As certain as the changing of the seasons, the drive toward autonomous cars is gaining pace. Changes in the car industry clearly demonstrate that the way we use our vehicles is evolving. In an increasingly connected world, our cars are becoming an important part of our lifestyle. But a question mark keeps hanging over the process. Are we, and the data we use, truly secure?

Not All Drivers Are Convinced

Car users are very accepting of modern technology generally. We are warming to the idea of electric cars and consider it almost a duty to buy green cars that cut down on fossil fuel emissions. When it comes to connectivity, however, drivers are less sure.

In the same way our personal computers and online devices are at risk from external influences and threats, so it is that we are understandably worried about similar attacks on our vehicles. Especially that, as proven by Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek in their hacking experiment, such attacks can happen even while cars are in use.

It is already clear that locking mechanisms on modern cars are vulnerable. Well-equipped and informed hackers can access and steal even the very latest prestige luxury in moments.

Is the next stage to start attacking cars on the roads?

Connected Cars on the Road

To function properly, autonomous and connected cars must communicate with other vehicles (V2V) and ultimately, for example, roadside beacons that transmit information and guidance (V2I). This makes cars vulnerable; the one aspect of connected cars that might attract future users of Internet-of-Things powered cars is the prospect of enhanced safety. These vehicles will use IoT to help avoid accidents and control a wide array of on-board safety technologies.

Today’s cars, even before autonomy really becomes mainstream, are effectively mobile computer systems with ECUs and (Read more...)