[Interview] Cube Intelligence CEO Biggs "block-chain will keep connected cars safe"





Richard Biggs, the CEO of Cube Intelligence in his office in Gangnam-Gu, Seoul. / Photo = Yoon Si Ji reporter

"When communication technologies are applied to cars, it opens up ‘doors’ for malicious hacks. We are developing a technology that keeps those ‘doors’ firm.” "

The need for vehicle network security is getting bigger, more than ever. The generalization of connected cars and autonomous driving technologies call for higher security standards.

Cube Intelligence, a developer of block chain technology, is expanding its business by covering automobile communication security technologies, car sharing, and insurance product development. Founded in November 2017, UK, Cube Intelligence has been developing vehicle-applied block-chain technology with Korean developers. On October 16, Cube Intelligence signed a business agreement with MG insurance to develop insurance products derived from block-chain applied car data collection. In addition, the company plans to introduce a block-chain-based car sharing service in the UK and Singapore next month.

This April, I met the CEO of Cube Intelligence, Richard Biggs at his Office in Gangnam-gu, Seoul. Biggs studied economics at London's Political Economy University (LSE) and worked as an analyst with global consulting firm Ernest Young and European financial group ABN AMRO. It was interesting to hear why this professional executive gained in-depth interest to the auto industry and block-chain technology.

Block Chain Promotes Driver 'Life' Security

According to Biggs, "Block-chain technology applies to areas where strict security standards are required. For instance, financial services, to protect the customers' money. We went for a different approach, security standards for the protection of lives."

In the past, vehicles had no concerns of hacking threats since they had no external connections. Now, cars have communications hubs that enables links to external sources. Connected cars that have online servers are becoming more generalized, and therefore the demand for security technologies for cars are at an all-time high. Most of the recently released automobiles include GPS (Global Positioning System) as well as remote vehicle control. Various sensors of the cars detect the interior/exterior circumstances real-time whilst transmitting data through a connected server. Biggs noted that the more diversified the communication hub of a vehicle is, it gains greater risks of hacks on the smart devices and Internet IP addresses of the car.

"Car network security must be thorough since it is about the lives of drivers and pedestrians. The current security standards of a connected car are not sufficient.” Therefore, to enhance the situation, “block-chain technology qualifies as an excellent approach to better the problem, as it can collect and safely manage vast amounts of vehicle driving data," said Biggs.

He pointed out that the security technology used by automakers are deficient. "The existing technology is too slow in processing data for malicious code, and it is difficult to lighten the security program since it requires vast amount of data. Metaphorically speaking, its like a bank recording the face of every customer and comparing them to a facial database of criminals for security. It is very inefficient"

"We are studying a block chain construction technique that uses quantum hash ciphers. Storing large amounts of data in a distributed manner with hash values (numerical values ​​like abbreviated passwords). This can speed up information processing. Again, you can think of a bank using a fingerprint database instead of a facial database. Very light-weight," said Biggs

Cube Intelligence is currently developing its platform and plans to launch this year. This technology expects to combine with future progressions of autonomous vehicles. Domestic and foreign automakers are developing autonomous driving technology, but there is a long way to commercialization. Incomplete autonomous technologies led to accidents overseas. Biggs stated that "It will take a long time before fully-autonomous cars are generalized. But, communication technologies applied to cars will develop and our technology application will go along with it.”

Started with Automotive Network Security ... Smart Contracts Provides Various Potentials to the Industry

Cube Intelligence has started its business with research on automotive communication security technology, but it is pioneering various service areas. The first service it plans to commercialize is Peer-to-Peer(P2P) car sharing. It will be preferentially introduced in UK and Singapore next month. Their P2P car sharing uses block chain-based smart contracts, allowing car owners and lenders to share their vehicles directly without an intermediary,

"The problems with the conventional car sharing system is that it is hard to figure out the facts when a car is damaged. It is hard to tell when, where and by whom, the car has been damaged," Biggs explained. Eight out of ten car sharing users do not report to the rental car company even if the car is scratched or squashed. "The conventional structure allows the customer to withhold such information since they only have to pay when they get caught. P2P car sharing on the other hand, has no intermediaries, and the lender can immediately identify any damages that have been made. Since users who have damaged the borrowed vehicles are permanently recorded, borrowers will drive with more caution. We believe that the mutual trust of both parties can be enhanced through our method."

The car sharing service that is planned to be presented next month, will be implemented by creating a cooperative union and sharing cars. For the moment, it is hard to say that this is a true P2P share. Biggs said he was confident that the regulations would be relaxed and the policies will be reorganized so that it could gradually change to a complete form of sharing peer-to-peer.

He explained that if shared vehicles are introduced in Korea, it will have a great effect on solving environmental problems. It is because the public institution that enacts fine dust reduction policies is showing high interests in car sharing services. The city of Seoul is actively promoting the sharing of dormant vehicles through the public car system such as ‘Nanum car,’ which is operating around 300 parking lots in Seoul city.

"Generally, more than 90% of the vehicles stay parked all day. Our intentions are to actively utilize these inactive cars using block-chain fused technology. However, there are still aspects that are regulated by domestic automobile rental business laws. More discussions are needed until commercialization Korean soil. If services are introduced in Korea, we will look for ways to coexist with existing businesses. " Said Biggs

Finally, he said with enthusiasm that block-chain applicable car service models are endless. "In addition to car sharing and insurance product development, there are a myriad of possible block-chain applications to vehicle-related services," Biggs said. “The automobile industry will undergo a transformation through block-chain technology. We have a lot of fun ideas that we are planning for the future." He said with confidence

This article is taken from Sisajournal, and the original article can be found at : 
http://www.sisajournal-e.com/biz/article/183460  

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