On June 25, 2020, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), one of the regional commissions of the United Nations, published new regulations on Cybersecurity and Software Updates for connected vehicles.
UNECE includes 56 Member States in Europe, North Africa and Asia and its major aim is to promote pan-European economic integration. In the area of connected cars, a dedicated forum, the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulation (WP.29), a permanent working party in the institutional framework of the UN, is dedicated to offer harmonized regulations on vehicles.
Connected cars occasionally present serious flaws and come with significant cybersecurity risks threatening vehicle safety and consumer privacy. These two new regulations are the first internationally harmonized norms trying to tackle these cybersecurity or software updates issues.
‘‘Two new UN Regulations on Cybersecurity and Software Updates will help tackle these risks by establishing clear performance and audit requirements for car manufacturers. These are the first ever internationally harmonized and binding norms in this area’’.
These two new regulations require their measures to be implemented across 4 distinct disciplines:
- Managing vehicle cyber risks;
- Securing vehicles by design to mitigate risks along the value chain;
- Detecting and responding to security incidents across vehicle fleet;
- Providing safe and secure software updates and ensuring vehicle safety is not compromised, introducing a legal basis for so-called “Over-the-Air” (O.T.A.) updates to on-board vehicle software.
The regulations will apply to passenger cars, vans, trucks and buses. They will enter into force in January 2021.
In the EU, the new regulation on cyber security will be mandatory for all new vehicle from July 2022 and will become mandatory for all new vehicles produced from July 2024. In Asia, Japan and South Korea already stated they are going to adopt these new regulations but more globally, ‘‘given the widespread use of UN Regulations in the automotive sector around the world, the broad adoption of these regulations across the world is expected, among and beyond the 54 Contracting Parties to UNECE’s 1958 Agreement’’.