Windows on the Road

By Deane Barker on December 1, 2003

Wired News: Microsoft Software in Every Car?: Okay, they had me here right up until that last sentence.

“We’d like to have one of our operating systems in every car on Earth,” said Dick Brass, vice-president of Microsoft’s automotive business unit. “It’s a lofty goal.”
Cars with the Microsoft software will speak up when it’s time for an oil change. They’ll warn drivers about wrecks on the road ahead and scout alternative routes. They’ll pay freeway tolls automatically. The software running their brakes will upgrade itself wirelessly.

Microsoft software…running my brakes? Microsoft aside, I’d get nervous with any computer “running my brakes.” Perhaps if it controlled some ancillary feature like ABS or something, but for the core “stop the moving vehicle” functionalty, I want to make sure there’s an unbroken hydraulic connection between my foot and the brake pad. Drive by wire just freaks me out.



  1. Blue Screen of Death takes on a whole new meaning. If software could be updated wirelessly that means your car has some type of IP address. Which means security vulnerablities. You wouldn’t have to physically cut a brake line you could do it from your desk. Scary.

  2. There are many gentlemen in Washington or Langley that probably find this to be a great idea. Imagine how a high speed pursuit would end: airbags = disabled seatbelts = disabled brakes = hard Run

Comments are closed. If you have something you really want to say, tweet @gadgetopia.