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Fiat Chrysler Recalls 1.4 Million Vehicles to Patch Software's Security Flaw

Hacking a Moving Jeep Was Evidently Enough To Catch NHTSA's Eye

1 min read
Fiat Chrysler Recalls 1.4 Million Vehicles to Patch Software's Security Flaw
Image: Erik Vrielink

Today, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ordered a recall of 1.4 million Fiat Chrysler vehicles to fix a software glitch whose existence two hackers recently demonstrated by commandeering a moving Jeep.

As we reported yesterday, Fiat Chrysler, together with the hackers, had already devised a software patch and made it available to owners of Jeeps and other affected vehicles. But NHTSA evidently felt the need to order a formal recall, perhaps to spur owners to action.

The patch will be made available either as as a memory stick or through a download. 

Hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek demonstrated their skills by taking remote control of a Jeep on a highway. They turned on music, the windshield wipers, and the air conditioning system, then flashed their smiling faces on the center console display. They got into the system through its communications system, typically the most vulnerable point in a car.

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Chinese Joint Venture Will Begin Mass-Producing an Autonomous Electric Car

With the Robo-01, Baidu and Chinese carmaker Geely aim for a fully self-driving car

4 min read
A black car sits against a white backdrop decorated with Chinese writing. The car’s doors are open, like a butterfly’s wings. Two charging stations are on the car’s left; two men stand on the right.

The Robo-01 autonomous electric car shows off its butterfly doors at a reveal to the media in Beijing, in June 2022.

Tingshu Wang/Reuters/Alamy

In October, a startup called Jidu Automotive, backed by Chinese AI giant Baidu and Chinese carmaker Geely, officially released an autonomous electric car, the Robo-01 Lunar Edition. In 2023, the car will go on sale.

At roughly US $55,000, the Robo-01 Lunar Edition is a limited edition, cobranded with China’s Lunar Exploration Project. It has two lidars, a 5-millimeter-range radar, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and 12 high-definition cameras. It is the first vehicle to offer on-board, AI-assisted voice recognition, with voice response speeds within 700 milliseconds, thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8295 chip.

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