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U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Addresses Automotive Cybersecurity

Bipartisan group asks how the industry plans to address the challenges associated with expanding technologies such as in-vehicle Wi-Fi, infotainment systems and increased smartphone connectivity.

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The Automotive Service Association (ASA) reported that on May 28, 2015, a bipartisan group from the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent letters to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and 17 automakers requesting information on automotive cybersecurity. Specifically, the letters inquired about how the industry plans to address the challenges associated with expanding technologies such as in-vehicle Wi-Fi, infotainment systems and increased smartphone connectivity. The committee also asked for specific examples of how automakers are working with the federal government to identify and resolve cyber vulnerabilities.

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The letters expressed optimism about the benefits of emerging technologies, but remained realistic about the potential risks. In an excerpt from the letter to NHTSA, committee members stated, “While threats to vehicle technology currently appear isolated and disparate, as the technology becomes more prevalent, so too will the risks associated with it. Threats and vulnerabilities in vehicle systems may be inevitable, but we cannot allow this to undermine the potential benefits of these technologies. The industry and NHTSA have an opportunity to prepare for challenges that advanced vehicle technologies present and to develop strategies to mitigate the risks.”

The members have requested a reply to their letters by June 11, 2015.

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