EU’s latest auto cybersecurity rules spark model discontinuation woes – NewsBytes

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The new auto cybersecurity rules also raise concerns about surveillance
Apr 18, 2024

11:32 am

What’s the story

The European Union’s upcoming cybersecurity regulations are causing significant changes in the automotive industry, resulting in the discontinuation of several older car models.

These rules aim to mitigate the growing threat of cyberattacks on modern vehicles.

However, they have also ignited debates around data privacy and surveillance due to the extensive use of sensors and cameras in the cars.

Tech vulnerabilities

Technological advancements increase cybersecurity risks

Today’s vehicles are equipped with numerous cameras and advanced sensors to improve safety and convenience.

However, these technological advancements have inadvertently increased the vulnerability of cars to hacking attempts and cyberattacks.

This heightened risk has led international regulatory bodies such as the United Nations and the European Union to enforce strict cybersecurity rules for automobiles.

Regulatory mandates

New regulations mandate enhanced cybersecurity measures

The United Nations regulation R155, effective from July 2022, requires automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to develop a system to counter cybersecurity threats.

Additionally, R156 ensures secure vehicle software updates to protect against cyber threats.

These regulations will be applicable to new vehicles sold in the European Union from July 7, 2024, underlining the importance of cybersecurity in the automotive sector.

Model withdrawals

Cybersecurity regulations force model discontinuations

The enforcement of these cybersecurity regulations has compelled several automakers to remove older models from their European lineups due to the high costs of upgrading their electronics.

Impacted models include the VW Up!, VW Transporter 6.1, ICE-powered Porsche Macan, Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman, and select models from Renault, Audi, and Smart.

Some manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz assert that their lineup will remain unaffected by these new rules.

Privacy debates

Data privacy concerns rise amid increased vehicle surveillance

The extensive use of sensors and cameras in modern cars has also raised concerns about surveillance and data privacy.

Economist Moritz Schularick voiced fears that modern electric vehicles (EVs) could potentially act as “spying machines on four wheels,” collecting sensitive data and transmitting it to manufacturers, including those in China.

This brings up questions about potential surveillance by governments through the millions of connected vehicles on the roads.

Threat analysis

Study highlights cybersecurity threats in modern vehicles

A recent study titled “Automotive Cyber Security” by the German Center of Automotive Management (CAM) and Cisco Systems, emphasizes the imminent cybersecurity threats in automobiles.

The study underscores the vulnerability of modern vehicles to cyber attacks, particularly with the rise of software-defined vehicles, autonomous driving, electromobility, and interconnected supply chains.

The implementation of strict measures by global regulatory bodies highlights the seriousness of these issues and emphasizes the need for automakers to prioritizing vehicle cybersecurity.

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