Can your smart car be hacked?

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Today’s cars ship with big brains. Sensors monitor everything from oil temperature to tire pressure and, on many cars, they can tell you exactly how many miles you can drive before running out of gas. Cars also are networked, and that means their condition and location can, in many cases, be monitored remotely.

“A car now has 30 to 100 computers in it,” said Kelsey Mays, consumer affairs editor at

All of that raises a big scare: could a hacker make that Lincoln Town Car that is ferrying you to Newark Airport do a 360 degree turn at speed on the NJ Turnpike? Could that hacker decide to crash it into a big truck transporting gasoline in an attempt to turn the highway into a bonfire?

Grim, macabre thoughts. Some say they are delusional.

But for now focus on Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who in a February report, made startling claims. His report said: “Nearly 100% of cars on the market include wireless technologies that could pose vulnerabilities to hacking or privacy intrusions.”

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