When considering the risks of cutting-edge automotive technology, the first thing that usually comes to mind is autonomous vehicles. But focusing too much on self-driving technology risks ignoring a critical reality: Today’s cars and trucks are already connected to the internet, and like any other internet-connected device, they can be hacked.
The current car population will only gradually be scrapped but even so within twenty years autonomous cars will rule the road. Security will most likely (but don't assume it) be designed in but the residual car park over the next 20 years features next to little security.
Could be a few hacked-off drivers!
The supply chain further complicates this effort. As with many other components sourced in the auto supply chain, much of the technology many manufacturers put into their connected cars is produced by third parties, including a substantial amount of code. Unlike with faulty airbags, however, pointing the finger at suppliers gets far more difficult with consumers who may not understand the layers of responsibility for cybersecurity measures in consumer products. And they may be right. Given the nature of cyberrisk, manufacturers could be on the hook with customers and regulators to a degree that differs a bit from other faulty components, particularly when it comes to reputation.