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Right To Repair - A Hot Issue or Big Problem?

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Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,005
    No worse than the greed of all the mechanics who gave the profession such a bad name in the first place. It's a circular dynamic that will take time to change. I think progress is being made, however, because of the increasing complexity of cars. It's hard to pretend you know what you're doing anymore.

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,738
    I think Amsoil and Amway operate in the same fashion.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited July 2015

    It's hard to pretend you know what you're doing anymore.

    The more you know the less you know.

    Won't be a bit surprised if one day GM announces that they screwed up the formulas for dexos based on someone's inaccurate assumption and they are switching to a different formula.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,329

    I think progress is being made, however, because of the increasing complexity of cars. It's hard to pretend you know what you're doing anymore.

    It's easy for some to pretend, its just harder to get away with it. Well unless they resort to the old price game then they don't have to know anything to try and sound knowledgeable.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "The timing of the VW scandal could not have come at a better time for those who want access to cars’ software, because it can be reasonably argued that the problems with VW may have come to light far earlier if auto and computer geeks had access to the software code inside cars’ engines."

    Opinion: VW diesel buyers could have discovered cheating before the EPA did (marketwatch.com)
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,329
    edited September 2015
    stever said:

    "The timing of the VW scandal could not have come at a better time for those who want access to cars’ software, because it can be reasonably argued that the problems with VW may have come to light far earlier if auto and computer geeks had access to the software code inside cars’ engines."

    Opinion: VW diesel buyers could have discovered cheating before the EPA did (marketwatch.com)

    That isn't the only thing that can be reasonably argued. Has everyone forgotten about the guys that hacked the Tesla and managed to park it in a ditch? The difference is, while those guys did compromise that car's safety, there is no substance to the assertion that someone else could have figured out what VW was doing. IMO, Nobody was going to catch it without first discovering the emissions levels on the highway and investigating from that perspective. The biggest omission to date is exactly what VW was doing with the injection volume and timing maps that was different on the highway than it was in the bay during the emissions testing. It isn't difficult to envision the system utilizing multiple injection events similar to other designs when it was in the bay to control the emissions, but exactly how did the PCM then control the injectors when out on the highway? Did it stop using the pilot and main plus injection strategy and just switch to a single injection event? Did they alter the rail pressure? Lots of questions here...

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I think it was a Jeep that went into the ditch. The Tesla hack didn't seem so dramatic. Both links from Wired.

    And it appears that the CARB people did examine the code per this NY Times story today.

    "California regulators changed tack, examining the company’s software. Modern automobiles operate using millions of lines of computer code. One day last summer, the regulators made a startling discovery: A subroutine, or parallel set of instructions, was secretly being sent by the computer to what seemed to be the emissions controls."
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,329
    stever said:

    "California regulators changed tack, examining the company’s software. Modern automobiles operate using millions of lines of computer code. One day last summer, the regulators made a startling discovery: A subroutine, or parallel set of instructions, was secretly being sent by the computer to what seemed to be the emissions controls."

    They only found that AFTER they had a legitimate reason to go looking and it took them a long time once they reached that point. In order to do this they first had to find out that the engine wasn't clean, then they had to try and figure out why. Part of that would have been watching the injection timing and volume calculations in the software, and backing that up with direct measurements of the output commands. They would of had to do that both on the road as well as during an emissions test routine to even confirm that there really was an issue.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "New high-end cars are among the most sophisticated machines on the planet, containing 100 million or more lines of code. Compare that with about 60 million lines of code in all of Facebook or 50 million in the Large Hadron Collider.

    Even officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration acknowledge that the agency doesn’t have the capacity to scrutinize the millions of lines of code that now control automobiles.

    One option for making auto software safer is to open it to public scrutiny. While this might sound counterintuitive, some experts say that if automakers were forced to open up their source code, many interested people — including coding experts and academics — could search for bugs and vulnerabilities. "

    Lots more in this other NY Times article also dated today.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,329
    edited September 2015
    stever said:


    One option for making auto software safer is to open it to public scrutiny. While this might sound counterintuitive, some experts say that if automakers were forced to open up their source code, many interested people — including coding experts and academics — could search for bugs and vulnerabilities. "

    100 0010, 101 0011

    While coding experts and academics might get involved, most people don't do stuff like that out of a sense of duty and goodwill. In other words there would have to be some kind of an incentive, which BTW is easy to figure out just what others might find with the same access. (some kind of incentive)





  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,329
    I can't help but see this as its own way to get a bug into the system.
    http://www.wired.com/2015/10/car-hacking-tool-turns-repair-shops-malware-brothels/
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,329
    How easily they overlook the biggest issue with these cars. Who is going to repair them? http://www.cbsnews.com/news/self-driving-cars-google-mercedes-benz-60-minutes/#comments
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited October 2015
    If you take the next logical step and everyone starts to share all these autonomous cars, the number of cars on the road will start to decline. Fewer mechanics and IT people will be needed to keep the passenger fleet running.

    Guess we'll have to retrain a bunch of "excess" taxi drivers and ER people.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,329
    If you want an independent shop to service your Tesla here is how they can get service information in the USA. https://service.teslamotors.com/

    Check out the prices.......
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    And two brake jobs will pay for the annual subscription....
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,329
    stever said:

    And two brake jobs will pay for the annual subscription....

    Actually the profit from two brake jobs would barely pay for the 24hr subscription and that of course requires the shop/tech to sacrifice that four hours of wages.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited October 2015
    Oh, you just throw too many parts at it and don't charge enough. :D
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,329
    edited October 2015
    stever said:

    Oh, you just throw too many parts at it and don't charge enough

    Looks like you are starting to finally understand, we don't charge enough and haven't had pricing at a level that ensures proper business growth for decades. But that is only addressing half of your statement. I can't speak for everyone, but I don't throw parts, period. All the times you see me outline a disciplined, analytical approach you are getting a glimpse into how the job should really be performed and the majority of the time the repairs that I perform amount to solving the wiring issue that may be at hand (no parts at all) or replacing the single failed part that is required to solve some issue. There are many of those repairs that the cost to do them when the scan tools and associated information and software are realized result in a net loss to me for having tried. That means instead of earning a living fixing some issues, I would have had more money in my pocket at the end of the day if we hadn't ever tried. Now if pricing was really where it should be, then it wouldn't work out that way. But that's not likely to change anytime soon.

    For all of the times someone has ever claimed that auto-repair cost them an arm and a leg, they have never once considered that it cost the techs their lives in comparison.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    [O]n Tuesday, the Library of Congress issued exemptions to DMCA that pleased many auto enthusiasts. In a ruling that also freed those who wish to modify tablets and smart TVs, the LOC said, more or less, monkey away.

    You can mess with your car’s software at will. Just not the A/V stuff or the black box. In a year, so the Environmental Protection Agency and other regulators can ready themselves

    “Once the exemption is in place, tinkerers will have more freedom to alter their automobiles without fear of reprisal, at least due to copyright laws,” Klint Finley wrote at Wired."

    Hacking your car is cool with us, says U.S. copyright authority (Washington Post)
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,865
    So VW diesel owners are going to join the tinkerer class? ;)

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,005
    No one is going to repair them I don't think. They will either be repaired by wi-fi or satellite, remotely, by geeks in India, or they will be pro-rated for use, and returned to the factory.

    How easily they overlook the biggest issue with these cars. Who is going to repair them? http://www.cbsnews.com/news/self-driving-cars-google-mercedes-benz-60-minutes/#comments

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  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 4,329
    The Washington Post left out some details on the ruling. Here is what they said about "land vehicles". Note the section that I highlighted.

    Based on the record, the Register recommended granting an exemption. The
    Register concluded that reproducing and altering the computer programs on ECUs for
    purposes of facilitating diagnosis, repair and modification of vehicles may constitute a
    noninfringing activity as a matter of fair use and/or under the exception set forth in
    section 117 of the Copyright Act, which permits the owner of a copy of a computer
    program to make certain copies and adaptations of the program. The Register also
    concluded that owners of vehicles and agricultural machinery are adversely impacted as a
    result of TPMs that protect the copyrighted computer programs on the ECUs that control
    the functioning of their vehicles. The Register further found that while two of the
    statutory factors weighed in favor of the exemption (availability for use of copyrighted
    works and impact on criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or
    research), and two of the factors were neutral (availability for use for nonprofit archival,
    preservation and educational purposes and the effect on the market for or value of
    copyrighted works), the fifth factor—under which commenting parties and federal
    agencies raised serious safety and environmental concerns—tended to weigh against an
    exemption.
    Overall, the Register concluded that while from a copyright perspective
    proponents had made the case for an exemption, based on the record, the exemption
    needed to be carefully tailored to address a number of concerns. Accordingly, the
    recommended exemption excludes computer programs in ECUs that are chiefly designed
    to operate vehicle entertainment and telematics systems due to insufficient evidence
    demonstrating a need to access such ECUs, and out of concern that such circumvention
    might enable unauthorized access to creative or proprietary content. The exemption also
    43
    excludes circumvention “on behalf of” vehicle owners, as a broader exception allowing
    third parties to engage in circumvention activities on behalf of others is in tension with
    the anti-trafficking provisions of section 1201(a)(2) and (b). Moreover, by passing the
    Unlocking Act—which amended section 1201 to allow unlocking of cellphones and other
    devices to be carried out by third parties “at the direction of” device owners—Congress
    indicated its view that extending the reach of an exemption to cover third-party actors
    requires a legislative amendment. The exemption also expressly excludes acts of
    circumvention that would violate any other law, including regulations promulgated by
    DOT or EPA.
    Finally, in light of the significant concerns raised by DOT and EPA, the
    recommended exemption will become operative twelve months from the effective date of
    the new regulation to provide these and other potentially interested agencies an
    opportunity to consider and prepare for the lifting of the DMCA prohibition.
    Acknowledging the views of the NTIA, the Register determined that a twelve-month
    delay was the shortest period that would reasonably permit other agencies to consider
    appropriate action.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited October 2015
    Yeah, that's going to fly. The eBayers will be changing their identies often, unless they're off-shore and won't care. EBay probably won't care either so long as they get their fees. Psst, buddy, wanna chip? How 'bout a Tornado? H2O mason jar? Garmin maps? 30,000 lines of code for only $10....

    The tweaking to zap the DRM on music and video exception - something tells me that that's not going to fly in the real world either. If you can see or hear it, you can steal it. Can't wait until the MPAA starts sleeping in your dashboard.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    In other news, the new Apple car can't be repaired except by geniuses (that'll make you want to go to the bar) and parts will not be available once a new model hits the showroom.

    Apple wants to kill a bill that could make it easier for you to fix your iPhone
    (Washington Post)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,005
    I've met some of these "geniuses" and I suspect the word has lost a bit of its original meaning. If you can play the piano when you are 8 years old, you are "clever". If you can write a symphony like Mozart at that age, then you're a genius.

    Certainly any intelligent person can be taught to fix quite a few things on their modern cars, but the question which nobody seems to address is----do they want to spend their time doing that?

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