In an emergency, people want to move as fast as possible without delay. When calling 9-1-1, no one expects the phone to even ring. The same is expected from our advanced AI vehicles. But what if- you get in the car, but it running a software update? Or in the process of rebooting? There are a lot of factors shaping automotive product and software development cycles; specifically cybersecurity risks associated with product and software development.

Modern vehicles carry hundreds of electronic units, made by different manufacturers; including hardware, software, firmware with millions of lines of code. Each component carries a different update cycle and parameters; which makes for a very complex supply chain. The more advanced, the more complex the system is; and with that comes a mountain of risks. If one component fail, or not readily available, the entire system is venerable to cyberattacks or to a complete failure.

In 2019 Tesla’s encryption system failed (related article). This is not just a cybersecurity or an IT problem, this is direct people’s lives problem. The main risk area: currently unidentified and yet to be explored vulnerabilities.

The good news is that this is not a new problem, when VOIP became the way of the future of voice calls many years ago, ISPs struggled to identify a 9-1-1 process. Affecting the lives of thousands before technology achieved a successful and reliable metric. Soon enough for the automotive industry? The advanced vehicle technology with 100s of tiny components is a much more complex and daunting model, at least for years to come.