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Open Source Electric Cars — Good Idea Or Not? 178

Posted by timothy
from the do-you-beat-your-electric-car dept.
thecarchik submits this interesting bit of flame: "Many are keen on the concept of open source electric cars — that is, electric cars where the built-in software can be tweaked, parameters can be changed, and in theory, the cars can be improved. Only it's a really, really bad idea. ... Even carmakers themselves have trouble with software — Fisker has issued a recall and apology recently with its Karma — so allowing average Joe to tweak the car's inner workings seems like a bad idea. Changing the characteristics of an electric car isn't as simple as re-jetting the carbs or swopping out the air filter." Whether software is controlling electric cars or not seems to me beside the point; access to the underlying software doesn't guarantee improvements, but blocking access to it doesn't stop car makers from making software mistakes — it only ensures that those few interested hackers who might be able to work around them have a harder time of it. (Not that tweaking car software is new, or going away.)
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Open Source Electric Cars — Good Idea Or Not?

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  • by ProfessionalTech (2620889) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:30AM (#39733129)
    But just remember to submit patch or post on bug tracking system from the hospital or grave!
    • by Darfeld (1147131)

      The point I think isn't that any Joe Nobody can make change and fix bug, but that constructors can produce the derivative product, cuting cost of developpement, and that independent car's repairman can do their job without paying what-thousand dollars to a car constructor for certification.

      As for private tinkering, It shouldn't be autorised for vehicules on the public roads, but it can still be interresting for stock-car amateurs...

      • by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @10:39AM (#39733795) Homepage Journal

        As for private tinkering, It shouldn't be autorised for vehicules on the public roads...

        Why not?

        It is perfectly legal today to 'tinker' with the software running your car today. You can mess with engine management, fuel/air ratios...etc.

        Why would you want it illegal just when changing from internal combustion engine, to battery powered electric engine?

        • by Medievalist (16032) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @11:11AM (#39734139)

          Many people want to make the things they aren't competent to do, or don't trust themselves to do, illegal for YOU to do - unless you hold special license. These people may well believe that they are inherently better than you, but they also have an instinctive willingness to obey authority figures such as Milgram's white-coated doctors [wikipedia.org] and government-sponsored certification authorities.

          In reality, you should be able to tinker however you will with anything you own, and simply held responsible for any harm that you do in the process. Full stop.

        • by Hillgiant (916436)

          It is perfectly legal today to 'tinker' with the software running your car today

          Not necessarily correct in all locations. Any area in with an EPA non-attainment [epa.gov], you will likely run into trouble when you get your vehicle safety inspection done. Yes, it varies. Yes, you are responsible for determining what modifications are legal in your jurisdiction.

          • by cayenne8 (626475)
            I've heard that some states do a sniff test on emissions on inspection, but not anywhere I've ever lived.

            All my inspection consisted of last time was to basically letting the guy turn on the ignition enough to get my mileage.....and that was it.

            But in the past, the most I'd had to go through usually was to turn on headlights, honk horn, and maybe turn on the windshield wipers....but I've never had any inspection hook to car computer, or check emissions.

            I hope I never have to bother with that...as that I

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:59AM (#39733415)

      Seriously? User-end software development now counts as hardware hacking? SERIOUSLY?
       
      Let me spell it out. Hardhacks are hacks which require changes in HARDWARE. Like adding a pull-down resistor to a flash ROM to keep your expired satellite service from deleting its own keys.
       

      Even carmakers themselves have trouble with software--Fisker has issued a recall and apology recently with its Karma — so allowing average Joe to tweak the car's inner workings seems like a bad idea

      I don't know any average Joe who can write enough software to make a light off an MCU blink. And who said that Fisker ever hired competent or experienced programmers?
       
      What has this world come to.

      • I don't know any average Joe who can write enough software to make a light off an MCU blink.

        The problem isn't the average Joe writing software. The problem, as it always is, is the average Joe downloading and installing a patch from www.trustmeimnotmalware.reallyimnot.com. Worms and trojans and botnets on the 'net are bad enough - but on the highways? Thank you, no. I don't have any desire to potentially place my life and limb at the disposal of some black hat in Siberia.

        The commenters above tal

    • by geekoid (135745)

      were YOU can create bugs.

    • by Idbar (1034346)
      This is great news, so can I submit a patch to make the backseat roomier for my passengers? or making the sedan a coupe?

      Ah... I forgot to ask. What do they want to make open source? The entertainment systems, the engine/injection CPU, the hardware?
    • Not good if YOU are the target in a product liability suit!

  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:31AM (#39733139)

    I'd hate to die in a huge interstate pileup because some dipshit decided to push the overclocking on his car too far and it blue-screened on him at 80 mph.

    Of course, many will point out that people have been tinkering with cars since they were invented, and that's true. But generally in the past, it took at least a modicum of skill to work on a car. Letting any douchebag with a computer plug in and play with any aspect of his car's functions is a little more scaring than a grease monkey putting in new headers on his 66 Mustang.

    • by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:36AM (#39733195) Homepage

      All the chavs of the world already know a guy who can install an illegal nitrous kit or whatever.

      Hardware upgrades scare me more than software upgrades. You're not going to get a massive increase in power through software alone. If they want to make their suspension more 'sporty' then it's their own spines that will suffer more than anything else.

      • Exactly, the hardware "mods" done to cars today already FAR exceed anything that could possibly be done on the software side as far as risk.

        • by geekoid (135745)

          Not true.
          There are a great many thing that software can control. There are cars out there where you can get 150 more horsepower with a software mod.

          Also consider this:
          If some installed a blinking light into their car, it's annoying. If someone screws with software to make a light blink, a bug could cause run away acceleration.
          A bug in software can allow that sort of thing to happen.

          The unintended consequences from physically changing the car are a lot less likely then from a bug in the software.

          • by Lumpy (12016)

            "There are cars out there where you can get 150 more horsepower with a software mod."

            No there are not. NO car on the streets can give you 150hp with a chip, stop believing the chip sellers marketing.

            • No there are not. NO car on the streets can give you 150hp with a chip, stop believing the chip sellers marketing.

              If that software mod drastically changes turbo boost pressure there sure as hell are. Usually this involves minor vacuum line plumbing changes and/or an aftermarket ECU/piggyback system though...

          • There are cars out there where you can get 150 more horsepower with a software mod.

            You probably believe that by running 7 lbs of boost you will double or triple you horse power. Also I have this great device that you can attach to you fuel line that will align and energize the molecules of your gasoline to create a more efficient and complete combustion of your fuel and there by see power and fuel economy gains of up to 20% or more.

            • horse power?

              He said 'hp's'. I can get hundreds, literally thousands of hp's by downloading stuff. In fact, they must have thousands of printer drivers alone!

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        They dont scare me. a idiot that drops a 300 shot NO2 kit on his honda civic will not b e a problem, as the idiot will blow up the engine in the first 2 blocks.

        Adding a turbo is also a skill thing, the honda forums are full of morons that slap on a random turbo and blow up their engines.

        Hardware mods have a wonderful thing of destroying the motor if you dont know what you are doing. 99% of the time they dont even get out of their driveway.

    • But generally in the past, it took at least a modicum of skill to work on a car.

      I bet there are a lot of mechanics out there that would beg to differ. I'm sure any one of them could tell you stories of people fucking their cars up thinking they're Mr. Goodwrench (although probably not as much as there used to be).

    • by virg_mattes (230616) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:46AM (#39733285)
      This doesn't make a lot of sense, because most of the things that software could do will only be minor tuning of specific systems, and anything that's likely to cause a catastrophic failure will usually stop the car before it starts. Even a blue screen will usually just cause the car to stall, which is unlikely to cause a pileup.

      Without hardware modifications, changing the performance of the car to any real degree (other than making it unable to run at all) is unlikely.

      Virg
      • This is perhaps not as true of electric drive cars with regenerative braking... Take out the regenerative braking (or worse, power during it) and stopping distances on hydraulic only could be substantially longer. Also, if the controller thinks it should be applying power there is no option to "put it in neutral" since there is probably no clutch or gearbox to disengage.

        • Take out the regenerative braking (or worse, power during it) and stopping distances on hydraulic only could be substantially longer.

          I own two vehicles with regenerative braking and the conventional brakes in both are capable of stopping in the minimum distance achievable given the limitations derived from the weight and speed of the vehicle and the reaction time of the driver (which is the biggest factor, incidentally). Also, in my vehicles, regen cannot be turned off in software. Also, in my vehicles, r

      • by Kjella (173770)

        Without hardware modifications, changing the performance of the car to any real degree (other than making it unable to run at all) is unlikely.

        I don't think you understand just how much electronics is controlling your direction and speed these days. With all sorts of anti-spin, electronic stabilization, adaptive cruise control, collision detection and whatnot the computer can and will gas, brake and steer on its own and disregard what you do if it's programmed to. Trigger the auto-emergency braking system because you mucked with it and your car will suddenly break at maximum ability without any warning. Or how about refusing to follow the turn bec

        • by Joce640k (829181)

          How is that worse than, eg., forgetting to put the wheel nuts back on after you rotated the tires?

          (And yes, you can get quite a distance with no wheel nuts before the wheel falls off - I've seen it done...)

    • nonsense (Score:2, Insightful)

      by rubycodez (864176)
      interested people already modify the car's computer(s). if your car won't stop when its blue-screened you bought a poorly designd (and perhaps overpriced) piece of shit. all good cars can steer and stop when "blue-screened". and by the way, if you can't steer your car without power steering assist you're a pussy who should stay in the basement. parallel parking with a broken power steering belt is merely annoying
      • and by the way, if you can't steer your car without power steering assist you're a pussy who should stay in the basement. parallel parking with a broken power steering belt is merely annoying

        ...saith the guy who obviously doesn't drive a diesel pickup.

        Seriously though, dead power steering is worse than no power steering...but with a heavier vehicle, it become exceedingly difficult. It takes all 180 pounds of me to turn the wheel of a HMMWV with dead power steering, and that can only be done when it's moving, and I'm far from a pussy, though some days it would be nice to stay in a basement. My Dodge Ram, on the other hand...well, I'm sure that's just as difficult, but I haven't had my power stee

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        " you bought a poorly designd (and perhaps overpriced) piece of shit."

        Like all BMW's and AUDI's with adaptive steering. if you command it to engage BOTH solenoids at once you lock gearing and lose steering. there have been reports of this happening on BMW's

        Let me guess ,You think your chevy camaro is the perfect car. Think again when you can disable brakes by engaging the Anti Lock system motors non stop.

    • by PSargent (188923)

      But generally in the past, it took at least a modicum of skill to work on a car. Letting any douchebag with a computer plug in and play with any aspect of his car's functions is a little more scaring than a grease monkey putting in new headers on his 66 Mustang.

      I don't see a difference. The modicum of skill has just moved disciplines.

      A Chimpanzee with a torque wrench could render a car unsafe to drive, but I'd like to see him upload a new firmware.

      Regardless, I don't see why it's felt that people employed by the car company are infallible. As a freelance engineer I move from company to company. There's a large proportion of engineers out there that have their hands tied because of office politics, are buried under red tape, are brow-beaten because of unrealistic d

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Yo mean click on a file?
        I suspect a monkey can click on a file. Cause, that's all you really need to do to load firmware.

        Car companies aren't infallible, but the will be liable, and they will be forced to recall and notify owners. There is a long and entrenched history of that.

        The vast majority of people 'improving the code' will have some sort of myopic vision of what 'improvement' means. IT is highly unlikely that they will be able to understand the totality of what the car does. What changing something b

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          "I suspect a monkey can click on a file. Cause, that's all you really need to do to load firmware."

          So I can click on a file, select the list of cars out in the parking lot and upload? When did this magical thing happen?

          OR are you ignoring that getting a ODB-II programming interface is expensive as hell AND not available at walmart.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      "modicum of skill to work on a car."
      and by modicum, you mean 'Use a screw driver'

    • Of course, many will point out that people have been tinkering with cars since they were invented, and that's true. But generally in the past, it took at least a modicum of skill to work on a car.

      Does it really? My mother got into an accident because some dbag for some reason took his wheel off, as in removed the lug nuts, pulled off the tire, for some reason also pulled the nut off the end of the axle, then put the tire back on and tightened up the lug nuts. You miss the important omission? No nut holdi

    • by cayenne8 (626475)

      Letting any douchebag with a computer plug in and play with any aspect of his car's functions is a little more scaring than a grease monkey putting in new headers on his 66 Mustang.

      People already can alter their car computers [chevyhiperformance.com] to mess with engine performance and other things.

      Hell, there are apps out right now for Android and Apple tablets that let you monitor your ECU in real time....for tuning purposes.

      You want to make that illegal now?

    • I'd hate to die in a huge interstate pileup because some dipshit decided to push the overclocking on his car too far and it blue-screened on him at 80 mph.

      Of course, many will point out that people have been tinkering with cars since they were invented, and that's true. But generally in the past, it took at least a modicum of skill to work on a car. Letting any douchebag with a computer plug in and play with any aspect of his car's functions is a little more scaring than a grease monkey putting in new headers on his 66 Mustang.

      I'd hate to die in a huge interstate pileup because some dipshit decided to change the tires on his car and didn't tighten the lug nuts properly and the wheel fell off at 80 mph.

      True story: My dad's wheel fell off his car doing 75mph north on I-25 outside of Colorado Springs in rush hour traffic. The reason: a cotter pin wasn't placed through the axle nut BY A PROFESSIONAL MECHANIC. These things happen every day, even those we trust fuck stuff up, we know this.

      Your analogy of tweaking a car's computer to re

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      There is a higher chance of a brake line failing on all cars made, than bad code causing a car to explode. Mostly because all cars are built with crap quality soft steel lines instead of stainless steel that is corrosion proof.

      Almost all cars that are more than 10 years old have heavy corrosion on the brake lines and have a significantly elevated risk of total brake failure. Because the car makers wanted to save $200.00 and dont care about your safety.

    • I'd hate to die in a huge interstate pileup because some dipshit decided to push the overclocking on his car too far and it blue-screened on him at 80 mph.

      Why don't we design cars so that software can't physically crash a car? Things like drive-by-wire should be illegal; all controls and linkages should be 100% mechanical.

      It's not even like there's a reason we need these things yet. Manufacturers are just doing it to make driving easier, simpler, and more dull. Anything that makes the driver forget they're driving a 2-ton dino-fuel powered death machine is a bad thing. No matter how they dress it up, it is what it is.

  • Easy Solution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:34AM (#39733167)

    Have it open source, but the car only accept signed code from the manufacturer. People can find bug and patch them, submit back to central place to commit approved changes.

    • by azalin (67640)
      That might even work. Not that it would happen in this wonderful world, but work it might
    • I would like to see it take an open-source model with a review board to make sure the changes are safe. I propose the review board is half computer engineers and half automobile engineers, and they will judge and pass/fail the additions with sufficient documentation on their decision so the proposer/person adding the code or feature can modify it to suit their approval.

    • by sckeener (137243)
      Someday a war will happen just like it did on BSG. The enemy will flip a switch and turn off all the vehicles.
  • Already exists. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:35AM (#39733183) Homepage

    People have been building electric cars for decades. The internet is FULL of open source electric car projects.

    Did anyone even try google before asking?

    https://www.google.com/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&q=build+an+electric+car&oq=build+an+electric+car&aq=f&aqi=g4g-v6&aql=&gs_nf=1&gs_l=igoogle.3..0l4j0i15l6.66739.69666.0.69806.21.21.0.3.3.0.188.1920.5j13.18.0 [google.com].

    It's the best idea to have open source everything. Building your own car, electric or gas is a wonderful thing and where real innovation comes from.

    Someones back yard shed or garage is the best place to come up with better ideas.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      "Someones back yard shed or garage is the best place to come up with better ideas."
      no, not really.

  • by mehrotra.akash (1539473) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:36AM (#39733201)
    So, why shouldnt the same extend to electronic cars (including safeties to ensure only modifications that the owner approves are allowed)
  • Provided there are safeguards to prevent someone from doing something really stupid with their car's software, especially as concerns safety.

    We're never going to eliminate tinkering; no matter how closed a system is, people find ways around it whether they like it or not. With safety concerns, I don't see why they can't have core safety software be read only (to prevent people from blowing up their batteries or something stupid) while still allowing people to poke around in less crucial areas to customize

  • Most open source makes it clear "no guarantee" "you are responsible" etc. When you're fiddling around with your computer, not a problem, you are pretty limited in the scope what you can really mess up (and your ISP has a pretty easy switch to cut you off). But, when we start looking at cars- most places have liability insurance requirements, because when things go bad, they can really go bad- far faster than most people have cash reserves to cover (in the case of someone else's injuries). How do we extend t
    • I'm sure that any insurance investigation would involve investigating the car's software if there was a question of driver liability. We're already not far off from every car being required to have a "black box" for the purposes of accident reconstruction and assigning fault. [infowars.com]

      Either we're going to be signing EULAs and ToS documentation when we take possession of a new car in the future that specifically states that any modifications are at the owners risk....or there is going to be regulation in place proh

      • by geekoid (135745)

        assuming it survives.
        "Black boxes in cars loose their data when they loose power. An actual black box would raise the price of the car several 1000 dollars. And of course, if the software is modifiable, the Black box can be fooled.

        hmmm. Now that I think about it, the black box would probably be made a lot cheaper by uploading a short state histiry whenever it has access to the internet...
        I don't like that because that means there would be a wireless attack vector,.

        In anycase, it could still be fooled with a

  • wrong (Score:5, Interesting)

    by miknix (1047580) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @09:48AM (#39733309) Homepage

    Many are keen on the concept of open source electric cars — that is, electric cars where the built-in software can be tweaked, parameters can be changed, and in theory, the cars can be improved.

    Operating systems can also be tweaked, parameters can be changed, and they have indeed been improved. Do you see average Joe tweaking the swappiness of his kernel? Also, opensource isn't just about tweaking but also contributing back to the community the improvements found.

    so allowing average Joe to tweak the car's inner workings seems like a bad idea.

    So what? Average Joe can also play with the inner workings of his phone, router, TV, etc.. does he do that? No, if he wants to mess with his router he asks to the geek living next door.

    lame

  • What if somebody else hacks your car? E.g. so that it won't drive slower than 80MPH, and if you try the batteries explode? Yeah, that particular scenario is probably impossible, but the point is that the electric car version of cutting the brake lines or making the throttle sticky, though harder to do, could also be harder to detect, and harder to stop.

    • it's 50MPH no 80MPH Pop quiz, hotshot What do you do? What do you do?

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      Security is exactly why cars should be opensourced. Today's cars have crappy security, at least with opensource owners would have a chance of fixing it. If you are afraid of an attacker replacing the entire code, that doesn't require the software to be opensource, the attacker could write his own from scratch.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      "What if somebody else hacks your car?"

      If they broke into my car, hooked up to the ECM, then powered on the car by hot wiring it so they can upload code? I think I have a lot of legal recourse on that. Or are you believing the outright LIES that a car can be hacked wirelessly or over the internet? Because none of them can be.

  • I am supprised this article made it on slashdot, it is almost downright slander against open source. It takes a single case, and uses it against all open source code. This is classic FUD. this is a SINGLE bug in a SINGLE product. How many recalls, errors, and bugs do more mainstream and closed source car companies have. Many are FATAL. Toyota runaway acceleration bug of two years ago anyone?

    After all the shit Big Auto has done over the years, and suddenly the open source model is under attack because of m

  • Which kind of software gets hacked more, open source or closed source?
    Which kind of software has flaws that are corrected more quickly, open source or closed source?
    Which kind of software is more flexible under unanticipated new situations, open source or closed source?
    Which kind of software should run your car? Easy answer.
    • Another arguments are:
      "Which kind of software is easier to maintain, open source or closed source?"
      "Which kind of software is cheaper to maintain, open source or closed source?"
      "Which kind of software is easier to enhance, open source or closed source?"
      "Which kind of software is cheaper to enhance, open source or closed source?"

      "I've always enjoyed, 'sticking it to the man.'" -- Unknown
  • by binkless (131541)

    Electric Cars have all been commercial flops

    Therefore Electric Cars are not a good idea

    Therefore Open Source Electric Cars are not a good idea

    Q.E.D.

    • by youn (1516637)

      it is not because something is a commercial flop that the idea is bad... apple worked on a tablet a while back, the newton and it was a flop... microsoft has been working on windows mobile for a while (ok bad example, please don't hit me :p )

      • Actually, wind blows semimobile shows what optimizing the bottom line for tomorrow morning can accomplish. Such experts did great things to HP, now they've moved on to some other accomplishment waiting to happen; that we'll find out about after the market closes.
    • Your Tensor has a flaw; golf carts? Also, a close runner up is the Toyota Prius. I wish more cars used Toyota's solution. I know, in good time.
  • no, not the whole car, the actual wheels micro code... that does not sound right :)

  • by gQuigs (913879) on Thursday April 19, 2012 @10:12AM (#39733511) Homepage

    "Carmakers themselves have trouble with software--Fisker has issued a recall and apology recently with its Karma". Perhaps they should not be allowed to use proprietary software code. Opening up the code allows for more control by the people who actually own the cars.

    Furthermore, in many incidents like the Toyota acceleration issue, having open code/data is essential for proper investigations and accident reconstruction.

    I for one, really do want to buy a car running on a RMS style of software freedom. I'm trusting my life to this car, I want to increase the chances a bug will be caught. I don't even necessarily want to make any modifications without the car companies blessing. At the end of the day, I'm spending >$20,000 on this thing, I want and should have control of it.

    So.. which car companies/cars are the most easy to modify by the owners? Have any car companies embraced this? If not for underlying systems, how about at least for the GPS/Infotainment systems?

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Toyota acceleration issues?
      You mean people who can't drive?

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      "I for one, really do want to buy a car running on a RMS style of software freedom. "

      Then buy a used car that has one of the completely hacked ECM's in it. No manufacturer will ever be open. you have to buy a car or platform that has already been hacked to be wide open.

      any older car from the 90's that has the 7730ECM is the ultra in wide open. there are custom firmwares out there for that ECM that enable sport/economy mode switching and other features you only see on the newest cars.

      • by Whorhay (1319089)

        I have a friend that wrote his own software to allow him to flash his Subaru Imprezza WRX's ECU. The software is now called RomRaider, available at www.romraider.com. Originally he called it Enginuity but apparently somebody owned rights to that already. Anways he could monitor the performance of his car in real time using a laptop, and he could make tweaks and modifications to change the performance.

        It was all open source and only possible because Subaru had made the code availabe. I don't know if it was o

  • ...Only it's a really, really bad idea...

    But it's an OK idea to work on petroleum product based transportation?
  • Ever since RMS conceived his scheme to get open hardware by giving away free software, the difference between hardware and software, with regard to being open or free is just a mess.

    An open source car, would have it's specs and software available for the public to look at, but not necessarily allow for the running of unapproved code variants, because the source is open no the hardware.

    A Car that was open hardware, would let you run your own code and modify components, without necessarily letting you see
  • by lwriemen (763666)

    One writer, with no discernible software background, using another writer, with no discernible software background, as a source. Both make assumptions that open source somehow attracts a lower skill level of software developer than than large corporations (who have been known to source based on cost rather than skill). It's funny that their supporting data comes from a closed environment.

  • At GM at least, the car software is written by real engineers, the kind that hve passed certification tests and are responsible for life and death choices. The people who do web sites and apps and call themselves engineers (ie, people like me) aren't allowed near that stuff. And for good reason: it's an utterly different skill set.
    • by Lumpy (12016)

      "At GM at least, the car software is written by real engineers"

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

      These are the same engineers that make the air filter change a 40 minute job where you disassemble the air intake.

      they are "engineers" only by name. They certainly don't have any skill, not anymore.

  • Some of the commenters I see here are asking whether this is one of those things you just don't want people fooling around with, since accidents caused by someone tinkering could cost human lives.

    To that, all I can say is, "Huh?" There's an inherent danger in driving or even just riding in a motor vehicle on a public road. We've all accepted that, since the positives seem to outweigh the negatives -- even though MANY, MANY people are killed in vehicle accidents each year. So how does one make the logical

  • Changing the characteristics of an electric car isn't as simple as re-jetting the carbs or swopping out the air filter.

    Or spelling swapping, apparently. Fortunately, people rarely do any of this themselves unless they already know what they're doing. Usually they just buy parts (or, say, EEPROM firmware) made by someone who does.

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.

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