The Risk of Computerized Cars

Mercedes just shut down its software services to all Russian dealers:

German auto giant Mercedes-Benz has completely disconnected Russian dealers from its software, the Izvestia daily reported on Monday, citing the press service of the company’s distributor in Russia.

Access has been suspended to online systems used for maintenance and identification of problems, Mercedes-Benz Russia reportedly told the outlet. Izvestia sources said Germany’s BMW Group has also restricted Russian dealers’ access to its software.

“Dealers have indeed been disconnected from the manufacturer’s online software systems. In some cases, the lack of access to online systems will increase repair times,” Mercedes-Benz Russia was quoted as saying. Car repairs and maintenance will be based on “accumulated experience and knowledge,” the dealer noted.

Given the way things are clearly developing, it won’t be long before your ability to access automative services is as subject to deplatforming as your ability to upload YouTube videos or make posts on social media. We already have to build our own platforms in the unauthorized economy, and soon we will also need to service our own cars.

Which is why it is better to buy older cars instead of newer ones. I’ve never owned a Mercedes-Benz, and this new policy ensures that I never will.

UPDATE: Driverless cars will be even worse.