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A Better Partnership

Ahead of the Curve Auto Supplier Blog

April 21, 2014

Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching You? Hacking Comes to Connected Vehicles

As automakers focus on making vehicles more “connected,” consumers find themselves focusing on the potential negative implications of this new technology.  Consumers are reportedly afraid that the new “connected” technology in vehicles will give hackers a new application for their skills.  These fears are not wholly unsubstantiated, as results of an independent study by the U.S. Department of Transportation suggested that automobiles are susceptible to hacking, which could become more serious as manufacturers add new features to vehicles that will, for example, permit someone to reprogram a vehicle’s engine control system to correct a software problem. Researchers from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) polled 1,600 motorists about connected vehicles.  Survey results reveal that nearly thirty percent of the respondents are “very concerned” about potential security breaches from hackers and data privacy issues, as new technology would allow tracking of vehicle speed and location.  Another thirty-seven percent are reported to be “moderately concerned” about the same issues.  Respondents to this survey also expressed concerns over system failure and performance, as well as drivers relying too much on technology, or being distracted by it. To address the first category of concerns, automakers such as Daimler and Ford have invested heavily in implementing security systems in their vehicles.  It remains to be seen, how, if at all, the remaining concerns are addressed, or whether consumers will ever find full comfort in connected technology.  For more information on this topic, click here.

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