Car Software Needs Safer Code

Have you wondered how car software safe will be safe from hackers? Well you’re not alone. Researchers have also been posing this question and apparently the answer just might be: Penguins. Taking inspiration from the organizational skills of our feathered friends researchers are creating test systems to find a smarter smart car. It turns out that modeling car software code on the way penguins forage for food is a viable tool for creating less vulnerable systems. The evolution of their efficient strategy, which over time has eliminated solutions that didn’t work, can also help software engineers to find the most optimal solutions from the range of all possible solutions.

The Penguin Code

Typically car software is limited to the designs and tests of the software engineers who create them. With their penguin based tool Professor Yiannis Papadopoulos of the University of Hull and Dr. Youcef Gheraibia from Algeria are able to test more possibilities and find the one with the best result. Penguins were interesting to the researchers due to their ability to synchronize their actions, communicate and organize themselves across a dense population. While hunting groups will reconfigure to match the shoals of fish and squid they find. Their connected efforts allow them to get the most amount of food while minimizing the amount of energy needed to do so.

Abstracting the general elements of penguin hunting gives researchers the chance to determine the integrity of software components. The system tests the safest ways to arrange the code so that the software functions as intended, can handle a large amount of data and will not introduce errors or crash. This isn’t the first time researchers have looked to nature for help. For example, telecommunication companies have looked to ants to inform their strategies.


Connection Needs Collaboration

Most cars on the market today are said to contain about a million lines of code and that amount significantly increases in connected cars. This number only stands to grow as more and more vehicles are being augmented by features that are integrated through additional software. Auto manufactures, in order to keep up with the digital demands of customers, have sought the fastest ways to adapt vehicles so they could interact more with drivers’ and their smart devices. Unfortunately, as cars become more connected to outside data, like in semi-automated or automated cars, they can also become more susceptible to hackers. The future of driving will demand software with robust coding that can provides a high level of security. So for now it looks programmers have a thing or two to learn from penguins.

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