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An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Tuesday automakers can comply with a Massachusetts Right to Repair law, reversing a previous directive to ignore the state legislation. Massachusetts’s Right to Repair law was a ballot initiative that passed overwhelmingly in 2020. The law requires auto manufacturers that sell cars in the state to equip vehicles with a standardized open data platform so that owners and independent mechanics can access telematics data for repairs, maintenance and diagnostics. In June 2023, NHTSA told automakers they needn’t comply with the law, citing hacking concerns. The agency claimed sharing vehicle data would enable criminals to steal data or take control of cars remotely.
NHTSA now says the law can roll out, with some caveats. Automakers can safely share diagnostic data with independent mechanics using short-range wireless technology. Long-range wireless signals, though, could potentially allow hackers to send dangerous commands to moving vehicles. The auto safety agency also said automakers should be allowed “a reasonable period of time” to put the technology in place.
“[The U.S. Department of Transportation] strongly supports the right to repair and is eager to promote consumers’ ability to choose independent or DIY repairs without compromising safety to themselves or others on our nation’s roads,” said Ben Halle, director of public affairs at USDOT. “The clarifications contained in the exchange of letters between state and federal partners ensure a path forward to promote competition and give consumers more options, while mitigating a dangerous risk to safety.”
They are relatively good but absolutely terrible.
— Alan Kay, commenting on Apollos