The best in-car technology
23 Jan 2020
The degree to which Internet of Things (IoT) devices impact on modern life is becoming greater with every year, and now the technology is starting to become commonplace inside the car. This will culminate, according to online magazine The Engineer, with cars being able to subliminally communicate via this expansive technology.
As your vehicle changes to meet the opportunities and demands of IoT, it will affect everything from driver experience through to the maintenance of your engine and tyres. As a result, protecting this system, as you would your home computer with a firewall, will be crucial to your safety and happiness on the road.
The In-car Adviser
The most ubiquitous symbol of the IoT is the digital assistant. Google Home, Alexa, Bixby and related technologies form the voice and face of the services we use, and have been around in vehicles for a while; according to the Independent, the Echo Auto was made available as early as 2018.
Latest iterations of these assistants have the ability to assist in diagnosing and rectifying car problems. Access to all of this information will, of course, leave the system vulnerable to interference. The best way to do this remains through securing your system with passwords.
Stick to the rules that have been espoused by digital security gurus for years – use different passwords on different services, mix in special characters and numbers with your choices, and don’t pick generic words or terms that are identifiable by someone who might know you.
As cars become smarter, they have gained the capability to assess issues within and auto-create reports. This has the benefit of helping mechanics and engineers to easily diagnose and rectify the issues with the vehicle with far more haste, including physical issues like a blown out tyre. However, this comes with the risk inherent in connectivity, and, as Wired outline, vehicles connected in this manner will need antivirus.
Again, treating the vehicle like a home computer and having an effective antivirus will help to counter many risks.
When your car becomes the device
According to Business Insider, BMW are just the latest in a string of car companies that are seeking to deploy connective car technology that will allow vehicles to talk to each other on the road. Using all of the sensors and other data collection facilities that modern vehicles have, this will allow road users to have a far more accurate and interactive experience of the road as they use it – road works, traffic pileup, and even accident prevention.
With this huge use of free data comes one key security consideration – software updates. Ensure that your car is regularly updated in terms of its software and firmware to keep up with incremental changes as they relate to connectivity tech.
The internet of things is slowly but surely taking in the average vehicle. With that will come a range of opportunities, but security risks too. Staying safe is simply a matter of applying home tech security principles to driving.
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