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Why driverless cars are a game changer for cybersecurity

By Matt Luby and Pramitha Krishnamurthyprakash

Technology companies see big opportunities in the auto sector. But if they are to truly thrive in this market, they must first solve the challenge of cybersecurity

As technology companies search for new industries to disrupt, all eyes are on the global automotive industry – a sector which boasts annual sales of 90 million and has already won plaudits for innovation and technological leadership. Today’s most basic vehicles contain at least 30 electronic control units, while some luxury cars contain as many as 100. Bruce Emaus, chairman of the Society of Automotive Engineers International’s Embedded Software Standards Committee, told The New York Times: “it would be easy to say the modern car is a computer on wheels.” Yet while advanced technology has provided exciting new opportunities for drivers in navigation, communication and entertainment, it has also raised tricky questions around cybersecurity and data privacy.

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