Cybersecurity “as important as brakes” for future cars2 min read

25/Oct/2019

The head of one of the world’s largest car makers has called for the automotive industry to ensure that cybersecurity is built in to all future vehicles.

Speaking at the BlackBerry World Tour event in London earlier this month, Sir Ralf D Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), said it was time for a “step change” in how new cars are built.

“On the road of the future you won’t have a safe vehicle unless you have a cyber secure vehicle,” he said. “We need to build a world where the digital control of a physical object is reliable, safe and secure.”

Speaking as part of a keynote hosted by BlackBerry CEO John Chen, Speth referenced the carmaker’s partnership with BlackBerry to implement its QNX platform into vehicles such as the new Land Rover Discovery.

Noting that the two firms were working together to build “the next generation of safe, secure and intelligent vehicles”, Speth added that, although smart vehicles could help address future societal problems such as an ageing global population, doing so relied on staying safe from attacks.

“Cybersecurity is one of the biggest challenges today – the opportunity is there for cybersecurity to enhance the customer experience, protecting privacy and creating safer, more secure mobility,” he said. “In a connected world, cybersecurity is as fundamental to your safety as the brakes.”

In his speech, Speth (left) outlined JLR’s “destination zero” target, which looks to ensure that future vehicles will have zero emissions, result in zero accidents, and cause zero congestion.

“Mobility is the lifeblood of a flourishing society…(it) is a basic right for everybody,” he said. “But on the road of the future you won’t have a safe vehicle unless you have a cyber secure vehicle. We need to build a world where digital control of a physical object is reliable, safe and secure.”

“We are both actively aware that there is more to do if we are to respond to the ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape to meet the challenges of today, and the problems of tomorrow. Cybersecurity allows us to offer mobility to anyone, anywhere, safely.”

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