The “Dirty” and the “Clean” codes

No piece of code can claim to have such notoriety. Just a few lines of code buried in a silicon chip beneath a metallic bonnet have the effect of an atomic bomb over the whole planet. Here at arduinoos, we managed to get a copy of these lines of code.

bool a = IsBonnetSwitchOpen();
bool b = IsParkingBreakSwitchClosed();
bool c = IsDriverSeatPresenceSwicthOpen();
bool d = IsDriversDoorSwitchOpen();
if (a & b & c & d) {
	DataLogging(OFF);
	PostInjectionDuration += 10;
	if (RuTime % 1000) {
		CatalystConvertInjection(10);
	}
	DataLogging(ON);
}

Surprisingly, none (as far as I am well informed), none from Volkswagen competitors strongly protested, shouted loud for felony, threatened legal reprisals for disloyal business or what so ever. Why ? Because car makers all belong to a nice family with fair and nice relationships ? I doubt.

me-com-ecu-031

(Image Credits tun-tech.com)

VW is blamed for having knowingly cheated ODB data reported from some of their ECUs, data which are taken into account for the periodical testing of road vehicles. And US hates liars. Beside this fault remains the reality. For how long could be believe that the technology involved in internal combustion engines would follow the desires / recommendations / requirements from the institutions / politicians / legislator ? Do we still believe that athletes can run faster and faster every year and break world records after world records and drink fresh water ? Do we still believe in Stakhanov legend which reports that this pit worker managed to extract 14 times and even 31 times the standard amount of coal from his mine ?

Achieving the ultimate pollution performances without a break up in technology leads to some dirty tricks. And instead of getting back to the legislator VW lied, which is strange because German are generally good at managing quality issues. It is also very likely that their competitors are extremely busy at checking their own files…

At a larger scale but less involving for car makers is this problem with EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) valves. These devices inject a fraction of hot gas from the exhaust pipe into the fresh intake air during engine warm up in order to reduce pollution. Too bad, EGR valves massively fail to work after thousands of kilometers and are quasi-systematically plugged by mechanics.

Also, hackers are familiar with the art of unlocking ECUs and applying mods for boosting the power of road cars or reducing the real millage of used cars which is really nasty. Some claim that open source should apply to cars in order to give any citizen the choice for fuel economy, low pollution or … more horse power. But I fear the computer nerd who will experience a severe bug, right in  front of my nose.

wiringjoke

(Image Credits hpowerlabs.org )

Stay tuned 😉

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