DWF logo

Search

DWF logo

            #Driverless #Economy - Striking the balance of regulation and innovation

            Your car’s safety is no longer restricted to the crumple zone – it needs to be cyber secure too, and 2015 was not a good test drive for the road ahead.

            Date: 04/01/2016

            Researchers managed to remotely control the brakes of a car via a common insurance device, turn off a Tesla Model S remotely at low speeds and found serious security flaws in GM OnStar’s system.

            Safety is a key feature of most car brands and the 2015 incidents were damaging enough without there being any injuries attributed to them. Many new features built into cars today are less about performance, focusing instead on convenience, connectivity and safety.  So brand protection will drive significant investment in cyber security too.

            Competition from new entrants will have a positive effect too. While motor manufacturers have long been criticised for lacklustre software offerings, competition from tech companies such as Google, Apple and Baidu – organisations where cyber security is in their DNA – will significantly raise the bar.

            But can the motor industry rely on competition and self-regulation, or does the government need to make penetration testing as important as checking that your brake lights are working?

            Stringent regulation is inevitable, even if industry standards prove to be high. The pace of change will mean problems will emerge, as they did last year, and strict initial standards will be imposed whilst public confidence is given time to grow.

            Regulations are likely to affect issues such as:

            • Adherence to minimum cyber-security standards, not just for the vehicles, but the systems and network infrastructure of the manufacturer.
            • The length of warranty and support upgrades to avoid cars with significant security vulnerabilities on the road.
            • Mandatory reporting of accidents and incidents.
            • “Air-gapping” so as to physically separate key functionality.
            • Sharing of security information (e.g. IP addresses of attackers or unpatched security vulnerabilities) with other manufacturers or government bodies, such as the DVLA.
            • “Safe modes” -  vehicles, shutting down autonomous features if any breach of the car’s security is detected.
            • Restrictions on unauthorised repairs and modifications.
            • “Backdooring” – the method by which systems can be upgraded, but which inevitably provide a potential door for hackers (and government agencies).  

            Heavy regulation is often seen as a brake on innovation and change. Regulation of autonomous cars is inevitable, but the careful balancing of risk may see the UK continue to forge ahead in the industry, whilst steadily building consumer confidence.

            Author: Patrick Kane

            We use cookies to give you the best user experience on our website. Please let us know if you accept our use of cookies.

            Manage cookies

            Your Privacy

            When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. We mainly use this information to ensure the site works as you expect it to, and to learn how we can improve the experience in the future. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalised web experience.
            Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change permissions. However, blocking some types of cookies may prevent certain site functionality from working as expected

            Functional cookies

            (Required)

            These cookies let you use the website and are required for the website to function as expected.

            These cookies are required

            Tracking cookies

            Anonymous cookies that help us understand the performance of our website and how we can improve the website experience for our users. Some of these may be set by third parties we trust, such as Google Analytics.

            They may also be used to personalise your experience on our website by remembering your preferences and settings.

            Marketing cookies

            These cookies are used to improve and personalise your experience with our brands. We may use these cookies to show adverts for our products, or measure the performance of our adverts.