Intelligent vehicles: protagonists of innovations in the Mobile Congress

Vehicle brands presented their incredible innovations at the Barcelona Mobile Congress.

Security against hackers, reliability of the internet connection, ethical and legal questions: the vehicle of the future faces numerous challenges that builders and tech industries are trying to solve with greater collaboration.

After a shy appearance in 2016, the prototypes of connected vehicles invaded the corridors of the World Mobile Congress (MWC) that runs until Thursday in Barcelona.

I know presented multiple demos: pay for gasoline from the instrument panel of a Jaguar, receive traffic forecasts and restaurant recommendations through the numerical assistant of a Seat simulator.

Other videos show trucks of Volvo on the freeway with the driver’s seat empty.

The automotive and telecommunications industries face a double objective: the connected vehicle, a future “smartphone on wheels“which will open the door to multiple applications, and in the long term the autonomous driverless vehicle.

But obstacles remain numerous.

“Connected vehicles pose a serious problem in terms of cybersecurity“, he acknowledged Jeff massimilla, Manager cybersecurity at General Motors in an MWC debate.

The biggest fear is that a malicious hacker can take control of a connected vehicle hacking into your computer system as you would with a computer.

Several connected vehicles were hacked during tests in 2015..

And computer attacks against connected objects multiplied by 4.5 Come in 2015. and 2016 according to figures released Monday by Masayoshi Son, CEO of the Japanese telecommunications giant Softbank.

In this sense, “automotive component suppliers they are very late (…) There is a gulf between the objectives of the industry and the state in which they are today, “he analyzes Ofer Ben-Noon, CEO of Argus Cyber ​​Security.

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“We cannot get there alone,” he acknowledges. Ogi Redzic, in charge of the connected vehicles section in Renault-Nissan, which allied in September with Microsoft.

The german giant Volkswagen bought three years ago a team of 200 engineers to Blackberry to develop connected technology internally.

Another crucial challenge is power of the network.

“When vehicles (connected) are numerous on the roads, there will be a problem of speed and bandwidth to make the system work, “says Guillaume Crunelle, analyst at Deloitte.

In this case, the risk of accidents would be high for the driverless cars.

Hopes are pinned on the deployment of the 5G, the future superfast mobile connection announced for 2020 which must allow the coexistence of many more connected objects than the Current 4G.

PSA, Orange and Ericsson they will test 5G vehicles as it has already done BMW with the South Korean operator SK Telecom.

“The 5G car it reacts immediately in the event of an accident and transmits information to the cars around it, “he explains. Changsoon choi, from the research center of SK Telecom.

The jump to autonomous vehicle You will also need the improvement of the sensors that will allow you to orient yourself and the preparation of even more detailed digital maps than those intended for humans to be able to anticipate obstacles well in advance.

In terms of infrastructure, “there is a huge amount of investments so that the vehicle can communicate with the garages, red traffic lights, traffic signs… We have not yet thought about who will finance this, “he warns. Mouloud Dey, director of innovation at SAS.

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In addition, the moral dilemmas and of legal responsibility.

Will the autonomous vehicle be configured to save the life of your driver at any cost, even if for example several pedestrians have to be run over? Who will be the person responsible in the event of an accident? The manufacturer, its owner, the internet network operator?

“We have a certain indulgence towards the errors of human behavior that we will not have towards the machine. It will be necessary to pronounce on the life and death of some (…) I don’t know who will want to take this responsibility at the regulatory level, “he says. Crunelle.

The vehicle of the future could be technically ready to go before all this regulatory puzzle has been solved, several analysts estimate.