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Vehicles, autonomy and security

  • 22 Jun 2021 14:55
  • 62

A Gizmag report  covers from initially directing cold air through the air-con system, the hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek turned  the stereo onto full volume, making the volume knob  useless; flashed up a picture of themselves on the car’s console; set windscreen wipers full blast; squirted cleaning fluid onto the windscreen obscuring vision.

Then they took over the engine, shut it off completely, leaving the driver powerless and coasting on the freeway with traffic all around. Off  highway, they demonstrated disabling brakes, and taking over car steering. 

The hackers are now using the Jeep’s internet-enabled entertainment system – Uconnect. and believe it’s  should work on the majority of internet-connected late model Chryslers. All that is  needed is a car IP address. 

Miller and Valasek are preparing to release some hack details at the Black Hat security conference in Vegas next month and have been working with Chrysler to make ensure this exploit is patched and the 471,000-odd vulnerable vehicles in the US are secured well before the Black Hat conference. 

But for auto manufacturers,  connected car cybersecurity is going to have to be superbly engineered in the future.  IdTechEx has just released its Autonomous Vehicles, Land, Water, Air 2015-2035 report which considerably widens the security market requirements.

 Doubtless CEOs, business planning and marketing VPs and other interested parties such as investors who need to grasp what is one market - autonomous vehicles of every type - and how they have so many components and systems in common will understandably be highly interested in the control security aspects.

They can to benchmark best practice and identify trends as this report claims to be the first to pull it all together. Uniquely, it covers the whole topic of autonomous vehicles on-road, off-road, on water, underwater and in the air, whether carrying passengers or not.

Indeed, those that are only occasionally autonomous during use and those that are only weakly autonomous are identified and discussed, not least because most of them are headed to be fully autonomous in due course. Autonomous cars are dealt with soberly in the context of greater successes.

Up to date and global, the report is based on interviews, events and data analysis almost entirely in 2015 and 2014. It is not an academic treatise nor a consolidation of what is on the web. A high proportion of the tables and figures are original and jargon is explained. There are slides from recent conferences across the world. It is not evangelism: it is analysis, so the negatives are also presented. 

The emphasis is on lessons of success and failure and what comes next, particularly focussed on business success, with lead indicators of such success. Timelines to 2040 of market, technology and allied advances are given and detailed forecasts of sales of autonomous vehicles from 2015-2025 particularly concentrate on numbers, unit value and total market value.

 Because by far the most autonomous vehicles are and will be electrically driven, there is particular detail on forecasting these vehicles by land, water and air and identifying which of these will have a substantially autonomous content in future. The 30 minutes of free consultancy comes with each report purchase to fill in the gaps, and could well be given over to security issues.


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