“A cyber incident is a problem for every automaker in the world. It is a matter of public safety.” — Marry Barra, CEO of General Motors.
A future with autonomous vehicles holds the promise of fantastic improvements to our lives. Imagine no more stressful commutes to work and an enormous decrease in serious accidents. These and other major advancements in convenience and safety may be a lot closer than many people realize, as a wide range of technology and auto companies race to bring self-driving cars to our roads.
However, as is the case with everything that’s connected to the internet, the exploitation of security vulnerabilities could lead to catastrophic scenarios. Researchers have discovered significant flaws that allowed them to take over control of connected cars, such as the infamous Jeep Cherokee incident that led to a recall of 1.4 million vehicles and a heightened sense of the importance of ensuring absolute security in connected vehicles and autonomous cars to avoid access by hackers.
As the options for a comprehensive and viable security solution are considered, blockchain may prove to be ideal because it’s tamper-resistant. Instead of relying on a multitude of independent silos for storing and managing data, as is currently the case, a blockchain-based solution will bring all of this information into one secure system to ensure accuracy and transparency while greatly reducing the possibility of entry by hackers.
Although the predicted numbers vary, most experts believe that a vast number of autonomous vehicles will be on our roads within the next few years. And as this number grows, the volume of data will increase massively. While this data will be incredibly useful in a variety of ways, it could also open up opportunities for malicious exploitation of vehicles and the associated information that’s stored. Of course, the ramifications of hacking self-driving cars could be disastrous. Therefore, it is critical to ensure that all cybersecurity policies and tools are carefully designed and deployed to guarantee safety.
Keeping things as they are now isn’t a reasonable choice moving forward, with connected cars expanding and the expectation of self-driving vehicles rapidly approaching. The industry will need to alter its practices to join together in a single system to ensure heightened security and accuracy of all vehicle and road data. Provided that the system is developed properly with comprehensive security measures in place, we can all look forward to a future that includes autonomous vehicles, thereby monumentally increasing safety and convenience in the transportation needs of our daily lives.
Written by Igor Ilunin, head of IoT at DataArt.