The Germans have an ambivalent relationship with connected cars

Mercedes recently introduced the first approved Level 3 system for autonomous driving. At the same time, hackers created headlines that managed to unlock a Tesla via Bluetooth. Opportunities and risks are closely linked in the digital car world, and so are German consumers.

Although German consumers recognize the benefits of network vehicles, they also fear negative effects on data security and data protection. This is the result of a recent study on data security and trust in digital services from Utimaco.

The assessment of connected vehicles varies by age group: Overall, 24 percent of the survey participants see no benefits from connected vehicles. In the age group 18 to 24, it is only eight percent.

Gen. Google Maps
Better navigation and traffic information are mentioned as the most important positive effects – 41 percent across all age groups surveyed. This point is especially popular with younger people: 55 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds view it positively. This value decreases in the older target groups and reaches its minimum in the age group 45 to 54 years by 37 percent.

“Google Maps was introduced in 2005, which means that today and in the future, more and more young people will get their driving licenses, who can not even remember a world without this tool. The elderly among us, on the other hand, still remember the days with road maps and often have everyday routes hidden in their heads, ”says Mario Galatovic, Vice President Products and Alliances at Utimaco.

Theft protection (30 percent) and optimized driver assistance systems (28 percent) are mentioned as additional positive aspects of networked vehicles. Assistance systems are also the most popular among the youngest group (40 percent agreement).

Risk factor connected to car?
The topic of network vehicles not only has positive connotations but also triggers fear. The biggest fears among respondents are criminal attacks (47 percent), followed by loss of privacy (46 percent) and additional costs due to the new features (44 percent).

This fear is more pronounced among the older participants than among the younger ones. Loss of privacy worries only 34 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds, but 48 percent of 35- to 44-year-olds.

Just over half of the respondents (52 percent) do not know what the data collected in connected cars is used for. Should these fall into the wrong hands through a leak, 53 percent of Germans fear their movements will be tracked.

46 percent are also concerned that payment data stored in the vehicle could be stolen. Two thirds of Germans are also concerned about data security on the Internet in general, apart from specific use cases. Only 16 percent of respondents feel able to make informed decisions on the subject of data security.

“Data protection and data security are two aspects that manufacturers of connected vehicles should give the highest priority to in order not to lose customer trust,” adds Mario Galatovic. “Since a connected car can only ever be as safe as the sum of its components, effective measures are needed to be able to identify counterfeit components.

Product piracy is also a huge problem in the B2B environment today, and counterfeit components can often not be directly identified. This can be changed by assigning each component a unique digital identity during production, which, however, is only stored in encrypted form.

This technique, called key injection, is based on asymmetric cryptography so that everyone can check the stored product IDs, but it requires a secret key that only the original manufacturer knows how to create them. That means more protection against counterfeit and therefore unsafe network components in the car. “

Leave a Comment