South Korea clears homegrown multinational conglomerate Samsung to start testing autonomous vehicles on the country’s streets, while another local company, automotive supplier Hyundai, fixes security bug in its cars.
The approval, granted by the country’s Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry yesterday, will allow the company to test autonomous vehicles on real roads.
The trial will use vehicles from another South Korean firm Hyundai, augmented with Samsung-developed advanced sensors and machine-learning systems.
The electronics company hopes that it will be able to sell technology to car manufacturers, rather than build self-driving cars itself.
A call for collaboration
“Samsung Electronics plans to develop algorithms, sensors and computer modules that will make a self-driving car that is reliable even in the worst weather conditions,” the company said in a statement.
According to the Korean Herald, a ministry spokesperson said that self-driving cars “call for the collaboration of various cutting-edge technologies from the automobile, artificial intelligence and information communication sector” and that the government in South Korea was committed to creating a favourable environment in the country for the sector’s growth.
The spokesperson added that the proposed vehicle “utilises artificial intelligence, or deep learning algorithms, that make inferences of its own about road situations and obstacles”.
Samsung joins around 20 other companies with permission to test driverless cars in South Korea. Hyundai was the first company in the country to gain such permission. South Korea has eased regulations around testing of self-driving cars and last month, it permitted autonomous cars without a steering wheel or pedal to be tested on roads.
Hyundai connected car flaw
The news comes amidst reports that Hyundai has needed to fix a security vulnerability in its connected car app that could allow hackers to locate, unlock and start its cars.
According to a blog post by IT security company Rapid7, affected versions of the Hyundai Blue Link mobile application upload application logs to a static IP address over HTTP on port 8080.
The log is encrypted using a symmetrical key, “1986l12Ov09e”, which is defined in the Blue Link application (specifically, C1951e.java), and cannot be modified by the user, according to Rapid7’s researchers.
“Once decoded, the logs contain personal information, including the user’s username, password, PIN, and historical GPS data about the vehicle’s location. This information can be used to remotely locate, unlock and start the associated vehicle,” they said.
Since the vulnerability was flagged to Hyundai, the car company has updated the Hyundai Blue Link app to version 3.9.6, which removes the LogManager log transmission feature.