From automatic crash notification (ACN) to fleet management, Telematics is the “connection” that makes the connected car a wireless marvel of the automotive world. Telematics is a hot topic these days. With the current focus on self-driving vehicles, connected cars, cyber security, and especially, rising levels of traffic fatalities, the communication network that makes it possible for your automobile to move and react on its own is rapidly innovating. Telematic solutions are more readily available for all vehicles and even mandated as standard in some countries. The technology’s origin is oddly similar to that of the Jeep, and its integration into day-to-day life has been as seamless as that ubiquitous, stalwart vehicle. But what exactly is telematics?
What are car companies, dealerships and the government doing to ensure sensitive information embedded inside connected cars – including your car’s “black box” or event data recorder (EDR) — is secure and inaccessible to hackers and even legal probes? Don’t miss this Q&A on vehicle cyber security with auto tech expert Mark Phelan. V2Gov: Automakers are increasingly concerned about cyber security, how are OEMs keeping vehicle owner information private? Phelan: There’s a lot of work going on to make cars more secure, including hackathons where automakers and suppliers work with white-hats to find holes in their cyber security. It’s hard to get much detail on what they do, for the same reason Apple and Microsoft don’t talk about security measures: They want to keep it secret so each new system lasts for as long as possible.
One thing the unfortunate Volkswagen diesel scandal did was put ever more consumer distrust in car companies and auto software at a time when trust in upcoming partially- and fully-autonomous vehicles will be paramount. Can we really trust self-driving cars? “Trust is essential to making autonomous cars a reality,” says Navigant Research’s senior research analyst Sam Abuelsamid (@samabuelsamid), who has been researching and writing constantly the past couple years on the intersections of vehicle autonomy and cybersecurity. He says consumers are going to expect a lot before they trust cars that drive them around without any pedals or steering wheels, such as Google’s built-autonomous-from-the-ground-up little car. “Automakers need to thoroughly test all of these technologies and make them as robust as possible before any initial deployments,” he says.