Cars are still take many human lives but have become an essential part of human life. That technology will make this safer and thereby reduce the number of deadly accidents, through advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) or through even autonomous driving, is indeed good news. However, one needs to be aware of issues which are still yet to be resolved.
There is much excitement about the electronics and in car-networks in the latest electric cars. It is also important to remember that cars running on internal combustion engines, which constitute most of the cars still sold, also are very dependent on similar electronics and networks. Unlike the electric cars, the latter are still pretty much based on legacy networks.
Imagine a small to medium enterprise with a 100 PCs, all networked in one way in a closed system. Then imagine that there are some Apple PCs, some Windows PCs and even some game consoles like Playstation, Xbox. The imagine that not all of them have the latest version of operating system: some have Win95, Windows 7, OS9. Some of these are also connected together using legacy cables and switches. Many of these do not have any updated virus protection since they never were intended be connected to the internet.
All of a sudden they need to connect to the internet. This is in a sense what happened to cars when they were “required” to become intelligent. No one thought that people would pay money to get data generated between your brake pedal and the wheel or that someone would attempt to remote control it to take over driving your car.
It is key to understand that smart cars without cyber-security are not safe. The trend towards connected cars and autonomous driving is inevitable but better not to become a guinea-pig for the industry.