Self driving vehicles and infrastructure vulnerability

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Winston

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A definitely worst case analysis:

Autonomous Vehicles? STOP THAT ****

2018-09-08 by Karl Denninger in Technology , 76 references

https://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=234159

There is a bill pending in the Senate -- which has passed the House -- that basically eliminates compliance requirements (with federal motor vehicle standards) for a large number of driverless vehicles.

Nader is going ape**** over this, as you'd expect (being that his history goes back to the Corvair, if you remember.)
But so-called "driverless vehicles" are potentially much worse than the Corvair.

At least with a Corvair you had to be an idiot (in how you drove it) and in the case of the Pinto you had to be hit from behind.
In this case neither is true.

The "sales job" for driverless cars is that it will "eliminate" DUI, old-age-related and simple negligence (such as crashing while texting.) Maybe. But that's no panacea, and what Nader is screaming about is only a small part of the problem.
Note that there are reports that Toyota is working with Uber to bring these cars to reality. They're not the only one; the entire premise of Tesla rests there long-term, Lyft is active in the space and so are many others.

While I have no quarrel with the premise of driverless cars they must never be allowed to become mandatory either through market pressure or government mandate of any sort, no matter how it happens -- and this includes privileging them in any way whatsoever over a vehicle with a human operator nor allowing them to collect and transmit data as well. In other words they must not be reliant on "always-on" connections, or even connections to anything outside at all.

Without these protections driverless cars can quickly become effectively mandated even without the government doing so. Such an outcome can be mandated on a quite-effective basis by industries that collude to destroy owner-operated vehicles and since our government utterly refuses to bring charges under 15 USC Chapter 1 in the medical sector what makes you think they'd do so if car insurance carriers made owning a personally-operated vehicle a $20,000 a year mandatory insurance expense? This is in fact the goal of most of the firms working in this space, many of them openly admit it, and it must be stopped right here and now.

... as soon as any attempt to mandate or materially privilege "autonomous cars" happens all freedom of movement and in fact freedom to live -- that is simply to survive -- disappears permanently. This is the future you have if you don't make this clear to both lawmakers and industry:

Every movement you make in such a vehicle is and will be tracked and sent to one or more organizations who own all that data and may do with it whatever they wish. They will do exactly that; this is the business model -- to profile, sell and screw you using same. You have already consented to this business model with social media, "reward cards" in the grocery store and the simple act of using a credit or debit card for payment.

Every person will be subject to being blackballed and killed or rendered permanently destitute through the simple denial of ability to summon or take a ride anywhere. Since these are all "private businesses" (just like Twitter and Facebook claim to be today, along with Microsoft, Amazon, Google and more) you will have no right to obtain such a ride anywhere, no matter the reason or consequence if it's denied to you. This is what you get for allowing so-called "hate speech" -- mere speech -- to be squelched, as well as allowing companies like GoDaddy, Amazon and Microsoft to "blackball" customers of what is a utility service. Under this very same principle every autonomous vehicle provider can legally collude and blackball you, rendering you a prisoner in your own home. If you live in a place outside of walking distance to necessary goods and services this means you die.

Every trip you take in such a vehicle is subject to the whim in pricing or even possibility of denial of completion by said firms with no redress. Such a change can be made in the middle of a trip as well. Decide to go visit a family member 500 miles away, get halfway there and suddenly the price doubles or the company simply decides to blackball the destination entirely. What are you going to do about it? Walk? Go ahead and try to claim "contract" -- if you survive. Oh, such a thing would never happen when the vehicle is in the middle of a gang-banger friendly ghetto, right?

Any destination becomes completely unreachable by pure whim. The companies will claim this is for "safety", of course. Maybe true, maybe not, but not your choice any more -- their choice. Want to go to somewhere in a "less good" neighborhood? Nope, can't. Want to be picked up in same? Nope, can't. End of discussion.

At any moment during which the government so chooses it can stop or redirect to a place of its choosing any person or persons in all such vehicles, by force, with no ability to override same. Since such cars have no steering wheels or pedals -- no user-accessible controls whatsoever, whoever has control over the airwaves and software has absolute control over your destination, travel and even your life. In the event you, or everyone become "persona non grata" at some point to some official there will be no means of due process, no means of appeal and no means to stop being transported directly to a prison or, for that matter, off an embankment and into a 200' deep body of water.

When such vehicles are hacked via their OTA links said criminal hackers can do any or all of the above including intentionally crashing said vehicle into one or more others, killing the occupants or simply shutting down the entire thing, leaving you stuck wherever you are. If you're in Death Valley when that happens, well, you're dead. So sorry, so sad, and since it will be blamed on said hacker the company isn't responsible either, not that it matters when you're a corpse.

All such travel, along with exactly who is doing the traveling will be transmitted and monitored over the airwaves in real time. This is already happening with Tesla vehicles over links that we know are factually compromised and monitored in real time. The government will obtain access to this either by legislative fiat or by breaking the law exactly as the NSA has already done in myriad other cases, and exactly nobody in government or these firms will ever be prosecuted for same. This will be used to suppress or murder anyone they wish should such become part of what they want to do. Since they will control the data such decisions will be made at a time, place and in a manner of their choosing designed to prevent anyone from being able to prove that's what happened.

Freedom of association, movement and travel is one of the keys to a society that has some resemblance of freedom remaining. The ability to do so without being tracked inch-by-inch has already nearly been rendered impossible because our nation is collectively too ****ing stupid to demand that we own said data and we have the right to control it, never mind jailing the **********s in government and private businesses that can and do abuse same. Major corporations and governments are colluding to track and identify people in real time, all the time, reaching absolutely everyone -- not just those on a "100 most wanted" list as is often claimed.

Self-driving vehicles take that weaponized information content and add the ability to severely injure, economically destroy or kill any person or group of persons at whim to what we have already given up and there is exactly nothing that will be able to be done about it once it occurs because at that point you will lose the ability to move that is necessary to put a stop to it!


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More potential issues:

 

dhbarr

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Wow, there's some serious dichotomy going on in that screed:
- no mention of drivers licenses, number plates, tag & title, mandatory insurance; all means by which we are currently tracked and/or coerced into doing / not doing a lot of things
- it sounded like the author is claiming that if such vehicles proved safer, cheaper, and / or more popular than human-steered, all humans would be in immediate peril of intentional harm wrought by corporations
- according to some lines of thought in this manifesto, the only solution is massive government intervention

Makes for a good sci-fi movie, but it sounds like the author is protesting the loss of a cherished fable ( the illusion of privacy of movement & association ) more than robocars.
 

Andrew_ASC

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They already had a driverless car hit and kill a pedestrian. I was hit by a driverable pick up truck last year while on foot at 10 mph or less, it was lifted on big shocks and tires. I went under it and slide twenty feet forward rather unharmed. The manned vehicle actually attempted to stop the moment contact occurred. This was at a marked crosswalk.

Rather than get angry, I thanked the driver that his truck was lifted as I only had light bruises and a bloody scuff mark. I patted the stranger on the back and told him to drive safer that I was okay for being hit by a truck. He told me the sun glint obstructed his vision. I wasn’t going to sue him for that bullsh*t. I looked towards the sun and there was no way the driver saw the poorly marked cross walk. It hurt like hell for two days after adrenaline wore off, but I lived. He offered to take me to hospital. I only took a bandaid. A robot car wouldn’t give a damn. Nothing was broken thank god.

Some people I talk to actually cheerful want driverless cars and it scares me. They don’t care of the consequences of that driverless car having a programmed mistake due to physical sensor limitations or coding errors. There are too many variables. What rambling I am getting at is a robot won’t care if it runs into you. A human will care. Driverless cars piss me off. I hope they have a manual override if they ever become standard and forced into public use. I don’t think the technology for self driving cars is here yet but there is a strong urge by companies.

And what about all those trucker jobs, taxi jobs, and delivery jobs etc. They will lose a way of living. Millions of trained and skilled people.
 

KC3KNM

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They already had a driverless car hit and kill a pedestrian. I was hit by a driverable pick up truck last year while on foot at 10 mph or less, it was lifted on big shocks and tires. I went under it and slide twenty feet forward rather unharmed. The manned vehicle actually attempted to stop the moment contact occurred. This was at a marked crosswalk.

Rather than get angry, I thanked the driver that his truck was lifted as I only had light bruises and a bloody scuff mark. I patted the stranger on the back and told him to drive safer that I was okay for being hit by a truck. He told me the sun glint obstructed his vision. I wasn’t going to sue him for that bullsh*t. I looked towards the sun and there was no way the driver saw the poorly marked cross walk. It hurt like hell for two days after adrenaline wore off, but I lived. He offered to take me to hospital. I only took a bandaid. A robot car wouldn’t give a damn. Nothing was broken thank god.

Some people I talk to actually cheerful want driverless cars and it scares me. They don’t care of the consequences of that driverless car having a programmed mistake due to physical sensor limitations or coding errors. There are too many variables. What rambling I am getting at is a robot won’t care if it runs into you. A human will care. Driverless cars piss me off. I hope they have a manual override if they ever become standard and forced into public use. I don’t think the technology for self driving cars is here yet but there is a strong urge by companies.

And what about all those trucker jobs, taxi jobs, and delivery jobs etc. They will lose a way of living. Millions of trained and skilled people.
Er... human error is already a big deal on the roads. The claim that “people don’t care about the consequences...” is a little foolish. Do you not care about the consequences of humans driving drunk? How about driving tired? Driving distracted? You clearly don’t care about the consequences of human drivers. :p I think the point is to bring this tech to the point in which it’s safer than humans. What is better, human drivers killing 5 people or driverless cars killing 4? I feel like most people would vote for the former. Until we get this technology to the point where it’s damned near perfect (not just better than humans), it won’t be accepted.

I think this idea that we should shun technology that changes the job market is ignorant. Are we going to hold technology back so Billy can keep that job bagging groceries at the Walmart? Do you feel bad about putting buggy makers out of business with the car?
 

Andrew_ASC

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I’d feel bad about commercial truckers losing jobs.
 

grouch

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Scotty has it wrong. There is money to be made by all that are developing the technology or they wouldn’t be doing it. As far as mixing self driving cars with regular people driving cars, the people drivers will lose out everyday. Driving is a privilege not a right so they will simply deprivilage everyone and mandate the self driving cars out of “safety” or what ever. Rights have long been trampled on. Freedom to travel? Lace up your boots and start walking.
 

Andrew_ASC

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Yes. But I understand technology changed things. Caboose people lost jobs when flashing rear end devices were made for trains long ago.
 

KC3KNM

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Yes. But I understand technology changed things. Caboose people lost jobs when flashing rear end devices were made for trains long ago.
How is this any different? The economy changes with technology. Old jobs are lost, new jobs are created. It’s a competitive market. I’m not sure I believe that everyone should just be handed a job. The people that put in the effort to build skills are the ones that find work. Are you going to school because you have nothing better to do, or are you trying to make yourself more employable in the field you want to work in?
 

Winston

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Wow, there's some serious dichotomy going on in that screed:
- no mention of drivers licenses, number plates, tag & title, mandatory insurance; all means by which we are currently tracked and/or coerced into doing / not doing a lot of things
Oh, we're already tracked and controlled in so many ways. The danger he points out is that following the route we've already seen in social media where it is not government that limits what is determined to be free speech but corporations with their own political agenda it can be extrapolated that your ability to go anywhere via individual ground transport might gradually be eliminated by similar corporate forces.

it sounded like the author is claiming that if such vehicles proved safer, cheaper, and / or more popular than human-steered, all humans would be in immediate peril of intentional harm wrought by corporations
They would. Human drivers are too often idiots. Just saw a clear example an hour ago. The peril from corporate control would not necessarily be immediate, it could just tend to evolve in the direction he lays out for the reasons he lays out.

according to some lines of thought in this manifesto, the only solution is massive government intervention
ONLY in making certain that self-driving vehicles never become MANDATORY by any path.

Makes for a good sci-fi movie, but it sounds like the author is protesting the loss of a cherished fable ( the illusion of privacy of movement & association ) more than robocars.
He writes security software and mocks in detail other defective attempts at same. His technical revelations on that sort of thing are what in part led me to start this thread. Another site to reveal the world not much revealed in mainstream news coverage:

https://krebsonsecurity.com/
 

Winston

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Scotty has it wrong. There is money to be made by all that are developing the technology or they wouldn’t be doing it. As far as mixing self driving cars with regular people driving cars, the people drivers will lose out everyday. Driving is a privilege not a right so they will simply deprivilage everyone and mandate the self driving cars out of “safety” or what ever. Rights have long been trampled on. Freedom to travel? Lace up your boots and start walking.
That summarizes somewhat the point of the long column by Karl Denninger. As the traitor Snowden pointed out, IGNORANTLY assuming that his revelations would lead to reform, we already live in what he correctly called a "turn-key tyranny" and that's just the government side.
 

dhbarr

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Schneier & Krebs have proven track records and solid reporting, predictions.

This other feller is not, I assert, in their league.
 

Winston

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Schneier & Krebs have proven track records and solid reporting, predictions.

This other feller is not, I assert, in their league.
Krebs is an investigator, not a programmer. Same for Schneider I believe. Denninger established and built a major Chicago ISP and sold it just before the dot com crash he saw coming. He also predicted the global financial crisis (housing bust) for the right reasons. He predicted long ago the recently publicized exploits related speculative execution found in Intel and AMD CPUs and has written long diatribes on the technical vulnerabilities of cloud computing. I, at least, greatly respect his predictive expertise. The guy is a really cranky a**hole, however.
 

John Beans

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It's easy to have an angry reaction to something so new and weird as self-driving cars. But there are some great reasons why we need them, especially if you live in an urban area or travel on the interstate freeways.

Money
We spend too much money on cars that sit parked most of the time. Insurance is crazy expensive. Maintenance and repair are expensive. We are used to how expensive it is, but it's still expensive.

Driverless cars offer the ability to call up any type of vehicle you need (pickup, sports car, econobox) and go wherever you need for much cheaper than a car you own. No insurance needed (comes with service). Cheaper than calling an Uber. Never any keeping track of oil changes, tire pressure, and maintenance bills. Never a worry about parking or parking cost (in cities).

Don't go many places? Don't pay for insurance and a car doing nothing.

Most people don't appreciate how affordable self-driving cars will make getting around. Significantly cheaper than taxis, and more flexible (pick the type of vehicle, the quality level, your own destination/itinerary, switch cars as needed in every leg of a trip, etc.).

Getting Old
Driverless cars mean that no one will ever "take your keys away" because you get too old. You will always be able to go wherever you want, whenever you want, very affordably. No more failed driver tests when your eyesight gets worse. No one bosses you around, and you don't have to be rich to stay independent.

You can be 90 years old, call up a car, and tell it to take you to a house of ill repute, or a crack den. Nobody's business but yours.

Driving as a fun pastime will still exist, if you have the money to support it. Just like horseback riding, boating, flying, stuff like that. In fact, motor sports may make a comeback as more people want to do some driving for fun.

People Are Bad at Driving
And if you're still thinking: "I like to drive. I don't trust computers to drive," then you don't fully realize how bad people are at driving. They (not you, I'm sure) do crazy, crazy things thousands of times each day. Like, just incredibly crazy things that a self-driving car would NEVER do.

For instance:
> A self driving car will never suddenly dart across three lanes of traffic without looking to keep from missing an exit. People do this all the time.
> A self driving car will never get road rage because you cut them off a little on the highway.
> A self driving car will never drive when fall-down drunk
> A self driving car will never race other cars in traffic (even if it's a Mustang)
> A self driving car will never fall asleep
> A self driving car will never stop looking at the road while texting
> A self driving car will never drive long after its eyesight and reflexes have started failing
> A self driving car will never fail to look before pulling out
> A self driving car won't "forget" to use their turn signals
> A self driving car won't "get distracted" and drift out of their lane and hit you on the side of the road

There are flaws with current systems, but they are getting better. People focus on the accidents, but they don't realize that Tesla owners (the vast majority of computer assistance features actually being used) drive much/most of their highway miles via Autopilot without incident. If you see a Tesla on the freeway, there's a really good chance the person isn't driving it themselves.

Not Required (For a While)
It's highly unlikely that anyone alive today will be required to give up driving (at least until you get too old) in their lifetime, except maybe in some urban areas and on some lanes/roadways. Some cities like London already severely restrict entrance and parking to cars, and self-driving cars are a great answer to a lack of parking and too much congestion there.

Driving may even get a little cheaper as more people give up their cars and the roads get safer.

The important things to remember:
1. Cars are currently too expensive (especially for larger families in high cost insurance states)
2. People are awful at driving (not you, it's all those other people)
3. No one that's alive today will be required to give up driving completely in their life time, at least in rural areas.
4. Computers will quite easily evolve to be much better than even the best human drivers. No doubt of this.
5. Privacy concerns? Take your business to a company that protects it. And remember to vote for lawmakers who care about it.
 

Winston

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It's easy to have an angry reaction to something so new and weird as self-driving cars. But there are some great reasons why we need them, especially if you live in an urban area or travel on the interstate freeways.
Neither I nor Denninger have any problems at all with self-driving cars. What we have is an objection, for the many reasons stated, against making them MANDATORY.
 

Winston

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On the general topic of data security: We know that corporations sell our personal data, at least that which they don't manage to have outright stolen first, and government agencies display gross incompetence in the protection of same, but surely the FBI and NSA are extremely careful, right?

Report on the Special Study of NSA Controls to Comply with the FISA Amendments Act §§704 and 705(b) Targeting and Minimization Procedures (released to the public on May 10, 2017)

https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/icotr/51117/NSA_IG_Report_1_7_16_ST-15-0002.pdf

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