Your Car is a Computer. Is That a Good or a Bad Thing?

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Close up of Ford Focus compact car dashboard. November 27, 2014
From and

Click on the audio player above to hear this interview.

Volkswagen's acknowledgment that it lied about its emission technology has raised new concerns about regulation in the age of digitized automobiles. As intricate, computerized components have become standard in American cars, who has more control: Us or our cars?

Anna Stefanopoulou is professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Automotive Research Center at University of Michigan.

She joins us from Ann Arbor with an under-the-hood view of the technologies in our cars—and how VW used that technology to their advantage.

What you'll learn from this segment:

  • How did VW circumvented regulation, and what other secrets are hidden behind the dashboard?
  • Which parts of our cars can be digitized, and which can't?
  • In the age of digitized cars, what should drivers know that they didn't have to know in the past?