The summer of 2020 may feel like a century ago, yet many of the questions and complexities that arose then continue to concern companies and consumers today. That’s why on this Throwback Thursday (#TBT) we’re reexamining the UN’s guidelines around connected vehicles and delving into connected car security. Also, check out a set of interesting facts about self driving cars.

By 2030, approximately 95% of new vehicles produced will have internet connectivity options. This represents a 45% increase over current numbers. Growth prospects for the connected vehicle market are promising, and the market is transforming in unprecedented ways before our eyes. The implications for security and commerce might interest and amaze.

The driverless car is officially a risk

In July of last year, the Wall Street Journal described the international agreement requiring national authorities to approve connected vehicle models ahead of their debut in car lots. Mandates for manufacturers included guaranteeing that suppliers adhered to stringent cyber security protocols. Within nations that signed the agreement, manufacturers must also have forensic technology in place to scan for potential cyber threats.

“Although there are many useful and exciting applications for self driving vehicles, they pose a lot of security risks. Any software has the potential for bugs and security vulnerabilities that can be exploited. This risk increases with the level of connectivity to the outside world – whether that’s certain networks, sensors, IoT devices, or other vehicles. The risk of a cyber attack on these autonomous vehicles has the potential for truly devastating consequences, the worst of which is loss of lives due to collisions. Other consequences could be ransomware that locks an owner out of their vehicle, or a hack on the vehicle’s operating system that exposes personal information on other connected devices,” says Check Point security expert Maya Levine.

Self driving smart car development

Earlier this month, Toyota announced the addition of mobility services to its self driving car collection. In addition, Aurora, a driverless vehicle start-up backed by Amazon and Uber, has discussed plans for an IPO. Aurora will go public via SPAC and maintains an $11 billion valuation. Google’s Waymo driverless cars continue to accrue miles on the road. Since 2009, the company’s cars have driven over 20 million miles.

Tesla’s CEO Elon Must has also just announced via tweet today that his firm will hold an artificial intelligence (AI) day on August 19th. Reports about the event indicate self-driving technology will function as a focal point. The company’s Full Self Driving vehicles (FSD) still remain in beta testing mode.

Interesting facts about self driving cars

  • You may be able to order your coffee from your car through in-vehicle commerce capabilities.
  • Over 80% of millennials report that they would spend more time shopping if their vehicles were equipped with voice-activated e-commerce tech.
  • Right now, virtual reality (VR) options within cars remains limited. However, gaming-capable vehicles could make travel more fun. Potential VR experiences include online concerts, movie streaming, media playback, virtual tours of your destination and more.
  • Audi, Disney and Holoride are currently developing immersive VR experiences for vehicles. Other major auto-industry groups may follow suit in the near future.

Can you buy a self driving car?

Right now, no. Self driving vehicles have not yet made it to market. Anyone who advertises the ability to sell you one is likely involved in a scam. While tech firms continue to test them, they have a ways to go ahead of making it to dealerships.

Autonomous ships

The self driving smart car industry has spurred new industry projects around autonomous ships. Most recently, Rolls-Royce launched a joint industry project in Finland, known as the Advanced Autonomous Waternborne Applications (AAWA). Objectives center around the development of tech for ships operating in coastal waters. Spokespersons state that the project should hit completion around the end of the decade.

Similarly, the European Union’s MUNIN (Maritime Unmanned Navigation through Intelligence in Networks), has started to explore the feasibility of uncrewed merchant ships. A serious concern is piracy of non-human staffed maritime vessels.

For more information about self driving cars, see Cyber Talk’s past coverage. In addition, sign up for the Cyber Talk newsletter, which provides robust insights for all sectors year-round.