22 Replies to “I, For One, Welcome Our New Self Driving Overlords”

  1. “Should” I ever be so fortunate as to have a new car, it will REALLY, REALLY not have that feature. It’s been a favourite gouge of car thieves for several years, usually in malls – thief #1 wanders the mall with a superhet transmitter, thief #2 waits until the target car unlocks itself, then hops in, pushes the “Start” button and drives away.

    A real key in a real slot is much harder to steal; and, the car won’t start without it and quits instantly when you turn the key off – I’ve saved myself from one nasty collision with that. That Toyota that went to full speed on the California highway and then crashed, killing everyone aboard – the floor mat was found wedged over the gas pedal; apparently the driver had used full power to pass, only then finding out that the car would not slow down. But add the driver trying to steer at high speed while standing on the brakes (which quickly burned out), WHILE trying to keep his thumb on the “Start” button (in a violently maneuvering car that he really needed both-hands-on-the-wheel to try to steer) long enough that the car would take the hint and turn itself off – no thanks. “Off” means “Off”, not “Do you really wish to turn the vehicle off YES/NO?”.

    And, I’d love to have a self-driving car; I’ve never been a particularly good driver. But I think I’ll wait ’til it works and is reliable. Not holding my breath.

    1. It is hard to think in panic situations sometimes..
      Select neutral on the tranny, the engine has a rev limiter..

  2. High-end vehicles in Ottawa will belong, with few exceptions, to people who did not earn the money to pay for them honestly.

    I fail to see why the rest of us, crawling around in decade-old wrecks that somehow still run and we can somehow still afford to operate (in spite of carbon taxes and Jim the Fairy’s efforts to stuff us into his lemon O-Train), should shed a tear on a Lexus’ owner’s behalf.

    May the liberated Lexuses enjoy their new homes in Africa and the Middle East, where their new owners will have paid something far closer to what the bloody things are actually worth.

  3. Give me a keyed ignition and standard transmission. They’ll be the most effective detterent for the new generation of theives.

    1. Particularly the Standard Tranny…!!
      …a third pedal will be enough to completely befuddle the next gen…As it has already befuddled many.

      Keys are a good thing..

      What I dont get is this:
      My 06 GMC 2500 HD D’max SLE has: AUTOMATIC headlights that come on whether you like it or not – at Dusk. NEVER even a Possiblibity of driving without them on….yet I see late model SUV’s well younger than 2010 still driving with only their “DRL’s” … at night w/no tail lights nadda.

      1. No drive bys for you, lol!
        You could try a couple of clicks on the emergency brake, not enough to drag the brake but enough to make/unmake the switch, before you start or move the vehicle, that sometimes stops the DRL’s from coming on, brake light is a reminder it’s not released.. Works on my 1995 gmc 1500 truck..
        Also, some vehicles have a “personality module” that you can program in the car or via the fob, to turn the DRL off, I was able to, on one vehicle I own. Just remember the old adage “lights on for safety” (remember when we had to actually operate the vehicle?!
        Cars got smarter, people got dumber!
        As for the idiots driving with no tail lights and only DRL, I see at least three every morning and night I commute, I have a really bright flashlight with me, always, if in the same direction I’m travelling, I’ll pull up beside them and illuminate the road in front of their vehicle, then turn it off again, that’s usually enough to clue them in.. I’ve seen drivers hunched forward trying to see, with only DRL on, hilarious!
        Almost ran into the back of people in winter snow storms too, not so funny..
        I’m lucky that my old wreck has DRL and auto lighting that turn on BOTH front and rear lights and works so well, it’s hard to find replacement stalk switches, they hardly ever go bad, unless you broke it off the column!

  4. Re: “Toyota spokesperson David Shum said customers should take extra steps to safeguard their vehicles, including considering an after-market alarm system, steering wheel lock and diagnostic-port lock.”

    Sure, blame the customer for a poorly implemented marketing gizmo. I cannot understand what the appeal of “push button starting” is or remote starting.

  5. So glad my “old” (2003) car has manual doors and windows and an actual key to start the ignition! I do have a remote starter, but it only starts the car. Also, it’s a manual transmission, which is somewhat of a deterrent in itself, these days (manual being associated with having to do something, to work, to make it go) being a manual, in order to start the car remotely, you have to ensure the car is in neutral, park brake is applied, transmission in neutral and the doors have not recently been opened (car must be running in this condition when you leave it and shut off with the fob, to ensure it will auto start. If the door is opened before vehicle is auto started it will not try to start.) If started automatically and key is not inserted and revolved, stepping on the clutch or releasing the handbrake or engaging a gear, will shut it down.
    It also has an immobilizer function that incorporates a RFID chip that’s on my key ring, it has to see that as well to release the imobilizer. It also randomly locks out car to which a sequence has to be performed to reset it (that one threw me for a loop the first time!).
    The best part of the deal was it came with the car, which cost the grand total of $300 (entire car), so if someone is that enterprising enough to go through all that, just to steal my old wreck, they can have it!
    It would be easier to physically steal the car using a tow truck, or other means, but that means work!
    They should look at hiring “reformed” car thieves, like they hire hackers to design computer security systems, seeing as the thieves seem to have more intelligence than the actual designers!!
    I work on cars as a hobby and I also detest the push button, fob in proximity design as well..

    1. “I also detest the push button, fob in proximity design”
      I think it has to do with the ‘creepy’ feel to the whole exercise. The maker of the car seems to want the owner of his wheels to feel more intimately involved with the basic operation of the unit; you have to carry the fob on you to operate the car.

  6. Just bought my brother a faraday wallet (car key signal blocker) to hold his key for his new Toyota. Christmas accomplished. Dusts off hands.

    Now if I could only stop the TV from back-dooring my wifi network or those pesky Russians from hacking my thermostat. (the thermostat is really me but I’ve been telling the Mrs. that someone from Asia keeps dropping the temp in my house).

  7. I’ve worked in the consumer electronics industry; one of our offices did in-car electronics for various manufacturers.

    Believe me when I tell you that nobody working in this field knows or cares about proper wireless security. It’s not part of the design spec and none of the engineers has anything like the background.

  8. I have a Tesla Model X and as an addition to the FOB you can set it up very easily with a 4 digit PIN. You need bothe to get the car started. . I usually use the PIN feature when I drive to Phoenix or Vancouver Island.

    Great car..

  9. What!? Shipping the stolen cars to Africa!? Uh, doesn’t Canada have a customs service? Don’t they INSPECT shipping containers? SHIPPING the cars should be the MOST DIFFICULT part of the theft. WTH?!

    1. I believe they do not inspect outgoing shipments unless requested by police; they can’t even check all the incoming containers as far as I know. I would be surprised if the U.S. checks outgoing containers unless there is reasonable suspicion.

  10. New 1999 Chevrolet Lumina sedan. I had the dealer install remote door locks, genuine GM. When parked in downtown Toronto, when a streetcar went by, the trunk would pop open. Had to pull the remote door lock fuse when parked downtown, kind of defeating its purpose.

  11. I remember when Fords had two keys, one for the doors, and another for the ignition. Start the car with one, lock the doors. When it was time to go, unlock the door with the other key.

  12. When push button start came in a few years ago I thought wow; this is like the old Ford truck Gramps drove with the button on the dash only apparently Grand-pa’s truck was more secure because you still needed a key to turn the ignition on.
    A lot of the features on these new vehicles are unrelated to want or need or practicality but are simply gimmicks dreamed up by the manufacturer’s marketing and sales teams.

    1. true story:
      waaaaaaay back around 1963 I wuz wit me daddy who frequented auctions.
      one item was some really beat up old round-fendered sedan.
      with a button on the dashboard.
      folks sitting on the hood, fenders, leaning, etc.
      Im gonna push that button. hey, what harm?

      CHUG. the thing LURCHES about a foot.
      apparently the vee hic cull wuz in gear.

      well, it sure cleared all the ‘hangers on’. LOL

      true story.

  13. According to professional car thieves, the great majority of cars are stolen from places such as a 7-11 where drivers leave the engine idle at night, and all the thief has to do is get in the car and drive away. An enclosed car trailer is waiting a block or two away, and the car is off to Calgary or Vancouver to be loaded in a container and shipped away.

    Because a lot of insurance companies refuse to pay cars that are idling unlocked, owners come up with these fancy schemes that you see in the drawing, and just so they can collect insurance. How can you prove them wrong when the car has disappeared?? I would ask a Mercedes or Audi dealer if what is happening in the drawing is possible!!
    I’m not a locksmith or electronics expert, however that seems a tad overdone!

  14. A friend of mine bought a new Toyota Highlander a couple years ago. It has one of those fobs and a starter button. He told me that although the car can be started with the button, the fob must be within range and if the fob doesn’t go with the car the engine will shut down. The thieves must have a flatbed or box trailer pretty close by.

  15. suffice to say, am I at any time the owner of a ‘feature loaded’ vee hic cull, I WILL pay a mechanic friend to meet me at the shop around 10 pm on a saturday sose they can proceed to disable, remove, bypass et friggin CETERA, ALL the ‘features’ I choose to have disabled etc.

    anyways, aint echnology wunnerful !!!!!