(Telegraph) – Zooming down Route 40 in St Louis, Missouri, a man at the wheel of a Jeep began to notice things going badly wrong with his car. First his air conditioning blasted on; then a random photo of two men appeared on his digital dashboard. This was swiftly followed by his music system springing into noisy life and his windscreen wipers suddenly whipping back and forth at their fastest speed.
Then came the worst bit by far – without him doing a thing, the Jeep’s engine died, leaving the car crawling along at a snail’s pace on a busy freeway.
Feeling nervous just reading this? Imagine being the driver, who couldn’t do a thing to regain control. Thankfully, however, Andy Greenberg (of Wired magazine) was in on the act – and a far braver technology journalist than I ever was. He had agreed to be hacked by two of his tech buddies who, though miles away, had taken control of his vehicle’s on-board computer in order to highlight the security vulnerabilities of modern cars that are hooked up to the internet. The experiment culminated with the two security engineers remotely crashing Greenberg’s car into a ditch.