With a £25m investment award recently provided to three autonomous driving projects, it’s clear the government is keen on maximising the opportunity of a market forecasted to be worth up to £52bn by 2035. However, equally it wants to ensure that measures are being taken to protect this emerging industry from cyber attacks and, in December, it announced a new cyber security standard for developing self-driving car technology.
Back in November, Business Secretary, Greg Clark announced funding designed to boost the UK’s position as a world leader in the development of self-driving vehicles and give people in London and Edinburgh the chance to experience driverless technology by 2021. The projects range from an autonomous bus pilot service across the Forth Bridge in Edinburgh to taxi pilot services and a mobility service in London. “Self-driving cars will revolutionise the way we move goods and people around the UK. These Industrial Strategy projects and investments are exciting examples of our long-term plan in action – ensuring we build on our strengths to reap the rewards as we accelerate towards our ambition to have autonomous vehicles on UK roads by 2021. Autonomous vehicles and their technology will not only revolutionise how we travel, it will open up and improve transport services for those who struggle to access both private and public transport,” said Clark.
However, self-driving vehicles is yet another potential target for cyber criminals and so the government has set out a new cyber security standard that companies developing autonomous vehicles can use as a guideline₁. This follows the government’s publication in August 2017 by the department of transport which set out key principles of cyber security for automated vehicles₂, such as the expectation that systems should be resilient to attacks and respond appropriately when its defences fail. Published by the British Standards Institute, the new measures were created in partnership with academics, the National Cyber Security Centre and a number of car companies including Bentley, Ford and Jaguar Land Rover and set a marker for those developing self-driving technology. Jesse Norman, Future of Mobility Minister, said “As vehicles get smarter, major opportunities for the future of mobility increase. But so too do the challenges posed by data theft and hacking. This cyber security standard should help to improve the resilience and readiness of the industry, and help keep the UK at the forefront of advancing transport technology.”
Perhaps surprisingly, adoption of the standard is not mandatory for automotive businesses. In particular, the BSI said vehicle manufacturers, suppliers or service providers do not have to apply the standards to connected and autonomous vehicles that are already in use. According to the BSI, “It sets out fundamental principles on how to provide and maintain cybersecurity in relation to reducing threat and harm to products, services and systems within increasingly connected and collaborative intelligent transport ecosystems.”
The market is clearly set to boom as evidenced by its dominance at CES 2019 where there was no shortage of technologies that support the future of self-driving vehicles including parking assist, collision avoidance, emergency braking and much more.