Autonomous Vehicle Technology Connect

Security and the rise of the connected car

January 6, 2020
KEYWORDS Automotive / Security

Security and the rise of the connected car 

The transition to a fully connected world is rapidly approaching, and the car is now joining the journey. The global connected car market has seen remarkable growth in recent years and is projected to reach just over $219 billion by 2025, according to MarketsandMarkets (
Connectivity on the road is not a new phenomenon, with many passengers already connecting through personal 4G via their smartphones. This approach is fine for early adopters, but as the type of content and services evolves, car manufacturers will provide built-in connectivity that is as seamless to use as Bluetooth is today. Next-generation mobile network technology will usher in a new era of connected vehicles and immersive entertainment experiences that will transform the automotive industry forever.


A new era

Demand for in-car entertainment has always been strong, from radio to DVD players to tablets. Now connected infotainment is rising as consumers expect to access the same content in the car as easily as they do in the home. As we move into 2020, car manufacturers are increasingly enhancing vehicles with smarter technology, giving drivers and passengers access to sophisticated infotainment systems with the aim of fostering an on ongoing digital relationship.

As consumers know from cell phones, 4G is more than capable of delivering entertainment services on the move. Once more cars are equipped with 5G receivers, there will be a major increase in capacity to deliver infotainment on the new big screens within the car that many manufacturers are unveiling.
Car users will soon be able to access branded video-on-demand services and stream content from globally recognized TV brands, such as MTV and Comedy Central, in high definition. Car retail services, such as booking and paying for hotels, fuel, and parking—all accessible by voice commands—will enable drivers and passengers to easily, and safely, execute day-to-day tasks while on the road.


Exposed to increased threats

Connectivity will enable vehicles to become full-service hubs, however turning the car into an open environment will leave it exposed to increased security threats such as hacking. As with any other device that connects to the internet, vehicles need protection from cyber criminals with detailed knowledge of in-car systems.

The primary concern has to be safety; hackers must not be allowed access to control systems or data such as GPS location or destination history. Another factor that is new to the connected automotive environment is content piracy—the potential to use cars to illegally download content and then potentially make it available through unauthorized third-party websites.


Creating a secure environment

A complete and secure ecosystem needs to be created so that data transmitted to and from cars cannot be intercepted and tampered with. With a multilayered security strategy, weak links can be identified to block any attack before it has a chance to gain momentum. This enables OEMs and Tier 1 vendors to provide a safe and stable driving experience for consumers. Without a secure solution in place, attackers could compromise the ecosystem with potentially damaging outcomes for drivers and passengers.

For entertainment content, the rights holders will want assurances that the in-car environment is secure and that their content is protected with appropriate DRM (digital rights management) solutions. Without this, the car industry will not be able to offer the compelling entertainment services on-the-move that customers are seeking.

As we head toward a fully connected world, vehicles will continue to gain access to—and store—a substantial amount of data, meaning privacy will become a primary concern when looking toward the future of the connected car. Security must continue to be front of mind for car manufacturers so that the connected car experience can be safe, secure, and enjoyed by drivers and passengers globally. 



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