2016 ended with retaliation for nation state cyber attacks to the elections, attempted infiltration of the VT power grid and Yahoo setting yet another sad "new record" for consumer data breach at over 1-billion accounts.
Last year saw the first fatality associated with automated vehicles but also promising milestones of AI winning against a human Go player and Google driving over 2 million automated miles.
With NHTSA statistics showing that 94% of vehicle accidents are due to human error, full vehicle automation (and the steps on the way to it) offers the promise of delivering more societal benefit than harm, especially for disadvantaged groups like the elderly and infirm, as well as transforming our roads, cities, the sharing economy and rebuilding Motor City into a modern Software & Services City.
However, pressing on the negative side of the scales are the potential for vehicle cyber attack, with consequences ranging from simple distraction, to ransomware based on detailed profiling, property damage, bodily injury, or death, even reaching national security impact given the potential for gridlock leveraging commercial vehicles.
Gating automation / AI deployment in vehicles and IoT infrastructure in general are increased cybersecurity needs around people, process and defense in depth layers of technology.
The commercial driver is one of legal liability and damages, with victims of crashes, outages and floods unlikely to be satisfied with remedies like a year's worth of credit reporting that were the weak market drivers for cloud, data center, PC and mobile security before the advent of IoT.