Electric vehicles software — challenges of the new age — Part 2

Oct 18 · 2 min read

Topics of this article: automotive engineering, electric vehicle, PHEV, automotive security, engineering services

Powertrain, PHEV, engine systems

There is no doubt, electric vehicles are on the rise. A great contribution to this growth is the rising awareness of global heating. But how prepared is the automotive industry for this change?

Read below about what issues do specialists face when it comes to vulnerabilities, security, and risk.

Have an overview of EVs and the industry growth in the first part of this article.

Challenges and vulnerabilities

Automotive security and automotive safety are two different concepts. Until now most of the focus was on the later.

Like everything tech, electric vehicles come with specific vulnerabilities given by their own nature. It’s about software. And the biggest liabilities are the chargers and the charging process.

Exploiting the vulnerabilities of the charger, hackers can alter the usage of power and once entering deeper layers, they can alter many more. This includes disabling airbags, reprogramming the infotainment system, changing the door locks, tracking the car’s location. Even more, the hackers can get important data from the charger and later enter the possibly smart home of the owner.

But the story is not so dark. Most of the hacking is ethical. It has the sole reason to discover these vulnerabilities and fix them before the vehicle gets marketed.

It all goes back to the birth of a new mindset. When creating these tools, engineers focus on safety. But there is another concept essential to this industry — security.

Highly standardized work

Automotive engineers’ work is very standardized. Arguably, of most of the software created, automotive engineers have the most rigorous job. Their work complies with important industry standards like AUTOSAR or AutomotiveSPICE. Still, the industry is facing great challenges when it comes to vulnerabilities.

Bilateral communicational security — ISO 15118

However, with ISO 15118, Road vehicles — Vehicle to grid communication interface there is now a standard for communication interference for charging/discharging of electric vehicles. The Plug & Charge feature facilitates the automatic identification and authorization of the driver to the charging station.

Is this a risk?

Like every innovation, electric passenger vehicles face numerous challenges. From the lack of infrastructure to performance and software vulnerabilities. Since digitalization is changing the automotive industry one of the major issues starts with risk recognition. Now there is no standardized scale and list of risks and their gravity. High risk for one engineer might mean low risk for another engineer. There are a few organizations tackling this problem.

With over 10 years of high expertise in automotive engineering, AROBS is developing for top brands of the industry.

Find out more about what we do when it comes to engine systems and work with us!

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