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Autonomous driving and connectivity complicate automotive safety issues – EB´s President and Managing Director Alexander Kocher interviewed by YiMagazine

For the past century, the concept of safety in the automotive industry has been “so long as you step on the brakes, the car can stop”. Today, this is no longer enough

For the past century, the concept of safety in the automotive industry has been “so long as you step on the brakes, the car can stop”. Today, this is no longer enough.

Now, in-vehicle software accounts for 25-30% of a car’s value; five years from now, it will account for up to 40%. Alexander Kocher hopes that his own predictions will come true. If so, Elektrobit, where he serves as the President and Managing Director, would have the most to gain. The German automotive software supplier giant is a subsidiary of Continental AG and has been developing automotive embedded and connected software for more than 30 years. Today, one focus of their business is automotive digital security.

In Kocher’s view, a car is more and more like a smart terminal, but its safety problem is much more difficult than a mobile phone or a computer, because it is related to personal safety, which requires companies that provide solutions to understand both the mechanics and hardware of the car, at the same time, be up to date with the latest information security technologies. The reality is that no single company can lead in all aspects, and this is back to the old question: how traditional car suppliers work with IT companies.

Y= YiMagazine
K= Alexander Kocher

Y: Nowadays, when people talk about the digital security of vehicles, the idea of “hacker-controlled cars” comes to mind. In reality, though, what does digital security actually mean for a car?

K: We can understand the concerns of the average user. Indeed, as more cars become connected and thus become smarter, digital security will become more and more important.
However, vehicle safety entails a huge system. First, we must ensure functional safety. In the first 100 years of the automotive industry, it was guaranteed that the car would stop as soon as you step on the brake pedal, or when you turn the steering wheel to the left. This involves a great deal of hardware and software issues. Even functional safety is closely related to software and data because there are complex electronic control units (ECUs) within the car’s engine and gearbox.

Next up is digital security, which more and more people are starting to care about. This includes both user privacy security and also digital transmission security for over-the-air (OTA) programming updates.

Third, which everyone cares about, is the security of the driving environment, so that attacks will not lead to traffic hazards.

The fourth dimension goes beyond the car itself and includes the safety of the entire transportation network, including traffic signals, buildings, and ancillary facilities. Where do cars go to charge? How can we avoid traffic jams? How can we plan out the best routes? Data security is also the basis for answers to these kinds of questions.

Please click here to view the full press release.

SOURCE: Elektrobit

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