Uber Hires Two Hackers to Work on Self-Driving Cars’ Defenses

Uber Hires Two Hackers to Work on Self-Driving Cars’ Defenses

The ride-hailing company confirmed the hire of security researchers known for hacking into a Jeep Cherokee’s system

By DANNY YADRON Aug. 28, 2015 7:49 p.m. ET

Uber Technologies Inc. wants to make self-driving cars and naturally, it doesn’t want people to hack them.

The ride-hailing company confirmed on Friday that it had hired two well-known car hackers to help devise its own defenses. Security researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek will work for the Uber Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh.

The center, launched this past winter, is working on maps and automation technology with a cadre of former Carnegie Mellon University robotics experts.

Messrs. Miller and Valasek caused a stir earlier this summer when they brought a Jeep Cherokee to a halt on a St. Louis highway by wirelessly hacking into its entertainment system.

The stunt angered executives of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and the automobile industry’s trade group. But it played differently in Silicon Valley, where such security research is common. Tesla Motors Inc., for instance, worked closely with two other researchers who hacked one of its Model S sedans for a presentation at a hacker conference last month.

An Uber spokeswoman confirmed the hire, reported earlier by Reuters.


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