Car Software Should be Open Source

Modern cars contain more lines of code than Facebook or the Large Hadron Collider, and nearly as many as both combined, according to a recent New York Times report. None of this software is available to the scrutiny of either car owner or regulators:

Given the challenges of regulating complex software, some experts are calling for automakers to put their code in the public domain, a practice that has become increasingly commonplace in the tech world. Then, they say, automakers can tap the vast skills and resources of coding and security experts everywhere to identify potential problems.

“We should be allowed to know how the things we buy work,” Mr. Moglen of Columbia University said. “Let’s say everybody who bought a Volkswagen were guaranteed the right to read the source code of everything in the car,” he said.

“Ninety-nine percent of the buyers would never read anything. But out of the 11 million people whose car was cheating, one of them would have found it,” he said. “And Volkswagen would have been caught in 2009, not 2015.”

Code this important to life and death and the environment should not be allowed to be closed. Via Matt.


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