It’s reported that carmakers seeking approval of new vehicles in Germany will be required to give the country’s regulators access to their software, under measures being prepared by the German government in response to the Volkswagen emissions scandal.
The Financial Times says German transport minister Alexander Dobrindt announced on Sunday that forcing companies to reveal their car software would be part of a “comprehensive package of measures” to be introduced after Volkswagen admitted installing an illegal defeat device enabling cheating during emissions tests.
It says Germany also plans to conduct follow-up tests of car emissions levels on government-run engine test stands. Under the present system, testing is carried out by independent companies. The German regulator can carry out follow-up checks but commissions independent testing services to perform these.
Paul Farrington, senior solution architect at the application security specialists Veracode commented on this saying, “The German government should be congratulated for addressing the automotive emissions scandal problem at its core by ensuring that its regulators have full access to carmakers’ code. However, software checks should not be limited to testing for ethical issues such as software-based defeat devices that can cheat regulators. The government must also harness this opportunity to verify that the code in our vehicles meets a minimum standard for security. As connected vehicles become a greater reality across the UK and the rest of Europe, this is not only an opportunity to set a precedent for secure software, but also ensure greater safety for everyone on the road.”