Security issues raising concerns as cars become more high-tech
With artificial intelligence becoming further integrated with the automotive industry, questions about security issues relating to intelligent connected vehicles require close scrutiny, according to insiders and experts.
Those remarks took place at the 2018 Global Automotive AI Conference, which is held by Chinese auto news portal Tencent Auto－owned by Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd－last Tuesday in Beijing.
"With the upgrading of industry technology and the transforming of customers' consumption concepts and consumption patterns, the automobile industry will witness a substantial adjustment," Tang Daosheng, senior executive vice-president of Tencent, said at the conference.
"That industry adjustment features high technology. Thus, the automobile manufacturer who masters the technology will grasp the new-round development opportunity. For instance, to go with the tide of the trend, BMW, Mercedes Benz and Ford have upgraded their brand positioning from traditional automakers to mobility service providers," Tang added.
Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, the world-renowned white-hat hackers and security experts, shared their views on securing self-driving cars at the conference.
"Hackers can attack the intelligent connected vehicles and control the braking systems through cellular network, Bluetooth and CD player," Miller said. "To secure automated vehicles, we should find the law of hacking. And based on the law, we stand a chance in developing protective methods," Miller noted.
But Valasek added that it's an extremely tough mission, which asks for numerous tests and requires more trust among automakers for such outside technical experts. With more and more automated vehicles coming out in the future, the superiorities and inferiorities of the automatic driving vehicles will become apparent, Valasek said.
"What we have to do is do our best to make it (automated vehicle) as secure as possible," he noted.
Still, tech firms and automakers are plunging ahead. Tang noted that Tencent is scheduled to join hands with more automakers to establish a smart mobility ecology, leveraging its rich experience accumulated in consumption of the internet in the past two decades and superiority in cloud technology and artificial intelligence.
In terms of smart mobility, Tencent has built up partnership with 16 carmakers, aiming to help the carmakers to achieve transformation with digitalization, according to Tang.
Tang's words were echoed by Zhong Xiangping, vice-president at Tencent, who said that relying on its mass users and data, Tencent is able to facilitate the automakers' transformation and upgrading in multiple aspects, one of which is the Tencent intelligent automobile distributing solution.
Taking full advantage of Tencent's social software－WeChat, QQ and the Mini Program, the intelligent distributing solution efficiently improves customers' experience in the dealer exhibition halls and helps establish smarter customer relationship management system, viewing to help the automakers lift their operating efficiency and benefit, Zhong added.
Meng Pu, president of Qualcomm China region－a US radio communication technology research and development company－said at the conference that 5G communication and artificial intelligence technology is being integrated with the automobile industry.
With high-speed and low-latency mobile communication, 5G communication will redefine the mobility experience with enhancing driving safety, relieving traffic pressure and improving traffic efficiency, according to Meng.
Saad Metz, executive vice-president of Audi China, said that intelligent technology is the best method for his company to realize its localization efforts in China.
Cooperating with Tencent in terms of intelligent technology, Audi aims to provide the Chinese customers with a smarter and more convenient mobility experience, according to Metz.