By Jon LeSage, contributing editor, Dealer Digest Daily
• A driver participating in a test sees that his speedometer has dropped from 60 miles per hour to zero, right as the horn honks endlessly. The engine has been killed and the driver is locked in his car!
• University researchers are testing out cyber security hacker attacks that will scare the daylights out of drivers.
• Guess what? There are hackers out there losing interest in taking over Department of Defense computer networks with the prospect of making vehicles weapons of mass destruction.
• Vehicle electronics systems and onboard computers have become remarkably sophisticated in recent years, and connected car technologies up the ante.
• A study by University of California San Diego and University of Washington is showing that hackers are gaining more power over public safety.
• Connected cars are rapidly expanding in popularity and offerings – such as Toyota’s Touch, Ford’s Sync, and Chrysler’s Uconnect systems.
• Hacker attacks are not a pressing issue today, but “in the next years, we will have to discuss the issues that could come up,” said Dirk Hoheisel, a board member at Bosch.
• Safety is the top issue cited by Google, government agencies, and law enforcement in the autonomous, driverless test runs being tried out in Nevada and California. The harsh irony is that hackers could reverse the good fortune achieved through these amazing cars.
• Carmakers have begun probing their vehicles for cyber security issues. One major global automaker has set up an in-house team that focuses entirely on vehicle IT security, and outsources external audits to test its vehicles for vulnerability to hackers.