Keep your eyes on the road, please.
Before we get to the self-driving car, we need to connect every car to the Internet. And the era of the ubiquitous connected car is coming soon. By 2020, 75% of all cars coming off the assembly line will come with Internet-connected infotainment systems
According to automotive security manufacturer Giesecke & Devrient (G&D), global car manufacturers should build with integrated connectivity in mind as more consumers expect their vehicles to be connected. In 2014, only 10% of 70 million passenger cars registered globally were connected, G&D said.
That number is expected to increase significantly by 2020. In a press release, Giesecke & Devrient said that there would be 92 million passenger vehicles on the road, with 69 million shipped with integrated connectivity. In total there will be 1.1 billion vehicles on the roads in 2020 and 20% are expected to have connectivity.
Mobile Ecosystems Need To Be Aligned
As society becomes more urbanized and the need for constant connection extends to every facet of life, consumers want to be on a network wherever they are, said Stefan Auerbach, G&D’s group executive of mobile security. Equipping vehicles with independent ecosystems that can be customized to driver and/or passenger specifications is a logical step for manufacturers to take, he said.
“Consumers increasingly demand connectivity services such as Wi-Fi for passengers and external internet connections for music streaming, navigation, and other applications,” said Auerbach. “We are seeing a range of new services in this sector, including pay-as-you-drive insurance, location- or context-related services, pay-per-use for additional functions, and customized driver features.”
As you would expect from a company that delivers automotive security, enhanced and connected cars need to be protected from issues that are present in our connected society—in other words, hackers.
“All of these services use universal communication systems to cover the entirety of the system’s end points. Secure connectivity is the key to these ecosystems,” Auerbach said.
Security Concerns For Connected Cars
In July 2015, an article published by Wired described how white hat hackers took control of a Jeep and prompted panic among the small percentage of drivers who own connected cars. In the weeks that followed, a slew of similar experiments came to light, most of which seemed to be directed more towards the fear factor and less about the evolution of the connected car.
Scientific American later reported that concern over hacked cars was not misplaced, but questioned just how easy it was to take over a moving vehicle. The automobile industry should be aware that the potential for hacking a vehicle was there, but software fixes can prevent drivers from losing control, the publication said.
The connected car is still very much in its infancy and while G&D predict that 75% of all cars will have integrated connectivity by the end of this decade, car manufacturers will have taken the pros and cons of a mobile ecosystem into account long before before it hits the road. A connected car is a logical step forward, especially when taking into account the impact that the Internet of Things will have in the very near future.
“Not very many cars have built-in Internet connections today—designed for emergency communication, to bring Internet information to the dashboard or to supply a Wi-Fi signal to passengers in the car—but their number is growing,” wrote David Pogue in Scientific American. “Researchers’ demonstrations have underscored the importance of designing these systems securely—for example, of keeping cars’ control circuits separate from the Internet ones.”