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Connected, self-driving vehicles buddy of miscreants.

In a world where motor vehicles can be weapons and cars increasingly depend on internal computers and internet connections, automakers are under increasing pressure to find ways to guard against cyber attacks. Auto industry chiefs, security experts and government officials warned at an auto industry conference that hackers can threaten to do everything against cars that they do to other computers: remotely steal owner information, or hijack them and render them more dangerous than the truck that killed 84 people in Nice, France, recently. "When you look at autonomous autos, the consequences are so much greater" than the Nice attack by a possibly Islamic State-inspired man, said John Carlin, assistant US attorney general for national security. "We know these terrorists. They don't have the capability yet.

But if they're trying to get people to drive truck into crowds, than it doesn't take too much imagination to think they are going to take an autonomous car and drive it into a crowd of people," said Carlin. General Motors' chair and chief executive Mary Barra said that the advanced information technology that comes in new cars, especially "connectivity" systems linking cars to the internet, creates huge new challenges. "One of these challenges is the issue of cyber security, and make no mistake, cyber security is," she said. Barra pointed to the need to protect the personal data of customers who use their in-car system for banking or to pay for other services. "The fact is personal data is stored in or transmitted through vehicle networks," she said. On top of that is the complexity of the newest auto IT systems, which, she said, "opens up opportunities for those who would do harm through cyber attacks." "Cyber security is an issue of public safety," she said.

Carlin said cyber attacks generally have cost the US economy billions of dollars, and that the problem is that hackers often outrace efforts to strengthen security. That will be the case for the auto industry, especially as it pushes ahead with self-driving cars, he said. The problem, said Steven Center, a Honda Motor Co. vice president, is that car makers are under pressure from consumers to add more and more connectivity features to their vehicles. Using 'white hat' hackers - The landscape is changing fast, according to Jonathan Allen, a cyber security expert with Booz Allen who is helping car makers and their suppliers to deal with threats. Up until only two years ago, manufacturers tended to downplay the threat posed by hackers, he noted. But there has been a significant cultural shift within automotive business, which is now taking the challenge very seriously.

For one thing, the threat to the reputation of car makers is far more substantial, noted Josh Corman, founder of I am the Cavalry, a cyber security consulting firm. Online fraud is one thing, but hacking into cars could actually threaten "flesh and blood", so that car makers have to be even more vigilant, he said. Jeffrey Massimilia, GM's chief cyber security officer, said sharing information broadly across the industry is one of the keys to fighting off the threat. Automakers are also recruiting "white hat" hackers who help hunt down vulnerabilities in the IT systems of cars. "We should have a way for people to find things and report them," said Titus Melnyk, senior manager of security architecture at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), which recently invited "the bug crowd" that looks for weaknesses in new software, smartphones, computers or consumer electronics.

Meanwhile, China's auto industry regulator said it's working with police to formulate rules governing the testing of autonomous cars, warning automakers that they shouldn't test their self-driving vehicles on highways before the regulations are released. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and police have a preliminary draft of the rules, She Weizhen, head of the ministry's autos department, said in a forum in Beijing. She didn't give a detailed timeframe on when the regulations will be finalised. Governments around the world are balancing pressure from companies to encourage innovation in the field of autonomous driving without compromising safety standards. In China, the push for self-driving vehicles is also part of a broader state initiative urging manufacturers to upgrade their technology as lower-cost countries emerge and compete for labour-intensive factory jobs.

In an in-depth report from BI Intelligence, we analyse the self-driving car market by analysing the current state of the self-driving car and provide an in-depth analysis for how we see the self-driving car progressing over the next five years. Our in-depth analysis describes the economic impact that self-driving cars can have and look at the current barriers preventing the self-driving car from coming to market. Here are some of the key takeaways from the report: Self-driving cars are not some futuristic auto technology; in fact there are already cars with self-driving features on the road. We define the self-driving car as any car with features that allow it to accelerate, brake, and steer a car's course with limited or no driver interaction. Fully autonomous cars are further divided into user-operated and driverless vehicles.

Because of regulatory and insurance questions, user-operated fully autonomous cars will come to market within the next five years, while driverless cars will remain a long ways off. The biggest benefits of self-driving cars are that they will help to make roads safer and people's lives easier. In the UK, KPMG estimates that self-driving cars will lead to 2,500 fewer deaths between 2014 and 2030. But the barriers to self-driving cars remain significant. Costs need to come down and regulations need to be clarified around certain self-driving car features before the vehicles fully take off among mainstream consumers.
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Publication:Flare
Date:Aug 31, 2016
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