Bluetooth Smart: Secure Enough For Cars?

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology -- also known as Bluetooth Smart -- promises new conveniences to vehicle owners. But the security still needs work.

Carmakers are planning to exploit Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology -- also known as Bluetooth Smart -- so that vehicle owners can open and close doors and windows or adjust seats, mirrors, and lighting, by touching a smartphone or key fob, or punching a wirelessly controlled in-vehicle button.

Setting aside the perceived convenience to car users, there's an overwhelming upside for car OEMs to embrace the Bluetooth Smart technology. By going wireless, carmakers can replace the rat's nest of wires strung all over the inside of a car. They can worry less about wiring complexity and wire inventory while reducing overall auto weight. What's not to like?

But here's the thing. How secure is Bluetooth Smart for controlling body electronics inside cars?

By its nature, the use of any wireless technology "raises a flag" on security, Luca De Ambroggi, principal analyst for automotive semiconductors at IHS Technology, recently told EE Times. Though he stressed that BLE is probably much more secure than wireless technologies such as WiFi or LTE, De Ambroggi conveyed a suspicion that the industry is working behind the scenes to plug some security holes in Bluetooth Smart -- and it's not quite finished.

Read the rest of this article on EE Times.


Former beat reporter, bureau chief, and editor in chief of EE Times, Junko Yoshida now spends a lot of her time covering the global electronics industry with a particular focus on China. Her beat has always been emerging technologies and business models that enable a new ... View Full Bio

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