The future of transportation and mobility is one of the most exciting fields of technology, one that is both growing rapidly and producing advancements that occur at dizzying speeds.

It is critical that safety and security are a priority from the beginning of the process and throughout the development and production processes if the industry is going to foster and maintain the trust required for the adoption of these technologies. Safety, security, and trust are fundamental to this effort and inseparable in their importance.

This is particularly true where new technologies like autonomous vehicle safety are concerned. We see time and again that regardless of the extensive number of hours that autonomous vehicle testing is done safely, a single incident or crash can overwhelm reporting in the news.

On the consumer side, there may be certain misunderstandings on what autonomous features are designed to do in today’s vehicles. Lower level autonomy is there to augment a human driver, not replace them. As we know, it helps the driver with things we as humans are really bad at, like paying attention for long periods of time, or checking all our blind spots.

Of course, there are currently a lot of things that humans do better than cars, like contextual understanding and object identification. Even with this understanding, advancements in technology appear to be blamed much quicker than the humans do, and it potential results in a lack of trust that hurts the entire industry.

Another modern phenomenon that impacts the trust of a consumer is a security incident. Even with drivers maintaining some control, there is a risk that connected vehicles could be infected with a malware when connecting to a mobile device, which could have certain negative results for the driver.

This brings the world of connected autonomous vehicles right up there with every network that requires the protections offered by security technologies such as firewalls, antivirus (EPP), endpoint detection and response (EDR), distributed ledger technology (DLT), etc. The massive mobile endpoint that is the modern vehicle comes with more than its share of security concerns and begs the question: are today’s security solutions going to translate well to an autonomous vehicle?

On the one hand, car should appear to security systems as one big network, albeit one that weighs more than a ton and can move faster than 100 mph. What is certain is that manufacturers need to work closely with firms on advanced security systems that are designed to work specifically with autonomous vehicles.

While the challenges inherent with assuring that autonomous vehicle safety and security are significant, the good news is that a host of leading thinkers across multiple industries associated with developing the technologies required have been hard at work solving these issues for quite some time.

BlackBerry recently published the Road to Mobility: The 2020 Guide to Trends and Technology for Smart Cities and Transportation, which examines key points to consider as we enter the world of autonomous vehicles, including:

  • Roadblocks and Pathways to Vehicle Electrification Adoption by Austin Brown, Executive Director, Policy Institute for Energy, the Economy, and the Environment at UC Davis.
  • Challenges to Smart Mobility and Smart Cities by Roger Lanctot, Associate Director in the Global Automotive Practice at Strategy Analytics.
  • Regulatory Policy, Safety and Security in Connected and Autonomous Vehicles by Parham Eftekhari, Executive Director of the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT), the nation’s leading cybersecurity Think Tank.

The publication also includes numerous other articles from thought leaders with the Auto-ISAC, ITSA, Carnegie Mellon, Cyber Future Foundation, and more.

Jeff Davis, as Senior Director oversees the company’s smart transportation initiatives, representing the organization in industry groups including ERTICO – ITS Europe, The Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITSA), Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE),  and the Automotive Information Sharing and Analysis Center (Auto-ISAC), as well as directing BlackBerry’s development in smart transportation.

ERTICO in collaboration with BlackBerry will host a Virtual Conference ‘Empowering mobility with secure & accessible data’ on Wednesday 3 June & Thursday 4 June 2020.

Please register here for this unique conference:

Photo credit: Jeff Davis