Right now, we're watching the biggest shift in the automotive world since the Model T. Hybrids and electric cars are going mainstream, new materials are going to make cars lighter and tougher for better fuel economy, and cars are getting smarter at an astounding rate.
While that last one is inching us closer to the future of self-driving cars, it's also creating a very real danger. Cars have included computers for decades, but they were isolated from each other and the outside world. In modern cars, everything is connected together and exposed to outside threats.
We saw that last year with the Chrysler hack. Security researchers managed to take control of a car from miles away, and mess with the onboard systems before finally steering it off the road. That led to a recall of 1.4 million vehicles to patch the onboard entertainment system, which is what gave the researchers access to the underlying systems.
While that was scary, it also took the researchers two years to put together and required specialized knowledge of the car. Newer cars, however, could be open to much simpler attacks.