The British government today issued a new set of guidelines designed to encourage automakers to make vehicles cybersecurity a priority.
UK Transport Minister Lord Callanan says that as autonomous and connected vehicles are increasingly used on British roadways, minimum protections should be established to protect consumers from cyber attacks, whether it’s controlling personal data, or taking control of the vehicle remotely. The goal is to provide “all parties involved in the manufacturing and supply chain … with a consistent set of guidelines.”
The governmental guidance, titled “The key principles of vehicle cyber security for connected and automated vehicles,” consists of eight basic principles. Organizations should ensure that security is a priority on a board level, manufacturers should assess potential risks, especially with third-party contractors, vehicle security needs to last for the lifetime of the system in question, organizations and subcontractors must work together to certify their security processes and products, security systems should be made redundant, manufactures should manage software over the expected life of the system, data storage should be secure, and the vehicle or systems should be able to withstand attacks and continue to function.
Essentially, automakers should be putting a greater emphasis on ensuring that the systems in their products are secure and that consumers won’t be left hanging because they own an older vehicle. Getting automakers to comply with governmental rules isn’t exactly a trivial concern either, as self-driving car makers in the US haven’t exactly been forthcoming when it comes to getting onboard with potential federal guidelines.
This isn’t the only avenue in which the UK Government is working to address autonomous vehicles. During her speech opening Parliament in June, the Queen announced the Autonomous and Electric Vehicles Bill, which will “allow innovation to flourish and ensure the next wave of self-driving technology is invented, designed and operated safely in the UK”.