Self-driving car hackers put on notice
Self-driving car hackers put on notice
UK government responds to hacking threat to autonomous cars with laws to improve cyber security for motorists
The UK government has established fresh legislation that requires car-makers to fortify the cyber security of fresh vehicles, particularly those with autonomous driving capabilities.
The fresh Autonomous and Electrical Vehicles Bill is designed to stop criminals hacking into cars and stealing data or, worse, taking partial or accomplish control of a vehicle leading to worst-case-scenarios like murder, kidnap or injury of occupants and bystanders.
We wrote a spoof lump for April Idiot’s Day in two thousand fifteen warning of autonomous car hijacking and it’s scary to think this is now a reality.
The UK is one of the world’s very first countries to ratify fresh automotive cyber security laws, releasing a list of eight “principles” to which car-makers and autonomous vehicle software developers must adhere.
The British government wants UK to become a world leader in self-driving vehicle technology, and recently provided £109 million of funding for thirty eight cutting-edge automotive research and development projects.
“Our cars are becoming smarter and self-driving technology will revolutionise the way in which we travel,” said UK Transport Minister Lord Callanan.
“Risks of people hacking into the technology might be low, but we must make sure the public is protected. Whether we’re turning vehicles into wi-fi-connected hotspots or equipping them with millions of lines of code to become fully automated, it’s significant that they are protected against cyber attacks.”
No such laws yet exist in Australia, where autonomous vehicle testing has commenced in NSW, Victoria and SA. The Australian government is debating how to treatment the growing complexity and “connectedness” of vehicle fleets and is expected to release its own guidelines in due course.
In May 2016, Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel made a speech on cyber security, highlighting the potential harm hackers could bring to transport systems in Australia.
“Just think – in thirty years from now we are all using automated cars. We’ve solved the problems of traffic congestion and parking.
“We’ve eliminated traffic lights and our city fleet of two million cars is cruising, blissfully efficient, around Sydney. All of a sudden, at Five:00pm, a successful cyber-attack results in the entire fleet crashing or screeching to a halt.”
Albeit there have been no reports of major incidents resulting from car hacking thus far, Finkel’s concern about the threat of vehicular cyber-attacks is far from unfounded.
In two thousand fourteen a restricted report from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was leaked, warning that terrorists could use remotely operated vehicles to harm others.
Then in July two thousand sixteen two blokes in the USA publicly hacked a Jeep Cherokee through its infotainment system and managed to take finish control of its steering, brakes, and acceleration.
It resulted in a massive recall of around 1.Four million vehicles from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Jeep’s parent company, and has put the US government on notice.
The US Congress is presently hashing out its own guidelines on the implementation of enlargened cybersecurity to stop hackers gaining access to cars via zero-day exploits or unforeseen software vulnerabilities.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is at the forefront of vehicular cyber security in the US and is actively investigating how to stymie potential cyber attacks on modern cars, which are increasingly taking advantage of connected and autonomous systems.
Car companies such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Tesla are racing to be the very first to suggest a fully-autonomous vehicle, and Audi says its fresh A8 limousine will be the very first vehicle to suggest Level three autonomy.
That means it will be able to assume accomplish control on certain roads at speeds of up to 60km/h, but the driver will have to be ready to take back control within a certain amount of time.
BMW says its two thousand twenty one ‘iNEXT’ vehicle will suggest Level Three.Five autonomy, meaning it will be able to drive itself at all speeds in almost all road screenplays, but a driver will still be required to take control should the need occur, meaning they won’t be able to go to sleep.
Silicon Valley is also investing a phat amount of capital into self-driving cars, with Google also in the race to bring the world’s very first fully autonomous car to market.
We recently took the updated Mercedes-Benz S-Class limo for a test drive in Europe and its upgraded self-driving systems have improved dramatically, highlighting how rapidly the technology is accelerating.