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Automakers collaborate to enhance cyber safety

The automotive industry will commit to communicating cyber threat information to US regulators

Automakers collaborate to enhance cyber safety
Ford Motor co. and the US DoT have agreed to collaborate better to prevent hacks on connected vehicles

Seventeen automotive manufacturers, including General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp and the US Transportation Department (DoT) have agreed to collaborate better to prevent hacks on connected vehicles.

The companies and regulators agreed to develop better practices for ensuring vehicles are resilient against cyber-attacks but also reform the way threat and vulnerability information are reported to the government. The DoT aims to mirror the same approach it has with Federal Aviation Administration, where the approach has reduced plane crashes.

"Real safety is finding and fixing defects before someone gets hurt, rather than just punishing after the damage is done," US transportation secretary Anthony Foxx said at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Last year, automakers announced an initiative, Auto ISAC, to further enhance cyber security in vehicles. The initiative will serve as a central hub for intelligence and analysis and timely sharing of threat information and potential vulnerabilities in vehicle electronics.  

Foxx also unveiled at the Auto Show, President Barack Obama's 10 year investment programme worth $4bn to accelerate the development and adoption of driverless cars. Carmakers and technology companies, such as Google, Telsa and Volvo have also backed the proposal.

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