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Venable partner David Strickland was quoted in October 21, 2014 articles by the Detroit Free Press, Automotive News, and Inautonews on the auto industry’s efforts to prevent cyberattacks. Strickland was participating in the 2014 SAE Convergence conference in Detroit. To help prevent possible attacks, automakers and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) agreed to form the Sharing Advisory Center to collect and share information on cyberthreats.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Strickland said automobiles are still difficult to hack and require a lot of effort on the part of thieves. The primary concern, is terrorism. “We need to jump on it now…You are fighting criminals,” Strickland warned in an Inautonews article. Since automobiles are not an obvious threat now, Strickland is optimistic that the industry has time to address potential threats. “It is a huge issue for the industry,” Strickland said pointing to the increased connectivity of automobiles to mobile devices and the cloud. “The goal is to make it hard to get in (for hackers).” Strickland added in an Automotive News article, “Can you make it a zero risk? No, but you want to make it so hard that you can foreclose most opportunities.”

On the topic of autonomous driving, Strickland told the Detroit Free Press, “The right level of automation is to be determined.” He noted that about 90% of crashes involve some element of human error but there will still happen with machines and even a 2% failure rate is unacceptable.