A number of countries – India, the United Kingdom, France, Norway, and China – want to dump or outright ban gas-powered automobiles in favor of electric cars. Politicians in California are mulling over the prospect, too. Mary Nichols, the chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, recently went on record as saying the state may ban cars powered by internal-combustion engines. Gov. Jerry Brown is interested too. And he’s not alone. California Assemblyman Phil Ting plans to introduce legislation that would prohibit sales of such cars after 2040.
Here’s the projected timeline the various governments have announced: Norway wants all new passenger cars to have zero emissions by 2025. India has a 2030 target date. Britain and France want to ban gas-powered autos by 2040. Meanwhile, CNN recently reported that Austria, China, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Portugal, Korea and Spain have set official targets for electric car sales. Whether they all will formally ban gas-powered vehicles remains to be seen.
Certain governments and technology companies are pressing forward to promote driverless cars. However, one major concern in the age of the Internet of Things is the degree to which the computer technology in these vehicles is susceptible to being hacked.
Former Uber computer security expert Charlie Miller told Wired earlier this year, “Autonomous vehicles are at the apex of all the terrible things that can go wrong. Cars are already insecure, and you’re adding a bunch of sensors and computers that are controlling them… If a bad guy gets control of that, it’s going to be even worse.”
And in the context of an overreaching government, the fear is that government apparatchiks could assume control over a vehicle, determining how many miles are driven, what routes are taken, or what destinations are allowed. Some even fear that political dissidents could be assassinated through such a hijack.