Leasing company Venson says that the fleet industry should counter cybersecurity fears before fully autonomous vehicles become a reality.
“For driverless cars to become a familiar sight on a business’s fleet, huge changes are required to the legislative and regulatory landscape,” explained Gil Kelly, operations director of Venson Automotive Solutions.
“Experts have highlighted that there is a very real threat associated with the deliberate misuse of a car’s data systems.
“Autonomous systems will rely heavily on internet connectivity, making them intrinsically vulnerable to cyber manipulation, which means hackers may be able to override a car’s system to re-route it toward a particular destination or overwhelm it with high volumes of internet traffic.”
A recent report by the BVRLA suggests that as business buys significantly more than half of all new cars, vans and trucks sold in the UK annually “the fleet market is going to be a crucial driver of autonomous and connected vehicle technology”.
With this in mind, Venson is calling on the fleet industry to back the Association of British Insurers (ABI) which recently called for industries to collaborate.
Kelly added: “Although it may seem like a vision of the future, autonomous cars are already with us, with self-parking and lane control technology already transferring control away from drivers. In 2017, Nissan is launching the Qashqai with ProPilot autonomous technology and four UK cities are operating driverless car trials.
“However, it’s clear that all industries involved in driverless technology need to work together to smooth the way for its development. Insurers are already working with government, vehicle manufacturers and regulators, as well as the legal community to tackle the cyber security challenge. The fleet industry should follow in insurers’ footsteps to ensure the UK continues to operate high standards of safety and security for both private and company car drivers.”