Internet Of Things: Smart Cars

Technology is advancing at an impressive speed, it is becoming more and more common to hear about a wide variety of smart devices, and today smart vehicles are gaining ground in the world market, but what does a car need to be considered smart?

A smart car is a vehicle that helps to interact in a certain way with the environment, helps the driver improve or make their driving experience easier, and, above all, increases their safety. They can do it through different apps that keep the user up to date on the car’s performance, or they can even have autopilot. Some of the most well-known benefits are the following:

  • Parking Without Problems: Thanks to the sensors that take care of the environment of the cars, they can help the driver not to make mistakes; even some models can already park without the need for a driver.
  • Speed ​​Regulation: This benefit seeks to avoid accidents due to high speed because, thanks to GPS, the engine system can recognize the maximum speed of the road and not exceed it.
  • Emergency Call: Some brands have worked on a new technology capable of detecting if the car has suffered some accident and contacting an advisor, who will be in charge of asking about the state where the driver is. In case of no response, the emergency services will be notified of the car’s location.
  • Lane Assist: Technology that helps cars detect and stay within lane lines was designed to prevent accidents and correct distracted drivers.
  • Augmented Reality: Movies and series have shown us technology capable of highlighting important points on the street, showing us the route, and giving us vehicle information such as speed, calls, and revolutions virtually on our windshield.
  • Autopilot: These smart cars are not just parking assistance but go further, with autopilots capable of driving to a certain destination without needing a human driver to guide them.

Although all this sounds quite futuristic, the truth is that these technologies are getting closer to reality. It is estimated that by 2034, 10% of all car sales worldwide will be intelligent vehicles. Today we are already beginning to see some cars with smart features such as apps to open them without keys or that tell us their gas mileage.

However, to reach this projection, much more infrastructure is needed and, above all, the consolidation of the 5G network worldwide, since high data transfer speeds that only this network can offer us will be required.

But like everything in technology, being something new can also have its “Achilles’ heel” and have some risks: such as cyber-attacks and theft of personal information, since each intelligent vehicle can produce up to 30 terabytes of data per day.

Information theft can occur through applications that install malware on your devices or spyware that can interfere with the GPS of cars and know the exact location in real-time.

The most worrying thing is that a cyberattack could even drive your car. In 2015, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, two cybersecurity specialists, managed to hack the electrical systems of a Jeep. The incredible thing was that they did it without physical access to the vehicle; they controlled it, stopped in the middle of a journey, and deactivated the brakes when the car was traveling at low speed. This practice-led Chrysler to recall more than 1 million vehicles from the market.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg; here are some other interesting facts about the current situation of cyberattacks on smart cars:

  • 8% of attacks are keyless vehicle break-ins.
  • 8% of attacks are made against mobile applications of OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer)
  • 5% of the attacks are carried out through the OBD (On-Board Diagnostics) port, which implies having physical access to the vehicle. From there, the vehicle can be stolen, or malicious messages can be injected into the CAN (Controller Area Network) bus. to manipulate the behavior of the vehicle, for example.

Fortunately, according to recent cybersecurity studies, only 17% of attacks on smart vehicles can become high risk. Thanks to these studies carried out by the European Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), smart cars will have to have a certificate based on the United Nations Vehicle Safety regulation to go on the market. Some others are considering adding security systems—detecting intruders in their networks to avoid these attacks.

The manufacturers of these cars are increasingly committed to the well-being and safety of the user, and there is no doubt that these vehicles will be a significant technological advance. However, we must be aware that with all new technology comes risks, so it is important to follow the basic cybersecurity recommendations.

Also Read: How To Manage Vehicle Traffic Through Technology

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