrian. Of course, Quincy didn't let him get away with it.

Re:Speaking as a road user not in a 4,000lb box... (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331514)

On the one hand, yes. On the other hand, the quicker we hand over the actual driving to the computers the better.

Between those two extremes there's room for apps that add safety. That warn of a driver that's likely to jump a red light. That alert the driver to vehicles in blind spots etc.

Heck I think satnav has added to safety. Whilst it has distracted some people, it's also stopped other people trying to read paper maps whilst driving.

Re:Speaking as a road user not in a 4,000lb box... (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331630)

Heck I think satnav has added to safety.

Quite often using satnav allows me to anticipate side roads well before I can actually see that is there *is* a road. Especially in the dark when there's trees or cars blocking the view just knowing that there is a road helps a lot in my opinion.

Heck, in order to pass the driver's exam I have to demonstrate being able to operate the thing and make use of it to find my way, might as well reap the benefits while I'm at it.

Re:Speaking as a road user not in a 4,000lb box... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331598)

Given the number of cars on the road there are a lot of bad/impared drivers and that's not going to change. They hit cars, bikes, pedestrians, people changing tires, trees, houses, low flying aircraft, etc. You put yourself on the same roads with them (which weren't designed for sharing high and low speed traffic). What do you think is going to happen? Yes, folks need to pay attention when driving. Accidents happen. One person gets a new mirror and the other gets flowers at the side of the road.

So bicyclists: FOLLOW. THE. LAWS.

Hang up the phone.
Drink the coffee at your home/work/coffee shop.
Stop texting.
Stop picking out your favorite song on the playlist.

And... Don't run stopsigns and red lights. Don't split lanes. Don't drive the wrong way. When on sidewalks or in crosswalks follow those laws. Pull over and let vehicles pass where required to do so. Make sure your bike has brakes, lights, and reflectors as required by local laws. Keep both hands on the handlebars. Wear helmets where required. Only pass on the right where allowed. Yield to pedestrians. Signal turns and stops (and at the distance) as required by law.

And when something happens and we get too close or you get scared, don't yell or slap my car or engage in some other kind of road rage behavior. And if you do, don't limit yourself to the mom with kids or the middleage guy or anyone that is too smart to react to it. Also do it to the big angry guys and the carload of thugs. If you don't, you're a coward.

Re:Speaking as a road user not in a 4,000lb box... (0)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331696)

I'm tired of people telling me, "gosh, bicycle? It's SO DANGEROUS!". Yeah, guess why? It's because the same person who declared it "dangerous" can't for one second take seriously piloting a machine capable of so much death and destruction, and instead is texting someone while sipping a mocha grande while checking out that cute person in the shop window.

Uh, no. It's because you travel less than a quarter of the speed of the vehicles you're traveling with, you're likely to instantly die if you're involved in a collision with a car, and you think traffic rules don't apply to you. It doesn't matter how good all the drivers in the world become, you're still greatly increasing the chance of a tragedy by riding your bicycle on a road designed for cars.

You are willingly putting yourself into a dangerous situation, you really own up to it.

Re:Speaking as a road user not in a 4,000lb box... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38332430)

I am not a cyclist. I have seen cyclists who are jackasses and put themselves in danger. I've seen drivers who are jackasses as put everyone in danger. I've also seen examples of both who aren't dangerous. I know that stereotyping those silly spandex-wearing folks is a cool thing to do, but don't pretend that you're actually correct.

Re:Speaking as a road user not in a 4,000lb box... (2)

jrumney (197329) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332096)

You want to know why it's so dangerous to jog or walk or cycle along the road? Look in the mirror.

I do that every morning while shaving on my way to work. I assure you that it didn't help me avoid all the joggers and cyclists that stupidly got in the way of my car though.

Re:Speaking as a road user not in a 4,000lb box... (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332124)

on the other side of this coin, where I live we have thousands of miles of quite low trafic roads, and where do the cyclist decide to do their ass wiggling? Thats right folks ... right down the fucking middle of one of the most windy 2, congested 55MPH highway in the city.

Brilliant

Re:Speaking as a road user not in a 4,000lb box... (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332386)

Hm. As a biker, do you obey all the traffic laws? Complete stop at all stop signs, never go through lights, no riding on sidewalks or using crosswalks or passing slow or stopped traffic on the right in the non-lane between traffic and parked cars or the curb?

Speaking as someone who moved from a place where bikers DO obey traffic laws to somewhere where nobody, bikes, cars or pedestrians, obeys traffic laws, if there's a problem it seems to very rarely be exclusively with the drivers.

Re:Speaking as a road user not in a 4,000lb box... (1)

ks*nut (985334) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332448)

Yes, there are assholes piloting bicycles. You just never hear about them killing anyone.

Like texting and driving (1)

rust627 (1072296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331270)

I'm skeptical of ANY driver's ability to use one of these without turning his car into a 3,000-lb angry bird.

Fixed it for you

Really. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331304)

Is this much complication of an existing purpose-built and already complicated machinery, necessary ?

no, please, no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331352)

people can't drive and use a mobile, the last thing we need is some idiot playing with a screen while driving. And I don't mean adjusting the air-con, I mean spending more time with the screen than the road ahead!

Fuck Renault (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331368)

Renault is the worst car manufactrurer, plus its logo looks like a vagina.

Captain Renault (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332368)

plus its logo looks like a vagina.

I am shocked, shocked to discover a French company having a vagina-shaped logo.

I didn't find it that vagina-shaped.

Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331406)

Well, it's about time.

Translation... (5, Insightful)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331408)

Translation...Your car will now cost even MORE to keep fully functional.

Seriously, retired automotive mechanic here.

Does anyone really think auto-repair shops actually fix this stuff? They do not, for one reason--they are far too complex for the average mechanic to understand, let alone repair. Stuff like this, and others (electronic compasses built into rear view mirrors, sound systems, navigation systems, etc) are simply removed from the vehicle and replaced with a new one when they have failed. At best, the device is sent off to the original manufacturer for repairs--the cost of repairs and shipping is passed onto you. Cars now require specialists, much like the medical field, as a result of the continuing "advancements" and most shops cannot afford to employ these specialists. The result is not having any choice but to bring the vehicle to the dealer for "repairs".

On another note, most new-car dealerships make more from their repair departments then their sales departments.

but some times this smart stuff locks out basic (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331554)

car repairs on things that are not the electronic compasses built into rear view mirrors, sound systems, navigation systems, etc. But the dealer has the info to fix it but not the non dealer places.

Re:Translation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331850)

Im getting into car mechanics as a casual hobby and I dont like the high tech, disposable nature of modern car equipment either. I love working on my car! Having said that, I would love a tablet based monitoring system where i can get precise fluid levels and temperatures, tire wear, how much the car is veering to the side, god theres probably heaps of handy and interesting stats that would be nice. Then again if the monitor for a particular system breaks then yeah its another cost haha.

This is not much of a threat (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331474)

Given how many French cars are sold in the US. Oh wait, it's NONE. This from an industry that once bragged that they have nothing to learn from the Japanese.

Re:This is not much of a threat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38332168)

um... the so called SMART car is 100% french.. not to mention Peugeot which is not popular but allowed in the us. also.. most of Chevy vehicles are not US made... Aveo = Korea the new "transformers" Camero = Canada. the cobalt, cruise, and sonic also made in Korea. Chevy Silverado trucks, and avalanche trucks made in Mexico... whereas Honda, Toyota, hyundai, and BMW have vehicles made in the US.. ALL of these vehicles have parts made....... in France.

Re:This is not much of a threat (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332424)

Ask Ford where it got the technology for it's modern diesels from.

screw apps and media (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331534)

I want a joystick interface- with one mode for normal steering + pedals and one mode that's push forward to accelerate, pull back to brake, leave center to stay at same speed.

Re:screw apps and media (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332162)

There's Open Source automotive control software listed up on Freecode/Freshmeat. Why not download it and add the joystick code?

DMCA / right to repair (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331538)

We need laws so all this smart car crap does not lock you into the dealer for all service work even oil changes. Why not make so that any shop can use the platform to get car diagnostic info in full or at the very least they should have the right to hack the software so they can get that info.

and do I need 2 Battery's to power all this stuff? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331642)

and do I need 2 Battery's to power all this stuff?

Re:and do I need 2 Battery's to power all this stu (1)

ChrisMP1 (1130781) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331782)

No.

Re:and do I need 2 Battery's to power all this stu (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332428)

Three random troll posts in a short period.

Are you off your Ritalin?

Open Source makes for SmartCars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331644)

They will develop a collective consciousness and take over the world, just like the apocalyptic movie -- http://disney.go.com/cars/.

Driving Distraction... (1)

InnerInsight (2514816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331768)

If I had a Renault and played angry birds as I drove, Does that mean if I cause an accident due to the distraction, I can sue Renault?

I'm skeptical too, but (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331884)

I see a lot of virtually identical comments about driver distraction, but none about reducing it. What about a PID climate control system that learns what temperatures you expect and when, and how quickly the cabin can get there based on outside temp and coolant temp? Sure, climate control is becoming more common but it's not everywhere yet. What about a better road atlas that's easier to use so that the driver spends less time dicking with the computer? Tune the stereo based on the GPS region. Hell, tune the engine based on the drive history and the traffic conditions. Use the vehicle logging system and fault codes to give the driver information that's useful right now instead of lighting a little picture of an engine on the instrument panel. None of these are new ideas but being able to put them all in one computer and be able to replace pieces of them if they suck is a fantastic idea.

Re:I'm skeptical too, but (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332416)

Yeah, my initial reaction was like a lot of other people's: this is a bad plan. But even before seeing your post, I realized that there's some positive potential there as well. Something as simple as leaning over to change your radio station is a mild distraction, and forces you to take your eyes off the road. Trying to dial through your music lists is far more so. With decent voice recognition, you could simply ask the car to play you a particular song or band. With the "listen to me" button on the steering wheel, your distraction would be very minimal.

I'm less than impressed by the systems I've actually seen so far, but you're right that the potential is there for something that could actually be useful and beneficial. Of course, what we'll actually get is an improved targeted ad-delivery system for your car. When it senses that you need an oil change, it won't just tell you that--it'll use GPS and AdSense to try to tell you where to go. :)

SAAB was first with this concept (3, Interesting)

kimvette (919543) | more than 2 years ago | (#38331894)

SAAB was first with this concept, in their IQON system:

http://media.saab.com/press-releases/2011-03-01/world-first-saab-saab-iqon-open-innovation-car-infotainment [saab.com]

Too bad it will likely never see production since SAAB is probably going to be dead next week. (one could argue SAAB is already dead and the mortician just hasn't declared time of death yet)

New business strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38331984)

Isn't the reasoning behind this obvious? The increase in damaged and totaled cars due to people fiddling with their tablets while driving will boost Renault's sales of replacement parts, maintenance services and new vehicles. Should help the funeral home industry too.

Developers (1)

codepunk (167897) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332068)

Quote : "We need developers to work on apps"

Hmmm, no the monetization in the android market sucks so bad I don't even waste my time hitting the compile button for a android release.

Many Possibilities (1)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332128)

With this sort of integrated system, and national networking we'll be able to enforce the speed limit. That would be trivial.

A real time tracking system would allow anyone who wanted to know where you we to know where you were.

Recording of what you were doing at the time of an accident would allow for determination of fault.

Multiple cameras would be able to record the accident scene, or interactions with law enforcement. There could bean interior camera, one out the front, and one on the other three sides.

Your car could be disabled automatically by the police if it is stolen, if they want to stop you to avoid a high speed chase, or if you're a deadbeat dad or your wife is mad at you.

You'd be able to have complete control over your teenager's driving, disabling the vehicle if need be. I can envision with serious integration that the car could alert home if the bad kids pulled into a beer or liquor store. Even more advanced apps might be able to disallow the car to turn into those places.

Seems a bit like a brave new world, powered by apps.

The only platform this is going to become... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38332196)

Is a platform for malware. A virus that locks all your doors and demands a payment of 1000$ to an offshore account? A little trojan that can remotely disable your breaks and floor your acceleration? No thanks.

OBDII? (1)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 2 years ago | (#38332276)

OBD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On-board_diagnostics [wikipedia.org] ) included in the car? No more trying to get a USB cable to work with a laptop just to read the stuff that's been being recorded by my car for a decade+ now?

Yes, have some.

Renault makes great cars. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38332298)

My family already bought 5 (just me and my brother). One uncle has another and finds it very good, too.

I don't own any share or sell the cars, nor am I an employee. Just a satisfied customer.

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