The development of self-driving automobiles will permanently increase road safety, according to the international technology and innovation consulting firm Invensity www.invensity.com
Paul Arndt, Principal Consultant at Invensity, explains: “Autonomous driving is one of the biggest trends in the automotive sector. In the next decade, this will certainly be one of the defining issues for development departments in the automotive sector.”
According to Invensity, the main safety risk is presented by the networking of vehicles. Networking brings many benefits. Traffic flow could be optimized through cooperation between road users. In order to achieve this, actions such as acceleration, braking, or changes of direction need to be communicated to other vehicles. Paul Arndt says, “All these use cases create something that is actually new: interfaces that make it possible to influence a vehicle from the outside. This makes it necessary to address the entire issue of safety in a systematic way.” In this context, the Principal Consultant explains that there are two dimensions of software safety and security. One is functional safety, which involves protecting the environment from the vehicle. The other is cybersecurity, which involves protecting the system against tampering.
First standard for automotive cybersecurity
Invensity points out that “SAE J3061 – Cybersecurity Guidebook for Cyber-Physical Vehicle Systems” constitutes the world’s first automotive process standard for cybersecurity. It is only a matter of time before the first automobile manufacturer experiences a large-scale attack.
Invensity does not believe that conventional automobile manufacturers will find it easy to switch to software developers with cybersecurity know-how.
The problem of software updates
Until now, vehicles have only ever had new software installed when taken to the workshop. Product recalls in the automotive sector work in a fundamentally different way from the distribution of software patches – for example, to smartphones via the mobile phone network.
This raises the question: will it be necessary for automobile manufacturers at least to provide safety and security updates throughout the entire life cycles of their models?
Paul Arndt, Principal Consultant at Invensity, summarizes: “In the end, car driving will be many times safer in the future than it is today. But until then, the entire sector still needs to overcome a whole mountain of challenges.”
Invensity GmbH is an up-and-coming European technology and innovation consulting company with an international focus. It has offices in Germany and in the US. Invensity uses its Academy and Innovation Center to provide an ongoing outstanding level of service to renowned companies in the field of research and development. High-quality training and mentoring build the knowledge, talent and skills of Invensity’s employees, enabling them to develop competencies that can be applied across the range of projects undertaken in the company’s departments.