Uber hires hackers to improve upon safety of proposed autonomous cars

Uber hires hackers to improve upon safety of proposed autonomous cars

Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, the security researchers who hit the headlines of the automotive world this month by remotely hacking a moving jeep, have been hired by Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL], the company said on Friday. The two will now join the company’s Advanced Technologies Center, a research laboratory opened by Uber in Pittsburgh in February.

Miller was earlier working with the micro blogging site Twitter while Valasek worked at security firm IOActive. Both of them have resigned from their jobs and will join the company next week.

The two had used cellular network to access the entertainment system and thus exercise control over the engine, brakes and steering. As a result, Fiat Chrysler was forced to recall 1.4 million vehicles, to protect drivers from hackers with malicious intentions. The feat however helped them get attention of top Uber staff and has landed them a plum opening!

San Francisco based Uber has been working on autonomous cars which could perhaps replace hundreds of thousands of its contract drivers some day. They have hired the best brains from some top-tier universities and research centers to work upon this dream project. Miller and Valasek will therefore get to rub shoulders with numerous autonomous vehicle experts already working on such vehicles.

An Uber spokeswoman said Miller and Valasek will work with the company’s top security officers “to continue building out a world-class safety and security program at Uber.”

The two were welcomed into the Uber fold by none other than Raffi Krikorian, head of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Center, with a tweeted on Friday. The new recruits also seemed upbeat and reciprocated with similar gestures. Miller too tweeted about looking forward to starting his new job on Tuesday while Valasek took to the social site to announce that Monday would be his last day at IOActive.

With these two jumping aboard, Uber will perhaps be able to make their proposed driverless cars more secure.

Source: PC-Tablet.

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