VW, Israeli Firm Team on Auto Cyber Security

German automaker Volkswagen has teamed with three Israeli firms to form a joint venture focused on securing connected cars.
German automaker Volkswagen has teamed with three Israeli firms to form a joint venture focused on securing connected cars.

In-brief: CYMOTIVE is the name of a new joint venture between Volkswagen and three Israeli firms. The new company will develop solutions to secure connected vehicles. 

The German car giant Volkswagen said on Wednesday that it is teaming with three Israeli firms to form a joint venture, dubbed CYMOTIVE Technologies, that will focus on developing solutions that secure connected vehicles that are both Internet connected and (increasingly) autonomous.

The company said in a press release that the new company will have offices in Herzliya, Israel and Wolfsburg, Germany and will be led by Yuval Diskin, a former head of the Israeli Security Services.

[Read more Security Ledger coverage of connected vehicles here.]

“The new cooperation will take an innovative and strategic approach to cyber security,” said Diskin in a statement. “Together with Volkswagen we are building a top-notch team of cyber security experts. We are aware of the significant technological challenges that will face us in the next years in dealing with the cyber security threats facing the connected car and the development of the autonomous car.”

Mr Diskin will be serving as the chairman of CYMOTIVE Technologies, Volkswagen said.

“The car and the Internet are becoming increasingly integrated. To enable us to tackle the enormous challenges of the next decade, we need to expand our know-how in cyber security in order to systematically advance vehicle cyber security for our customers,” said Dr Volkmar Tanneberger, Head of Electrical and Electronic Development for the Volkswagen

“CYMOTIVE Technologies provides an excellent platform for doing this. It is a long-term investment in cyber security to make vehicles and their ecosystem more secure.”

Volkswagen is just the latest car maker to invest in software talent. Notably: Toyota Motors partnered with Microsoft in April forming a joint venture dubbed Toyota Connect that will develop tools for harnessing data from connected vehicles while also making them more intuitive to operate. Similarly, Toyota has invested in ride hailing service Uber and GM in its competitor, Lyft, in an effort to tap into what look like promising platforms for future vehicle services. Volkswagen invested some $300 million in Gett, an Israeli Uber competitor, as well.

In June, anti virus giant Symantec is just the latest firm to trumpet new products and partnerships that promise to protect connected vehicles from cyber attack. But with few threats to speak of, and years-long product development and manufacturing cycles to contend with, it may be a while before security software andhardware is standard issue in connected vehicles, security experts say.

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