Uber Technologies Inc. has hired the two computer-security engineers who hacked into a Jeep Cherokee, gaining control of the car’s steering, brakes and engine.
Chris Valasek, director of vehicle-security research at IOActive, and Charlie Miller, who worked at Twitter Inc., will join Uber’s Advanced Technologies Center, the San Francisco-based car-booking company said in a statement Friday.
The duo’s hack of the car, made by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, helped to raise awareness as cars become loaded with more technology and make them vulnerable to risks that didn’t exist before. The automaker recalled 1.4 million vehicles as a result of the hack, which was detailed by “Wired” magazine in July. They’ll work closely with Uber’s Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan and Chief Information Security Officer John Flynn, Uber said.
Uber, which set up a research and development lab in Pittsburgh with Carnegie Mellon University earlier this year, is working to develop self-driving automobiles and pushing to improve its mapping and global-positioning technology. Travis Kalanick, Uber’s chief executive officer, has said that Uber’s fleet will be self-driving one day.
Uber said Valasek and Miller are part of a push to “continue building out a world-class safety and security program at Uber.” Reuters reported earlier on the hiring.