Researchers have been hired by Uber, the ride offering company, who has expertise of hacking into the security systems of different vehicles like Jeep Cherokee. The company wants to hack into the technology of different vehicles in order to ramp up its exploits into self driven cars. Two security researchers who have been hired can hack into a Jeep which is moving. One of the researchers is Miller, who worked for Twitter previously and Valasek who worked at a security firm called IOActive. The two researchers will join the Uber team at the Advanced Technologies Center of the company which is a research lab that has been opened by Uber in Pittsburgh. There are several autonomous vehicle experts at work at this center, several who have been hired from the Carnegie Mellon University.
Both the researchers brought attention to their work which involved being able to control a moving Jeep Cherokee remotely through the radio and the wireless communications systems. As a result, the engine was stopped and the vehicle came to a stop right in the middle of a highway. Many vehicles which have internet connectivity could be a matter of concern with these capabilities, especially if they are found in the wrong hands.
Chrysler had a similar incident due to which it called in about 1.4 million of its cars which are equipped with certain radio systems that can act as an entry point for signal manipulation as was pointed out by the hackers. As most vehicles are crafted with navigation panels inbuilt that can be wirelessly connected to the internet, several vehicle manufacturers perceive a threat to hacking of the automobile systems. Security measures are inbuilt in most systems, but unless the sophistication levels of the internal safety mechanisms of the cars are stepped up, it might make it easier for hackers to manipulate vehicles through the online systems and bring them to a halt, jeopardizing the lives of the drivers.
However, Uber has recruited the two researchers in a bid to step up the work on self driven vehicles and robotics in its research facility. This is being seen as the next era for hired vehicles where self driven cars will become a reality and make it easy for people to hire them out at a cheaper rate. Uber has been plucking talents across different segments to work on the security systems for its next generation of self driven vehicles. There was a breach in its computer systems in February after which it has ramped up work on security measures.