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Continental agrees reported $400m deal with autonomous vehicle pioneers.

Posted on 31-Oct-2017 14:48:03

Autonomous vehicles require no assistance from drivers to control them, but are susceptible to hackingThe latest reported deal comes a matter of months after Argus Cyber Security linked-up with Continental, jointly launching software with one of the German company's subsidiarys, Elektrobit.

One of the world’s largest suppliers of car parts is to plough its resources into improving its autonomous vehicle security, after it signed a $400m deal to buy a company that pioneered anti-hack technology. According to reports from Israel media, Continental is now in the advanced contract negotiations to purchase Argus Cyber Security, a Tel Aviv-based company that around five years ago began to develop a system that prevents unauthorised access to vehicles. However, the deal is yet to be confirmed by either company.  

Argus Cyber Security came to being in 2013 when it was founded to help car manufacturers, their suppliers and connectivity providers to protect connected cars and commercial vehicles from car-hacking. The company has gone from strength to strength since beginning operations and it recently raised $26m of funding from a group of investors including Allianz Digital Corporate Ventures and Vertex Venture Capital.

The latest reported deal comes a matter of months after Argus Cyber Security linked-up with Continentaljointly launching software with one of the German company's subsidiarys, Elektrobit.

The issue around car hacking came into particularly sharp focus last year when a team of hackers successfully hijacked the controls of a Tesla car, interfering with the car’s brakes, doors and on-board computer. The Chinese researchers who performed the hack did so from a distance of 12 miles and gained access to the car through by using the car’s Wi-Fi hotspot.

A Tesla autonomous vehicle.jpgClick here to download your copy of the Transport Security and Saftey Expo 2018 BrochureAttempting to play down the security breach, a spokesperson from Tesla said: “The issue demonstrated is only triggered when the web browser is used, and also required the car to be physically near to and connected to a malicious Wi-Fi hotspot. Our realistic estimate is that the risk to our customers was very low, but this did not stop us from responding quickly.”

The potential of autonomous vehicles have long been in the sights of the world’s biggest tech companies keen to be the first to make the first full-functioning and road-going vehicle. Just this week, Google has had to abandon one of its self-driving car concepts after participants in the experiment were found to have applied make-up and also fallen asleep at the wheel.

These articles from Transport Security World may also be of interest…

Police figures show vehicle theft spike despite tech updates.

Expert View: The threat of virtual terrorism against infrastructure is growing.

Cybercrime and terrorism, the growing twin threats to rail and metro.

Expert view: Combating the increasingly sophisticated digital threat to rail and metro.


Topics: Urban Security

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Dave Songer
Dave Songer