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vehicles on any US street map and computing real-time fastest paths for a large subset of vehicles. The tools and platforms described here are free and open source from the author.


Vehicles today are built in long design cycles and with electronic architectures that are static in both form and function. Technology adoption is considered only at the beginning of the design cycle, frozen for the lifetime of ownership of the vehicle (~12 years1), and often obsolete within 6 years.2,3 In contrast, the vehicle of the future will be programmable with services for the long-term health and performance of both humans and vehicles.

Electronics and software for engine and cabin controls currently account for over 30% of the cost of an automobile, and this figure is expected to grow as vehicles evolve from mechanical to electronic to software-controlled to service-based mobile cyber-physical system (CPS) platforms. As new automotive electronic architectures are developed to enable remote diagnosis and reprogrammability throughout the life of the vehicle, drivers will be able to choose from a software component marketplace to enhance the safety, performance, and comfort of their vehicle.

Ensuring the safe and correct programming of the new service features is paramount. Automotive plug-and-play devices that communicate to and from the vehicle will allow new classes of services and customization such as online vehicle diagnostics, warranty management, networked infotainment, and integration of applications such as driver behavior and vehicle performance measurements for personalized insurance services.


Every year, approximately 6.4 million car accidents occur in the United States, typically involving three people (two drivers and one passenger). That translates to roughly 19.2 million Americans injured in car accidents each year, or odds of 1:16 for every individual. Several sources4 estimate that over 90% of vehicle crashes are due to driver negligence and therefore avoidable (Duri′c and Miladinov-Mikov 2008).

__________ 2012. Average age of vehicles reaches record high, January 17. Available online at

2US DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Vehicle Technologies Program. 2010. Average Length of Light Vehicle Ownership, May 10. Available online at 2012. Americans are keeping new vehicles an average of nearly six years, February 22. Available online at

4See, for example, The Economist. Look, no hands: Automotive technology: Driverless cars promise to reduce road accidents, ease congestion and revolutionise transport, September 1. Available online at

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