The UK Government has released a new set of guidelines for internet-connected cars to combat threats from hackers.
Smart vehicles enable drivers to use maps, travel information and new digital radio services from their driving seat.
While smart cars and vans offer new services for drivers, it is feared would-be hackers could target them to access personal data, steal cars that use keyless entry, or even take control of technology for malicious reasons.
The new government guidance requires engineers developing smart vehicles to bolster cyber protections.
The government is also looking at a broader programme of work announced in this year’s Queen’s speech under the Autonomous and Electric Vehicles Bill that aims to create a new framework for self-driving vehicle insurance.
UK Transport Minister Lord Callanan said: “Our cars are becoming smarter and self-driving technology will revolutionise the way in which we travel. Risks of people hacking into the technology might be low, but we must make sure the public is protected.
“Whether we’re turning vehicles into Wi-Fi connected hotspots or equipping them with millions of lines of code to become fully automated, it is important that they are protected against cyber-attacks.
“That’s why it’s essential all parties involved in the manufacturing and supply chain are provided with a consistent set of guidelines that support this global industry.
“Our key principles give advice on what organisations should do, from the board level down, as well as technical design and development considerations.”