The Future of Cars: Will Connectivity Translate to Vulnerability?
Ask 10 auto industry observers to describe what the future of cars would be, and you might get 10 different answers. The adjectives such experts might use are “autonomous”, “solar-powered”, and “augmented”. But probably no one would say “connected” since today’s vehicles can already talk to mobile devices.
Our friends at Carsurance can attest that the quantity of internet-connected cars is on an upward trend. These vehicles are expected to account for 22% of all cars across the world by 2020, compared to just 3% in 2012.
Tech Giants May Play Crucial Roles in Shaping the Global Automotive Industry’s Future, but Even Large Multinational Companies Can’t Guarantee Impregnable CyberSecurity.
This number is going to rise rapidly over time. In fact, the connected-car segment is outgrowing the overall car market by 10 times. Next year, the projected worth of the market for connected-car hardware and software is about $152 billion.
Startup funding is one of the factors responsible for this phenomenon. In 2017, AutoTech companies raked in $505 million in disclosed investments across 19 deals.
These loaded startups are in the position to soup up connected cars by developing or improving sought-after features such as music streaming, internet surfing, passenger control, and collision alarm warning.
Although one in five cars on the road today is connected to the internet, a sizable number of consumers are still unaware of such vehicles. 44% of them have never heard of connected cars, while only 14% are familiar with these “smart vehicles” and the things they can do. And therein lies the problem.
Connected cars are vulnerable to cyberattacks. While car hacking is practically unheard of by most motorists, it is still possible. Downloading malware inadvertently and plugging a compromised smartphone into a vehicle’s USB port are two of the many instances hackers could capitalize on to take control of a connected car remotely.
Tech giants may play crucial roles in shaping the global automotive industry’s future, but even large multinational companies can’t guarantee impregnable cybersecurity. Actually, both Google and Amazon have experienced high-profile data breaches in recent memory.
Connectivity represents a natural and logical step in the evolution of motor vehicles. But buying and owning a connected car requires circumspection and diligence to help ensure safety and privacy.