The federal government is looking for answers on how automakers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) plan to deal with auto cybersecurity in their vehicles.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has sent 17 letters to major automakers and NHTSA, requesting more information on how the auto industry will deal with infrastructure and technological changes in today’s cars.

“We are entering a new era in cybersecurity. The explosion of new, connected devices and services is exacerbating existing cybersecurity challenges and has introduced another potential consequence – the threat of physical harm – as products responsible for public health and safety are integrated into the Internet ecosystem,” reads the letter.

Hackers have already proven that vehicle functions, such as throttle and braking, can be accessed remotely through a computer.

“This will be a significant challenge for the automobile industry. The integration and convergence of transportation and communications technologies in connected cars offers tremendous opportunity for innovation, improved performance, convenience (e.g. in-vehicle Wi-Fi, infotainment systems, smartphone interface and/or integration, etc.) and safety (e.g. Vehicle-To-Vehicle, Vehicle-To-Infrastructure, Autonomous Vehicles, etc.). All of these features, however, provide a gateway for potential threats. …” said the letter.

The committee is requesting that an answer be provided to them by June 11, 2015. Automakers sent the letter include GM, Ford, FCA North America, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Kia, Subaru, Mercedes Benz, Volvo, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, and Tesla.

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