General Question

Jeruba's avatar

EV Q1: Can electric vehicles be remotely controlled?

Asked by Jeruba (55827points) October 4th, 2023

Could, for example, all electric vehicles in a given area—or all EVs in the whole country—be shut down at once?

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10 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Yes. From an EMP (Electrical Magnetic Pulse).

Like from a nuclear weapon or lightning ⚡. Maybe even a computer virus.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 yes but that would also be true of most petrol / diesel vehicles built in the last 25 or 30 years as they have electronic engine management systems.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Not currently. If individual manufacturers wanted a “kill switch” this could be feasible. EPRI has studied this, ⅔ of cars on the road would be fine after an EMP. They may need to be restarted, but they would be fine.

LostInParadise's avatar

If by controlled you mean that an external controller could make the car travel to some other location then the answer is no. The car would have to be specifically designed for this. It would need to have a control mechanism for turning the steering wheel, as with self-driving cars, and it would have to be set up to respond to signals for activating the steering wheel controller.

RocketGuy's avatar

Different manufacturers use different OS. Some EV can receive software and commands remotely, some can’t. There would be no good way to knock out every EV by remote commanding.

seawulf575's avatar

They probably could. There are many things in a modern vehicle that could easily be controlled remotely. They obviously don’t advertise that but they all have computers.

kritiper's avatar

Yes, if properly equipped.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

It’s not an unreasonable supposition.

I haven’t read through this discussion fully, but it seems to answer most of this question affirmatively.

Obviously, whether these are good features or not depends on who is doing the controlling, and why. For example, it’s a fine thing to have the capability to remotely disable the car, if it’s your car and has just been stolen. It’s not so good when the thief can disable the car while you’re driving it.

Zaku's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Or if someone wants to kill you and make it look like you just drove off the road.

Zaku's avatar

It’s not about being an electric car.

It’s about being a remotely controllable car, which is not about the motor.

It’s not publicly known for all models, whether all manufacturers are putting remote OFF switches in new cars. Some models do have remote OFF listed as a feature, and some 3rd party security systems list that as a feature.

Many cars in recent decades have had some un-advertised remote control features, but most of those tended to require a local radio/wifi type connection to the car, rather than a broad (e.g. cell) connection.

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