Cybersecurity, telematics, and the future of connected shops top list at summit
Long Beach, Calif.—The 2016 Auto Care Industry Summit, presented by CAWA, ASCCA, and the Auto Care Association, June 24, at the Maya Hotel, brought together industry experts and shop owners to discuss issues that focused on cybersecurity and its relationship to telematics, and how they will affect the future of connected shops.
The keynote speaker, THEIA Labs’ Craig Smith, who works with automakers to find software vulnerabilities, and author of The Car Hacker’s Handbook, provided a basic understanding of how cybersecurity and telematics are linked and what it means to the future of vehicle development, parts distribution, and vehicle diagnostics and repair.
“Connecting cars to the internet and cloud-based services has clear benefits for both drivers and passengers with features ranging from navigation systems with live search functions to streaming audio options,” Smith said. “But along with connectivity comes a certain level of risk and cybersecurity concerns that include hacking.”
The same connectivity may also offer a solution to cybersecurity concerns in the form of over-the-air updates. And better computing power in a vehicle could offer a panacea, as well.
“Any vehicle on the market right now is susceptible to hacking because the most critical weakness is any type of wireless connectivity, such as telematics and infotainment, which offers a very large attack surface that encompasses Bluetooth, cellular, near field communications (NFC), and digital radio plus a link to the vehicle’s internal CAN (Controller Area Network) bus that is usually unprotected,” he said.
Smith said legacy safety standards (for software or hardware that has been superseded but is difficult to replace because of its wide use – ISO 26262 the most current standard) don’t address hacking, but rather deal with parts failing, and system safety testing.
Some hacking-related safety standards do exist in draft form at SAE International and other standard-setting organizations but more is needed, he said.
Connected shops are the future
“Connected Shops are the Future” featured panelists Kevin Donohoe, owner of Pacific Motor Service; Dennis Montalbano, owner of German Auto Repair; Nate Smith, owner of Nate Smith Optimal Auto Care; and John Villa, owner of Villa Automotive.
“All of our techs have tablets, laptops, and computers, so we’re already connected shops,” Montalbano said. “We just need the OEMs to provide complete access to telematics information.”
Smith added, “Even cell phones are now tools; we use them for texting and emailing customers. And with the third-party OBD port devices available, vehicle information and diagnostics are also possible.”
Donohoe said, “There is a huge difference between vehicles of the technology of 1980s to today. We have to find common language that the customer can understand and relate to in explaining needed repairs.”
Dennis Montalbano, president of ASCCA, and Greg Livingston, CAWA chair of the board, provided welcoming remarks. Aaron Lowe, Auto Care Association, senior vice president, regulatory and government affairs, introduced master of ceremonies, Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association.
“We are pleased that these auto care industry leaders and association members took the time to attend the summit to discuss these contemporary issues that affect us all,” said Rodney Pierini, CAWA president and CEO.