GM Is Using RFID Tags In Engine Bolts

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RFID tags inside engine bolts? Awesome innovation or tech gone wrong?

GM has used RFID tags in its factories for more than 10 years to identify assembled engines, but now the company is attaching them directly to the cylinder heads and engine blocks using what the company calls a data bolt. It’s shaped like a regular bolt and is threaded on one end, but the head is hollow. Inside, secured with epoxy, are a memory chip (or RFID tag) and a coiled metal filament, which acts like an antenna.
 

kbrickley

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According to the article it is only used to store the manufacturing history of your engine (probably a good thing) ... down the road if it is used to store post sale data that might be more problematic but it does appear that this is a good innovation for the time being ;)
 
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Good old GM cannot do anything right, even with technology... Lol. Well if yhr bolt stores sales info, bolts can be changed..
 

sfsuphysics

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5 cent bolt, becomes a 50 cent bolt, passed onto the consumer at a cost of $5 per bolt.
 

gersson

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US company does something that NSA could use to spy on you: "Don't worry we're doing it for a pretty useless reason at a loss!"
 

beltaine

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RFID has been used in manufacturing for years. At my plant, we tag all the parts inventory for the production machines for inventory reasons. Someone goes into the Parts Crib and removes a part for machine repair, it automatically gets checked out as soon as they walk out with it. Computer sees the part leave, orders a replacement for stock.

Solved so many problems when we were relying on people to check it out of the inventory.
 

German Muscle

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This is likely them switching from paper build sheets on cars to this. Every GM car has a build sheet somewhere in the car. C5 corvettes were inside of the front frame rail. Dunno why everyone is getting upset.
 

dgingeri

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The great thing about this would be its use as a theft tracker. Even if the car is parted out and the engine sent elsewhere, it can be tracked back to the original car VIN and owner, as long as the thieves don't change out that one bolt.

Also, people could tell a stolen engine if that one data bolt is missing.
 

OregonLAN

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That's going to be an expensive bolt to replace. If you parted a GM vehicle for retail price, you could retire on the profits after paying off the vehicle. I wonder if they will eventually code the cpu/icm to look for the RFID tag and/or fail to start if the bolt is removed or replaced with another.
 

Climber

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This is likely them switching from paper build sheets on cars to this. Every GM car has a build sheet somewhere in the car. C5 corvettes were inside of the front frame rail. Dunno why everyone is getting upset.

Knee Jerk tin foil hat wearing reactionaries.
 

Technikal

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This is likely them switching from paper build sheets on cars to this. Every GM car has a build sheet somewhere in the car. C5 corvettes were inside of the front frame rail. Dunno why everyone is getting upset.

I guess you have been living under a rock the past 8 or so months?
 

Semantics

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This is likely them switching from paper build sheets on cars to this. Every GM car has a build sheet somewhere in the car. C5 corvettes were inside of the front frame rail. Dunno why everyone is getting upset.
Only thing to get upset is that it would very small amount increase cost, else people don't understand how RFID works
 

dgingeri

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That's going to be an expensive bolt to replace. If you parted a GM vehicle for retail price, you could retire on the profits after paying off the vehicle. I wonder if they will eventually code the cpu/icm to look for the RFID tag and/or fail to start if the bolt is removed or replaced with another.

They're already doing this with the radio. If a Chevy owner replaces the car stereo, they have to have an OnStar unit to keep it operating. My 05 Monte Carlo can't even program replacement keyless remotes because I upgraded the radio to one that plays MP3s. I just wish they had the option from the factory to have a stereo that handled USB input and MP3s. Also, the stereo can't be put back in the car without a code reader at a dealership. It would cost me $100 just to reinstall the original stereo so I could replace my keyless remotes.

In a way, I would like this, since it would be a severe hindrance to car thieves. They just need to offer the options that car owners want in the process.
 

bigdogchris

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Ever heard the story of the days when cassette decks started shipping in cars? People would leave the storage cage open and by the end of the night all the cassette decks were gone. RFID would of prevented that stuff.
 

samm

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How does a build sheet have to do with anything that the RFID tags that are being used by GM?????? NSA understandable connection there.

The RFID tags are soley to put a name on the person who drops the ball when building a vehicle and forgets some assembly process. They`re taken out when the actual head is bolted on to the block and etc. I rather approve of this as it allows for less lemons leaving the assembly plant.

One interesting side point when I saw this story break on other sites, was commenters were saying without reading the article how the RFID Bolts were hollow and in 10 years time this would be a horrible idea lol.
 

Trimlock

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This is likely them switching from paper build sheets on cars to this. Every GM car has a build sheet somewhere in the car. C5 corvettes were inside of the front frame rail. Dunno why everyone is getting upset.

Typical internet responses to something they have zero information on. Someone's already attached this to the NSA.
 

MV75

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Typical internet responses to something they have zero information on. Someone's already attached this to the NSA.

While some can easily attach this to the NSA, the problem lies with technology like this without any security measures in place. We've all seen the hacks cracks and scripts to do all sorts of things to just about any type of connected device, why would this be any different if they dont remove the bolt, or, the bolt in this article is the only device we know of for sure?

Simple jammer can easily block a signal from a key fob for locking your door... come out in the morning.. thought you locked your car... poof.. you car was stolen 10 minutes after you walked into your home. Thats all it takes.. something simple and stupid. How about taking a jammer into a GM plant now, knowing they all operate based on the RFID? Production comes to a halt until the jammer is found.... or maybe you put the jammer into some type of selective mode that jams things for.. 10 seconds every 40 hours..etc. etc.

So the point is...useful technology..poor,bad, or just idiotic implementation without any forethought.... is usually the norm for companies in the past, and that has people thinking, when is the other shoe going to drop? RFID scanners at every traffic light to verify ownership with your vehicle based on a chip in your antennae? Mirror? Door handle? Its not what we know, its what we dont....and in this case, we dont know a lot based on this article. And yes.. it is the internet.... for better or worse, even conspiracy theorists get things right once in awhile... even though most dont care a wit, or truly understand.
 

Semantics

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While some can easily attach this to the NSA, the problem lies with technology like this without any security measures in place. We've all seen the hacks cracks and scripts to do all sorts of things to just about any type of connected device, why would this be any different if they dont remove the bolt, or, the bolt in this article is the only device we know of for sure?

Simple jammer can easily block a signal from a key fob for locking your door... come out in the morning.. thought you locked your car... poof.. you car was stolen 10 minutes after you walked into your home. Thats all it takes.. something simple and stupid. How about taking a jammer into a GM plant now, knowing they all operate based on the RFID? Production comes to a halt until the jammer is found.... or maybe you put the jammer into some type of selective mode that jams things for.. 10 seconds every 40 hours..etc. etc.

So the point is...useful technology..poor,bad, or just idiotic implementation without any forethought.... is usually the norm for companies in the past, and that has people thinking, when is the other shoe going to drop? RFID scanners at every traffic light to verify ownership with your vehicle based on a chip in your antennae? Mirror? Door handle? Its not what we know, its what we dont....and in this case, we dont know a lot based on this article. And yes.. it is the internet.... for better or worse, even conspiracy theorists get things right once in awhile... even though most dont care a wit, or truly understand.
did you read the article wtf are you talking about. You're just going to walk into a GM plant and place an illegal to own or operate in the US frequency jammer, jamming probably more then just the spectrum used by the tracking bolt. So a ton of illegal activity and you're blaming the GM plant for not being asshole proof, well they are it's called security and i.d. based entry plus cameras on the plant.

You complain about keyless entry, all GM cars with keyless entry have a keyless lock option to automatically lock after 8 seconds if the key is not detected and a lock command is not given. Plus criminals don't steal cars like that, even without the car being locked modern cars are difficult to deal with. Car thief use stop lights and stop signs to commit hijackings taking the key in the process it's easier, infact this chosen method is gaining popularity due to the difficulty of just breaking in and hot-wiring modern cars.

It's a very good implementation if you ever worked in industrial settings, tracking the manufacturing process and data concerning the manufacturing process right on hand is invaluable.

The only way the NSA could use this for tracking cars is if they used the RF frequency putting on millions of towers to transmit and receive RF tags creating a log file with gps coordinates, which are likely only designed for only a few feet max of transmission if even, so these towers would have to hang over roads or be placed on both sides of the road.
 

Dayaks

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What semantics said.... RFID is generally read only and only a few feet range especially with tiny antenna's built into a bolt surrounded by metal.

Trust me, the NSA has much more accurate and easier ways to track you. ;). License plate photos, cell phones, on star...ect. A bolt with RFID is laughable compared to those options.
 

BBA

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The great thing about this would be its use as a theft tracker. Even if the car is parted out and the engine sent elsewhere, it can be tracked back to the original car VIN and owner, as long as the thieves don't change out that one bolt.

Also, people could tell a stolen engine if that one data bolt is missing.

You know, there is a huge market for stolen LS series engines, which is why so many old junked out ricer cars are now showing up with LS1 and LS2 engines. Those engines alone are the biggest motivator for car theft in the last 12 years or so.

That being said, chop shops are pretty high tech anymore, first thing they learn is how to defeat any tracking system (it's pretty easy to burn out an rfid device, so I think it will offer no deterrence at all).
 

motomonkey

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I guess you have been living under a rock the past 8 or so months?

Nothing that has happened in the last 8 months has any bearing on an inventory control system being used by GM to keep track of engine blocks and build sheet completion on an assembly line. Oh, yeah, there is this thing called a VIN number, and this is the scary part, it is stamped in multiple places on your car, and can tell the police EVERYTHING about your car! even the color!


You should be a lot more worried about black box data recorders that "The Man" has mandated be installed in all new vehicles.
 

darkangel74

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Ah the internet conspiracy. If you brought attention to yourself by an intelligence agency a bolt in a car or lack there of is going to stop them from spying on you. Sure it might make it easier for them. But if they wanna watch you, they are going to watch you.
 

darkangel74

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Ah the internet conspiracy. If you brought attention to yourself by an intelligence agency a bolt in a car or lack there of is **not** going to stop them from spying on you. Sure it might make it easier for them. But if they wanna watch you, they are going to watch you.
 

erexx

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An article on the nVidia Tegra Shield does not get a single hit here.
But a bolt with a tiny coil of wire in it gets 2 pages of: idgaf
Not a single 2600 RFID reference...
The NSA must be suppressing the brain cells.
meh...
 

Technikal

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What semantics said.... RFID is generally read only and only a few feet range especially with tiny antenna's built into a bolt surrounded by metal.

Trust me, the NSA has much more accurate and easier ways to track you. ;). License plate photos, cell phones, on star...ect. A bolt with RFID is laughable compared to those options.

I read on Slashdot awhile ago NSA has full access to Ford and Sirius and XM Satellite Radio records. Leaked by an ex employee. Many new Fords are sold with these radios already installed.

They are location aware though GPS and easy to track back to the car owner via license, registration, banking, credit..etc.
 

Technikal

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An article on the nVidia Tegra Shield does not get a single hit here.
But a bolt with a tiny coil of wire in it gets 2 pages of: idgaf
Not a single 2600 RFID reference...
The NSA must be suppressing the brain cells.
meh...

Because games are very important..
 

AceGoober

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If the technology prevents the vehicle buyer from experiencing engine issues - outside of normal wear and tear or original design flaws - then I'm all for it.
 

NoTrigger

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If the technology prevents the vehicle buyer from experiencing engine issues - outside of normal wear and tear or original design flaws - then I'm all for it.

This. Read the article people. They're using the RFID tags inside the engine bolts to keep track of the engines and flag any issues for each engine assembly.

Anyone who has ever done any sort of engine work on cars knows that there are aftermarket bolts (ARP for example)..You're not restricted to having to use their hardware.
 

SGA76

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What I'm scared of is the bolt not holding up as well and snapping off in the engine, turning a $20 bolt replacement to a $500 trip to the mechanic to tap the old screw out.
You ever work on engines?
Those bolts are f#cking cheaply made enough and seize in place wayyy to easy to begin with.

Sorry.
I like working on my cars just as much as working on PCs.
Does that make me a bad nerd?
 

Trimlock

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An article on the nVidia Tegra Shield does not get a single hit here.
But a bolt with a tiny coil of wire in it gets 2 pages of: idgaf
Not a single 2600 RFID reference...
The NSA must be suppressing the brain cells.
meh...

Because, because because NSA! you have to admit this thread is hilarious.
 

samm

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So I'm guessing not many people have read the actual Article....but still choose to post based off the thread title
 
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