Connected and autonomous vehicle technology is advancing all the time, and the Government has said it wants to see fully autonomous cars on the UK’s roads by 2021.
But autonomous vehicles must have a sufficient level of security to guard against cyber attacks before they are permitted on the roads, according to the UK insurance industry.
Putting forward a series of recommendations on keeping automation safe, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Thatcham Research said that automated driving systems “must be able to detect and minimise the consequences of cyber intrusions and data security breaches“. This would help protect against the risk of hackers using connected car services to spread viruses or even remotely access a vehicle’s controls.
James Dalton, director of general insurance policy at the ABI, said that autonomous vehicles have the potential to dramatically improve road safety as well as transform mobility for thousands. “However it is important that the transition from increasingly sophisticated driver assistance systems, already operating in modern cars, to fully autonomous vehicles is carefully handled to avoid unnecessary problems.”
Building in appropriate cyber security “should be a compulsory requirement before any car is allowed to effectively drive itself“, Dalton added.
Other recommendations made by the ABI and Thatcham Research include the importance of vehicle data being available in the event of an accident and that vehicles must be able to handle emergency situations without driver intervention.
Following a consultation to work through the technical details, the recommendations will be passed on to national and international regulators.