General Motors has had a tough year. From the millions of vehicles recalled over faulty ignition switches to the general skepticism of how GM approaches auto safety, the automaker has faced some serious scrutiny in 2014.
In a move that gives us more confidence in GM’s commitment to consumer protection, the automaker has created a new cybersecurity chief position. Jeffrey Massimilla, formerly GM’s director of global validation and an engineering group manager, was named chief product cybersecurity officer on September 2. According to Mark Reuss, GM’s executive vice president for global product development, the move will allow the company “to look at [car technology] on a critical systems level. We see this a competitive advantage.”
“Competitive advantage” notwithstanding, we applaud GM’s effort to take the issue of vehicle cybersecurity seriously. With much of the business media reporting of vehicle hacking being the “new carjacking, sober leadership in this area is sorely needed as customers question the integrity of their connected vehicle systems.
We are particularly impressed that GM did their due diligence in advance of making their hiring decision and establishing core responsibilities. Going to the Navy, Virginia Tech and Boeing Corporation to collect intelligence and discover how vehicle systems and emerging car technologies react to one another, GM’s intellectual curiosity to find out what they don’t know strikes us refreshing.
Now, let’s make certain that GM will use this post as genuine resource for securing vehicle data and improving driver safety, and we hope they will reject the temptation for politicizing the position. Accused of concealing evidence of a faulty ignition switch linked to the death of a Georgia woman, GM recently lost a bid to have that lawsuit dismissed.
The corporate culture at GM will not improve if the wagons are circled over past transgressions. We encourage this new post to serve as an example of the renewed transparency, industry collaboration and cooperation with regulators that is needed in the lightning-fast development world of the connected car.
Source: GM creates product cybersecurity post – Automotive News