Hackers: consider this a warning.
Car hacking is a serious crime just waiting to happen, and the US state of Michigan isn't taking any chances. In fact, it wants to deter anyone from even trying to hack into cars before it's even happened (that we know of). Automotive News is reporting that a couple of Michigan state senators have sponsored the first of what's expected to be several bills that'll regulate the "upcoming connected and autonomous vehicle industry."
That first bill, if passed, would make it a felony to "intentionally access or cause access to be made to an electronic system of a motor vehicle to willfully destroy, damage, impair, alter or gain unauthorized control of the motor vehicle."
Translation: anyone convicted of car hacking will face life in prison. One of the senators, Sen. Mike Kowall, stated that "I hope that we never have to use it (the punishment). That's why the penalties are what they are. The potential for severe injury and death are pretty high." The issue and dangers of car hacking were in the news last summer when a pair of hackers, as part of a story for Wired magazine, purposely hacked into a new Jeep Cherokee as it drove on a St. Louis, Missouri highway. The hackers, however, were sitting in a room in New Jersey. The story proved just how easy it is for hackers to gain access to modern cars regardless of location. Pretty scary stuff, really. Michigan, for its part, wants it known that car hackers will pay dearly.