According to leadership from one of the leading consulting companies, we are step by step entering the area of connected cars. Potentially up to 15 % of new cars that will be sold in 2030 would be fully autonomous (once technological and regulatory issues are resolved).
Furthermore, taking into account that most of the cars on the road are actually already connected – one of the biggest challenges is the alleged hackability of these cars. Other words – can a connected car be easily hacked?
We have already blogged about the connected cars and the number of sim-cards that a modern car is equipped with. However, these sim cards use a standard GSM technology – same as your mobile phone and are reasonably secure.
Main concerns in the area of hackability actually relate to data you are connected to and to the nearest future where autonomous car potentially knows about you – which might be more than you think or perhaps you are ready to reveal. Just imagine all the data that can be collected about you – where do you go, where do you live, work, dine, where is your preferred parking etc. Any of more than 200 points that are measured, monitored and evaluated by a simple telematics unit can be dangerous in the wrong hands.
One of the potential solutions of the problem would be that car manufacturer start cooperation with antivirus software providers and offer a connected car with specific antivirus/firewall type solution to protect the owners data.1
We have seen this solution successfully implemented in online banking, where banks would even offer you a free antivirus software. However, there is some concern over the speed of this solution that can be brought to market, because taking into account user´s behavior we can see that even despite a positive trend in last few years the usage of antivirus solutions among smartphone users is still low
Of course, an easy way to deal with the low rate of antivirus adoption would be a regulatory – together with your third-party insurance you would also purchase a mandatory antivirus software.
Unfortunately, such a solution would require major changes of the regulatory framework and for sure would take a few years to implement.
So, does your car need an Antivirus? Maybe, but not for now. And you should definitely keep a close eye on what the development of autonomous vehicles will bring.