Lawmakers Want NHTSA To Study Connected Car Security

Aiming to beef up security in connected and driverless cars, a group of lawmakers have introduced a bipartisan bill in the House of Representatives that would put the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in charge of studying security issues for cars and trucks that are connected and eventually driverless.

According to a report, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) co-sponsored the bill, dubbed The Security and Privacy in Your Car Study Act. The goal of the bill is to create a safety standard for connected cars, which are expected to be on the roads in large number by 2020. The report noted the bill calls on the NHTSA to work with the Defense Department, the Federal Trade Commission, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Automotive Information Sharing and Analysis Center, SAE International, academics and automotive manufacturers. Combined, the different agencies and the private sector would look at how to isolate in-car software to develop a system that can detect and prevent cyberhacks. The group would also come up with best practices for the industry when it comes to the storage of data and create a timeline for when these standards would be implemented, noted the report.

“It’s something of a daunting challenge to balance disruptive technological innovation with federal safety and privacy protections,” Rep. Wilson and Rep. Lieu wrote in an op-ed, according to the report. “As a result, all applicable government agencies need to be on the same page when assessing a cyberthreat or measuring a cyberattack.”

With the automotive and technology industries racing to get connected and driverless cars on the market, concerns are rising that these vehicles will easily be hacked, creating a safety issue for all the drivers on the road. In the past, there have been cases where people were able to hack into connected cars, ushering in the bill put forth by the group of bipartisan lawmakers.


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