Advancing Technology and the Public Threat

If you’re a movie fan, at some point, you will almost certainly have witnessed a scene where a villain sabotages a vehicle. The unsuspecting character gets into their car, fires up the engine and it explodes, dramatically. Or, perhaps the villain messes with the brakes, causing the main character to have a horrible crash. While these are familiar scenes out of a movie, the basic mechanics behind them are certainly possible in the real world.


In our everyday life we’re not dealing with villains who sabotage cars, nor manufacturers who intentionally install parts that can inflict harm on the public. But, the hidden dangers are real. There are a record number of recalled vehicles out on the road, leaving drivers in a position where they could very well end up in a situation just like in the movies. It’s these dangerous recalls, and the very real risk they pose, that is causing all of the commotion, emotion and legislation.


Enter technology. And things could quickly get even worse……


A recent article in Automotive News shares advice from a security specialist warning auto manufacturers about the imminent danger of vehicles which are effectively controlled more by computers than mechanics. According to the article, for every 1,800 lines of code, 80 percent have shown security vulnerabilities; estimated at 5,000 vulnerabilities in a connected vehicle and 15,000 in an autonomous vehicle. An autonomous vehicle, in fact, has 285 million more lines of code than a top-of-the-line Boeing 787 Dreamliner, making it “the most complex transportation platform existing.”


It’s been proven – and demonstrated - that connected and autonomous vehicles can be hacked into. Third-parties, unbeknownst to the driver, can take control of vital operational equipment including steering and brakes (amongst other things) from a remote location. This, in itself, is an issue that connected and autonomous vehicle designers should be looking into and finding immediate fixes, rather than waiting for these vehicles to be rolled out to the masses. Once on the roads, it could well be too late and result in injury or death to vehicle owners and other people on the road.


You don’t have to wait 10 years to see the impact of technology on vehicle safety.  While lives are being saved through technology such as hands-free communication, brake assist and lane correction, there are also technologies that pose risks. The computerization of vehicles has caused more recalls than ever before. As reported in the 2017 State of Recalls, software/electronics-related recalls account for the second highest number of recalls (89), affecting the fourth highest number of vehicles (2.5 million).  I don’t suggest that we slow down technological advancements in vehicles, only that we properly test these technologies and try to forecast  which will lead to recalls.


If you think recalls – and the potential injuries or deaths – that occur because of a faulty airbag or ignition switch are scary, wait until someone decides to sit on the side of the highway with a laptop and hack into an autonomous vehicle, forcing it to drive off of a cliff.


There are no autonomous vehicles ready for mass sales today. But they are closer to hitting dealerships today than they were yesterday. The day is coming.  As they put peoples’ lives in danger, recalls are something we should all, as an industry, work together to better anticipate, fix and prevent; not wait until a pattern emerges and then act. That’s how we ended up with this mess of recalls in the first place.

Views: 28


You need to be a member of to add comments!


dE Sponsor

Latest Activity

Tony Provost posted a video
9 hours ago
Black Book posted a blog post

Broad Declines in the Market

Welcome to this week's edition of Black Book Market Insights, with in-depth analysis of used car…See More
13 hours ago
Jim Flint posted a blog post
15 hours ago
Bill Wittenmyer posted a video

Witt's Wise Words: Does Your Team Understand Your Goals?

VP of Sales, CDK Global, Bill Wittenmyer explains the importance of communicating your goals effectively to your team in this episode of Witt's Wise Words.
Mike Esposito posted a blog post

Auto/Mate Announces West Coast Expansion

New customer support and installation teams in Arizona will accommodate growing demand from auto…See More
Scot Eisenfelder posted a blog post

Affinitiv CEO Scot Eisenfelder Shines Spotlight on 5 Industry Disruptors Affecting Auto Dealers in 2019

Chicago, IL- January 14, 2018- Affinitiv CEO Scot Eisenfelder is shining a spotlight on five…See More
John Sternal posted a blog post

Lease Credit Approval Rates Rise to 71.4% to Close Out 2018

Lease Approval Ratings in December Reach Their Highest Number Since, the…See More
Tony Provost posted a video

de sponsor

Get Newsletter

dE Sponsor

© 2019   Created by DealerELITE.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service