Can technology stop terrorist vehicle ramming attacks?

Posted on September 1, 2017 in Connected Devices, Smart Cities, Transport

How technology could (and does) help

In Berlin last year a truck was driven by terrorists through a local Christmas market attack in Berlin, resulting in significant casualties, but they could have been worse: the assailant’s truck reportedly stopped early on during the attack. The truck had been fitted with an automatic emergency braking system, something that is covered under a regulation that is now mandated for heavier trucks in the EU.

How technology could make attacks easier

We already have ample examples of the ease of car hacking thanks to the efforts of white hat enthusiasts and researchers. It’s thus entirely possible that a car (self-automated or not) could be utilized in a terrorist attack. According to Einsig and Artes, the transportation industry’s technology infrastructure was traditionally built on closed, proprietary systems. The industry is on a journey to switch to modern connected networks, but security leaders fear the exposure to attackers during this transition period.

Tech journo and writer, based in Berlin, Germany.

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