ARE WE READY FOR CONNECTED CARS?
The modern automobile is incredibly smart. It can connect to the web to stream entertainment content, traffic information and more. Some are so intelligent they can perform self-diagnostics without needing to go to the workshop. But are we ready for them?
by In today’s fast-paced and increasingly connected world, we demand everything to be online. The first were our computers, then our phones and now it seems that there’s a need for connected versions of everything. If you look around, you can even find a smart flowerpot that can learn when is the best time to water its plant. And since research tells us that we are spending more time stuck in our cars than ever, it makes sense to have connected cars too.
On the most basic level, cars that can connect to the Internet can have a much wider selection of entertainment options, through music streaming apps or online radio stations. On a more advanced level, some are able to quickly alert emergency services should an accident occur; they can even transmit preliminary accident reports and notify relevant specialists about the type of accident and what kind of help needs to be rendered. Needless to say, such connected cars are make day-to-day living more pleasant and are also safer to drive.
However, being connected brings about a set of new problems, especially with the recent spate of digital security breaches and hacks, and cars are no exception it seems.
In late July, a report surfaced that documented how a Jeep Cherokee could be hacked. A pair of hackers, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, sent commands to a test vehicle - a 2014 Jeep Cherokee - to demonstrate a program they developed that would allow them to remotely control the vehicle. In a video showcasing their hack, they fiddled with the air-conditioning, blasted the in-car entertainment system and also turned on the wipers, all while seated miles away from the car in the comfort of their home. On a more serious note, they also showed that they could control the car’s steering, kill the engine and even disable the brakes.
Not long after, researchers at the University of California in San Diego also demonstrated how they could remotely hack a 2013 Chevrolet Corvette via a connected insurance dongle. This dongle is designed for used by insurance companies and trucking fleets to monitor a vehicle’s location, speed and efficiency. The researchers found that by sending SMS messages to these dongles, they could transmit commands
"A pair of hackers, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, sent commands to a test vehicle - a 2014 Jeep Cherokee - to demonstrate a program they developed that would allow them to remotely control