Connectivity, Security, Monetization – the framework for trustworthy connected cars

Last updated: 01 November 2019

In light of the recent events, it’s become clear that trust in connected cars and emissions monitoring needs to be restored. The key to this is ensuring connected cars operate within trusted, secure frameworks. Furthermore, a high quality framework that allows manufacturers to update firmware remotely is must-have these days, for a number of reasons.

Updates are crucial (and particularly expensive if done purely through physical recall); with cars all over the world becoming increasingly connected, all automotive companies need to ensure they also protect against hacking or irregularities by remotely modifying and updating the software on their vehicles. After all, as the world becomes more connected and the Internet of Things continues to grow, so does the security risk. However, we should not forget that updates are only part of the puzzle when it comes to building connected cars that can be trusted. As we’ve highlighted, the key is a trusted framework where no compromises are made on connectivity, security, and monetization. See below for examples.

  • Connectivity – for a reliable framework, there’s undoubtedly a need to use the best-in-class connectivity modules which provide reliability and versatility. The ability to switch subscriptions is also especially needed now, to match consumer demand; our own LinqUs On-Demand Connectivity solution, for example, provides this ability.
  • Security – these frameworks need end-to-end security to ensure device and cloud identities are not compromised, all asset integrity is maintained, and any data (whether it be at rest or in motion) is protected. A purpose-built Secure Element, used in conjunction with a trusted service management solution and HSM technology can ensure this end-to-end security experience is needed for this kind of protection.
  • Monetization – the framework needs to ensure the protection of all Intellectual Property through licensing. This, crucially, allows car manufacturers to securely download/update firmware on their vehicles, whether to patch errors (perhaps emission level errors) or enable new features. A solution that provides such software monetization and licensing capabilities would prevent future costs for manufacturers who’d otherwise have to recall cars for significant firmware updates.

These framework features are all desirable, and can significantly reduce the chance of any security breaches, such as the Jeep hack earlier this year; it’s only a matter of time now until all connected car manufacturers adopt a comprehensive approach such as this for their frameworks. This approach, particularly with regard to remote updates, has already drawn significant praise for Tesla, who, despite a hack, were able to act swiftly (via remote updates) to solve security problems without physical recalls. We expect other manufacturers will follow suit, sooner rather than later.

What do you think the key to building connected cars is? Do you agree with the three areas we’ve highlighted? Let us know by tweeting to us @Gemalto.