Photo: Adi Goldstein, Unsplash

Cybersecurity in the era of the connected car

The aftermarket industry stands to be significantly impacted by the issue of access to data.

Figiefa recently hosted a webinar on ‘Cybersecurity – new challenges for the automotive aftermarket’. Les Mc Master,  vice chairman of MIWA,  attended the webinar and shares some of the highlights of the presentation.  

The entire automotive industry has expressed excitement over the opportunities ushered in by the era of the connected car. Access to data – about everything from the driver’s online shopping and entertainment preferences to the state of the car – present new ways for industry members to engage with drivers, and open novel avenues for providing service. However, we in the aftermarket industry will also be faced with fresh challenges.

These arise from the ‘extended vehicle’ concept that is being employed by OEMs, which give them exclusive technical control over access to in-vehicle data and car IT systems. While they may choose to make such data available to independent service providers, they will still have an advantage: while OEMs are able to access pertinent data immediately, there will inevitably be a lag before it can be accessed by independent workshops, negatively impacting their ability to provide a speedy response to drivers’ needs. What’s more, OEMs may be able to filter the information they make available, and because they own the information systems, will be able to ‘see’ the transactions that take place between independents and drivers.

All of this adds up to give OEMs a distinct advantage over independent workshops, and one the aftermarket industry is determined to address. One solution that has been put forward is that, instead of an extended vehicle concept, the industry should introduce a shared server giving independent aftermarket service providers equal access to information. It may also be necessary to introduce regulation to address the issue. 

Although there has, as yet, been no move to draft such regulation, it is indeed something to consider as the move to connected driving gains traction.

Click here to download the presentation.