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Fuel efficient cars among those on display at Computer History Museum

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The line between car and computer is getting blurrier with high tech features to keep you connected, keep you safe and eventually keep you from having to do anything while the car drives itself, but those new frontiers pose new challenges. (KGO-TV)

The line between car and computer is getting blurrier by the day with high tech features to keep you connected, keep you safe and eventually keep you from having to do anything while the car drives itself, but those new frontiers pose new challenges.

It's not a plug-in or a hybrid. Hydrogen is what powers Toyota's first fuel cell car. "The only emission from the vehicle is water," one man said.

The car was display at the Computer History Museum and it's part of an industry forum called Silicon Valley Reinvents the Wheel. "We're looking at how cars are becoming connected devices kind of like your smartphone, if your smartphone weighed 4,000 pounds," CNET editor at large Brian Cooley said.

Honda spokesperson Matt Sloustcher said the car seamlessly supports both iPhone and Android platforms, so buyers don't have to get into a situation where they have to choose.

Google's first self-driving car is now literally a museum piece with some of its technologies showing up in things like advanced cruise control. "It keeps a safe distance, it accounts to cut-ins, it will stop all the way to zero speed when traffic does," Delphi Labs Director John Absmeier said.

It uses powerful computer vision. "Essentially supercomputers that are now on a chip the size of your thumbnail," NVIDIA Automotive Director Danny Shapiro said.

To see and avoid hazards much like a self-driving car. "We can get 80 percent of the benefit of automated driving with the technologies that we have today," Absmeier said.

But with so many of the reasons to automate cars centered around safety, one question now being asked more urgently than ever is how do you keep the bad guys from connecting to your connected car? "Any time you hook anything up to a network, you send signals over the air, it's open for someone to get into," security consultant and author James Pooley said.

Pooley said the recent Jeep and Tesla hacks were just demonstrations, but they were a wake-up call. "Taking over entirely a car's controls and using it as a weapon. Obviously that's the kind of thing that people lose sleep over," he said.

Securing data is new for automakers, but Cooley said automakers may not be leading the charge toward a self-driving future. "It's Google, it's Apple, it's Uber, it's Tesla. Three out of four of those aren't really car makers," he said.

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