Congress Seeks Answers on Auto Cybersecurity

Congress Seeks Answers on Auto Cybersecurity

The federal government is looking for answers on how automakers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) plan to deal with auto cybersecurity in their vehicles.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has sent 17 letters to major automakers and NHTSA, requesting more information on how the auto industry will deal with infrastructure and technological changes in today’s cars.

“We are entering a new era in cybersecurity. The explosion of new, connected devices and services is exacerbating existing cybersecurity challenges and has introduced another potential consequence – the threat of physical harm – as products responsible for public health and safety are integrated into the Internet ecosystem,” reads the letter.

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Hackers have already proven that vehicle functions, such as throttle and braking, can be accessed remotely through a computer.

“This will be a significant challenge for the automobile industry. The integration and convergence of transportation and communications technologies in connected cars offers tremendous opportunity for innovation, improved performance, convenience (e.g. in-vehicle Wi-Fi, infotainment systems, smartphone interface and/or integration, etc.) and safety (e.g. Vehicle-To-Vehicle, Vehicle-To-Infrastructure, Autonomous Vehicles, etc.). All of these features, however, provide a gateway for potential threats. …” said the letter.

The committee is requesting that an answer be provided to them by June 11, 2015. Automakers sent the letter include GM, Ford, FCA North America, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Kia, Subaru, Mercedes Benz, Volvo, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, and Tesla.

  • Jonny_Vancouver

    Congress, seriously? With all the other problems the U.S. is facing, Congress is using its time, and resources on this?

    I’m sorry, I’m not an American, but we are neighbors, brothers and sisters even, and I do enjoy the drive across our borders for mini vacations and shopping. So it’s hard to read something like this and not shake my head.

    I gotta call them out on this public forum and point out that the main reasons the government tries to flex it’s muscle in the private sector is when they get caught with their pants down in some scandal or something is affecting their cash flow.

    I’m sure between Apple, Google, and Tesla (just to name a few component tech companies) can solve this “Cyber problem” without the government’s involvement.

    So stop showboating, Congress. Fix the country on your end and let the private sector deal with its issues. It will deal with it, and faster without your interference because unlike governments, the private sector listens to the people.

  • Troy B.

    Well said!