Car manufacturers will have to ensure that new smart and connected vehicles are better protected from attacks from hackers, according to new government guidance.
As cars become increasingly connected to the internet through features such as live traffic updates, maps and DAB radio, there are fears that hackers could target them. It could be possible to access personal data, steal vehicles fitted with keyless entry or remotely take control of the car.
The new guidance requires engineers working on new smart vehicles to toughen up cyber protection measures and help design out hacking.
The government also hopes to create a new framework for self-driving vehicle insurance.
It is hoped that these measures will place the UK at the forefront of new technological developments in the field of smart and autonomous vehicles.
Transport minister Lord Callanan said: “Our cars are becoming smarter and self-driving technology will revolutionise the way in which we travel.
“Risks of people hacking into the technology might be low, but we must make sure the public is protected.
“Whether we’re turning vehicles into Wi-Fi connected hotspots or equipping them with millions of lines of code to become fully automated, it is important that they are protected against cyber-attacks.”
Mike Hawes, CEO of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: “We’re pleased that government is taking action now to ensure a seamless transition to fully connected and autonomous cars in the future and, given this shift will take place globally, that it is championing cyber security and shared best practice at an international level.
“These vehicles will transform our roads and society, dramatically reducing accidents and saving thousands of lives.
“A consistent set of guidelines is an important step towards ensuring the UK can be among the first – and safest – of international markets to grasp the benefits of this exciting new technology.”