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When Connected Cars met the Dark Side

Without any doubt, Connected Cars are one of the most exciting and interesting areas right now with focus from almost every sector, motor manufacturers, insurance providers, mobile and networks and so much more.

The vast number of partnerships from Apple CarPlay to Spotify to mapping providers and more, it will be no doubt the most connected device that any of us own.  We have all done it.  10 years ago, you jumped into a new car to test drive and wanted to see how it drove, handled and more.  Today's customer jumps in and wants to know if I can connect my phone, what apps can you use and more.

However, and I think this was inevitable for us all - merely a matter of 'when', not 'if' - Jeep this week got hacked and with a simple experiment that has demonstrated the catastrophic potential and risk that bringing connected everything has.  Fiat Chyrsler (Jeep) are now recalling 1.4m cars for an update that needs to be physically delivered.  I guess the irony that it can't even be delivered over the air at a huge cost to them and an even bigger warning to the manufacturers and consumers alike.

That said, there is a good interview here on CNBC with one of the security researchers where he also states that he is more afraid of distracted drivers (texting, eating, smoking etc) than hacked drivers.

From an insurance perspective, what are the implications here?

  • Do we price connected cars more expensive due to a higher hacking risk?
  • Do we void any policy for motorists that have failed to collect their latest mandated update, e.g. Recalls only?
  • Do we need to update our T&C's to ensure that its the customers obligation their car is running the latest version of software?
  • What happens if you are in an accident with a vehicle which has been hacked, who owns the risk?

What do you think?

Nigel Walsh

For Further Comment see:

  • FT - click here
  • The Guardian - click here
  • The Fiat official Announcement - click here

 

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