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FIC expands business to automotive cybersecurity

Annabelle Shu, Taipei; Kevin Cheng, DIGITIMES Asia 0

First International Computer (FIC), a Taiwan-based OEM of PCs and consumer electronics, has expanded its business to the automotive industry, with a focus on cybersecurity for future vehicles.

In an effort to differentiate itself from its competitors, FIC began deepening its deployments for the automotive, medical, and automation sectors about 10 years ago, said company general manager Alex Dee.

FIC chose mainframe systems as its entry point into the challenging factory-installed product market, and it is the first company in Taiwan to introduce all-digital dashboards, Dee pointed out. The company is focusing on reducing the latency of IVI (in-vehicle infotainment) information display on dashboards, he explained.

Dee said that verification and testing for dashboards and AR HUD, which are components that could affect a vehicle's safety if broken, are extremely time-consuming and that each large testing project consists of 70-80 smaller testing and verification procedures. FIC has been investing in this area for two and a half years, and the company has learned a lot from exploring the automotive industry, he remarked.

Dee also noted that FIC has been supplying vehicle management system to Daimler Truck since 2017, and that there are currently 80,000 vehicles equipped with FIC's vehicle management system on US roads.

FIC plans to expand its presence in the European market and unveil metaverse architectures for vehicles in the future, said Dee. Besides automotive human-machine interface (HMI) solutions, the company is also developing solutions for AR heads-up displays, advertisement displays, smart buildings, smart home, and smart grids, he added.

Meanwhile, Dee emphasized the importance of automotive cybersecurity, especially as vehicles advance toward Level 5 autonomy. If vehicles in a fleet are connected, hackers could obtain data of all the vehicles by penetrating just one car, he said, while acknowledging potential security risks created by Taiwan's lack of large fleet management systems.