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Economy

Japan setting cybersecurity guidelines for autonomous vehicles

Aiming to prevent hacks of systems that handle steering, other controls

Internet-connected self-driving vehicles could be hijacked by hackers without proper protection.

TOKYO -- The Japanese government is putting together a set of guidelines designed to prevent internet-connected self-driving vehicles from being hijacked by hackers.

The Cabinet Office will compile the new data security guidance during the fiscal year starting in April, incorporating results from mock cyberattacks on self-driving vehicles.

Deloitte Tohmatsu Risk Services, Nihon Synopsys and PwC Consulting will carry out the proof-of-concept tests, which will begin next summer. First a process of assessing a vehicle's resistance to hackers will be established. That appraisal system will be used in research facilities that will check self-driving autos for their vulnerability to cyberattack.

It has been pointed out that hackers can remotely hijack connected autos wirelessly. The risks are much higher in the case of self-driving technology that handles steering and other control systems, a big reason behind these efforts to develop countermeasures.

The government guidelines will likely call for defense mechanisms against cyberattacks, as well as functions that stop the vehicle at the side of the road if the system detects hacking.

The United Nation's World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations, or WP 29, has put out guidelines on cybersecurity and data protection. Japan is independently creating its own directives to clarify safety standards.

The cybersecurity trials are part of larger-scale tests of self-driving systems the Cabinet Office is administering on public roads through 2019. The testing involves 21 automakers and other groups from around the globe.

(Nikkei)

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