Let’s face it; the ability to have your vehicle be its own 4G wifi hot spot can be a cool idea. The Chevrolet commercial with the children planning mom’s surprise birthday party while she quickly drops off her dry cleaning should be enough of an example to entice even the most conservative buyer. This is an extension of wireless technology that allows vehicles to be turned on and off, locked and unlocked, as well as stopped.
However, what these buyers may not know is that there is a hazard with wireless technology. No, it is not the potential for distracted driving. Rather it is the potential for hacking. Imagine a vehicle being infiltrated electronically so that it can suddenly accelerate, turn, and operate the headlights without the driver’s knowledge or permission.
Congress is aware of this concern, and during a hearing where automakers were asked about these concerns the responses were surprising. Essentially, automakers had not made any provisions for protecting these technologies according to a report generated by a Massachusetts senator and reported by the Associated Press.
However, the Association of Global Automakers believes that the senator’s report does not reflect automakers’ ongoing work to protect technologies in cars. Specifically, there have been extensive discussions between the industry and federal technology experts.
While this may be the case, an automaker’s duty to respond to defects and technology problems is well established. If they fail to do so, and it results in accidents that harm consumers, an automaker can be held liable.
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