Gov. Rick Snyder joined industry leaders at the 2018 SAE CyberAuto Challenge to announce a new high school curriculum focused on automotive cybersecurity training and filling the existing gap in the career field of automotive cybersecurity.
The Society for Automotive Engineering (SAE) is a global professional organization that has been fostering a worldwide collaboration to advance transportation technology since 1905.
The CyberAuto Challenge, since its inception in 2012, has sought to be a resource to the automotive community by providing a confidential environment to explore cybersecurity issues as a community of industry, government, academics and students. It has helped ignite interest in the automotive community among “cyber-centered” college and high school students. It has provided a neutral forum at which engineers from different manufacturers can discuss common issues and help resolve common challenges. The challenge has also served as an exemplar that the automotive community takes cybersecurity seriously and is engaged on an ongoing basis to understand cybersecurity risks, as well as keeping their core engineers well connected to the cyber community.
The core of the challenge is kept secret and people involved in the CyberAuto Challenge are required to keep the challenges themselves secret. Many of the challenges deal with the onboard systems of automobiles that are on the road today, meaning that these companies need to keep certain details confidential.
“Offering our high school students hands-on experience in dynamic fields like automotive cybersecurity will be critical to filling the growing demand for talent in key professional trades,” Snyder said. “This is the type of innovative approach to career training that is at the core of the Marshall Plan for Talent.”
The program’s coursework was developed by the Square One Education Network and includes ethical considerations; fundamental training in the automotive coding languages Unix/Linux; CANBUS protocols, which are how small computers communicate amongst themselves; engine fundamentals; cryptology; and more. It also builds on the sixth- through eighth-grade A World in Motion programming. Combined, the programs will help move students through an integrated STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) experience focused on developing Michigan’s automotive cyber-workforce.
“This program will help Michigan secure its place as the epicenter of automotive cybersecurity R&D,” said Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. “We are proud to support initiatives like SAE CyberAuto Challenge and the Masters of Mobility program to stay at the forefront of today’s cybersecurity industry.”