Around six in every 10 motorists are concerned that car hacking will soon be a problem as cars become increasingly connected, according to a new survey.
A study of 2,000 people found that 59 per cent thought hacking will become an issue in the next few years.
The average vehicle now contains up to 100 computers and electronic control units, and 40 per cent of those surveyed deemed hacking to be a “fairly serious” problem as cars become more technologically advanced.
Asked whether they were worried about the prospect of a car being stolen through hacking, almost a third of respondents (31 per cent) said they were “fairly” worried, while 15 per cent said they were “very” concerned.
Dan Walton, MD of Satrak Plant Security which commissioned the survey, said: “When we think about a car being broken into, we tend to imagine smashed windows and coat hangers being jammed into doors, but times are changing.
“Vehicle technology and security is like an arms race and it’s important that manufacturers keep ahead of sophisticated criminals who know how to undermine the security of a vehicle through its digital components.”
In light of the study, the RAC has called on manufacturers to reassure motorists that their connected cars will be safe from cyber criminals.
RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: “The rise of the connected car will, almost inevitably, mean a rise in hacking attempts, so the public’s concern is perhaps understandable.
“Increasingly, motorists will demand reassurance from manufacturers that modern vehicles are secure – we’ve been used to thinking about security purely from a physical standpoint, but modern vehicles will need to be protected against cyber attacks too, be they large scale or from an individual.
“The opportunities offered by connected vehicles are enormous – from helping us beat the worst of the traffic jams to helping our chosen breakdown service be more proactive through telematics – but security, quite rightly, needs to be at the heart of the technology as it develops.”