Hackers have become a big concern for car businesses out there, especially after the famous case with the Jeep model being remotely controlled by hackers and now with another case that revealed how access could be gained to a Tesla Model S.
While hackers showed the vulnerability in General Motors’ OnStar system, and each carmaker has its own vulnerability in terms of software, Tesla seems on paper to be the most vulnerable of all the vehicles on the market.
The company is well known for integrating technology with its automobiles at a state of the art level. Elon Musk’s company enables owners to upgrade their vehicles’ operating systems through Wi-Fi, which made the model S reach the top of Consumer Reports two years in a row. While the car was not majorly changed, its software updates made it feel like a new vehicle.
Automakers usually do not share information about their software, mainly because they do not want people to plug in and hack their cars and they are the ones who stay in control the updates. However, Tesla developed its software systems with the idea that they could someday be compromised, which led to better software systems that other cars have.
Another advantage for this company is that its customers are tech type drivers, from Silicon Valley and Tesla executives and engineers are closer to their world, which means they have a deeper understanding of the cyber threats. Ford is one of other carmakers that want to have their own research centers in Silicon Valley to understand its clients better. Even if Ford remains an expert in the car production area as we learned from the potential production delays to Tesla’s Model X SUV and rollout of the Model S, Tesla still has an edge over the wireless technologies.
Nowadays, technology is literally at the centre of every Tesla model, keeping its clients, media informed about the updates, by staying an open source and wanting possible hackers to expose any software flaws. Tesla gave away all its patents in 2014 to encourage innovation in the start-up electric-car realm, building its perfect defense and preparing the win any hacking wars.