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Protecting the car according to consumer demands

As vehicles become more connected by both aftermarket devices and technology installed by OEMs, automotive companies have to consider how this increased interaction can create issues for the vehicle.

As vehicles become more connected by both aftermarket devices and technology installed by OEMs, automotive companies have to consider how this increased interaction can create issues for the vehicle.

“For instance, what if a vehicle owner connects his or her phone to their car and then their phone is trying to send unadvised messages to the vehicle network? Or what if the phone messages overload the vehicle network so other message traffic cannot get through? What occurs if my driving habits, routes, usage, is exposed and then exploited?” noted Michael Eichbrecht, Innovation Manager at Visteon, speaking to Automotive World.

Visteon recently unveiled an automotive cockpit concept demonstrating how drivers can select certain controls through eye movement and head direction. Hidden eye-tracking cameras capture this data to deliver an advanced human-machine interaction.

The concept is called the Visteon OASIS cockpit, which was released by the supplier to protect against security breaches at the vehicle and cloud entry points. Eichbrecht noted, “The vehicle network is protected by Visteon’s gateway module that filters and validates messages coming in from mobile devices or Cloud services before it is allowed to pass onto the vehicle network. The Cloud interface was developed to ensure user privacy is maintained like many other consumer-facing Cloud services do today.”

Today Cloud-based services are experiencing the growing pains of a young industry, noted Eichbrecht, and consumers are becoming more aware of the need for security in their Cloud services. As a result, Eichbrecht explained that consumers will expect data security to be included as a standard feature of their vehicle. “The automotive industry will need to learn from industries currently engaged with the Cloud and apply the best practices to proactively avoid data security issues,” he said.

Visteon OASIS cockpit was released by the supplier to protect against security breaches at the vehicle and cloud entry points.
Visteon OASIS cockpit was released by the supplier to protect against security breaches at the vehicle and cloud entry points

Consumer demands for security

During a recent Visteon consumer research clinic, more than 80% of the participants indicated a willingness to pay a premium to have an updatable, secure, Cloud-connected infotainment system in their next vehicle.

People own their cars longer than most smartphones yet their vehicle receives very few if any updates during that time of ownership, noted Eichbrecht. “As smartphone use increases and owners become conditioned to these updates, they will expect their other connected devices including their car to require updates so that it stays current.”

He continued, “We anticipate the number is likely to grow as consumers will expect an updatable, secure, Cloud-connected infotainment system. They will want their vehicle to receive frequent updates so they can receive the latest available feature or performance enhancements.”

While certain aspects of data security are in cars today, and many OEMs such as Tesla have worked on updating software to fix issues and add new features without support from a vast dealer network, Eichbrecht noted, “Visteon’s OASIS concept takes these ideas and expands them to present the car as more of a platform than a closed environment, all while factoring in the need for data security.”

Rachel Boagey

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