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?

HWM (Malaysia) - - THINK - Ken­nyYeo

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

the ve­hi­cle.”

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