SAE CyberAuto Challenge™

July 22-27, 2018 │ Detroit, MI, USA


The SAE CyberAuto challenge brings together students and engineers from different backgrounds, industries, and organizations to collaboratively seek new information on automotive cybersecurity. Here's what you'll find at the SAE CyberAuto Challenge™:

  • High school and college students working with real vehicles and internal computer networks
  • Automotive Industry engineers learning new ways to think about vehicle safety
  • Government officials learning new ways to think about vehicle safety and engaging with the next generation of cyber professionals
  • Researchers developing cutting-edge techniques to combat cybersecurity challenges. Find real solutions to cybersecurity challenges and work to engage the next generation cyber-auto engineers.

Benefits of Attending

One of the many benefits of the Challenge for students is experiencing real professional teamwork at play. Professionals benefit from the unencumbered thinking of students. Both benefit from mentor-protege relationships.

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Who Attends

Vehicle Teams

Team composition is made up of high school and college students, OEM and supplier engineers, government representatives (e.g. Department of Transportation, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security), STEM educators, and security researchers ("white-hat" hackers). The typical team composition is:

  • 2-3 auto company (OEM) engineer(s)
  • 1-2 supplier engineer(s)
  • 1 STEM educator
  • 1 government engineer
  • 1 academic researcher (or white-hat hacker)
  • 4 college students
  • 4 high school students
  • 1 facilitator.

A total of about 16 people make up a team. Each team works together for the entire week on the same vehicle. Learn more about team roles and expectations


The Challenge is a week-long practicum-based workshop. It is comprised of a series of classroom lessons and discussions alternating with hands-on work with real cars, real equipment, real communications protocols, and real industry experts, including automotive engineers, government engineers, and ethical "white hat" hackers. Teams perform analysis and provide input on current-model full-feature cars. Experience three days of practical learning, tours, and hand-on experiments, all culminating in a 24-hour "hack-a-thon" and debrief.

Emergency Procedures During This SAE Event

During this SAE event attendees are to follow the established emergency guidelines of the facility where the emergency occurs. Based on the location of the incident, report emergencies to the nearest venue representative and/or security personnel if available, or report to the SAE operations office onsite.

Should a catastrophic event occur, attendees should follow the safety and security instructions issued by the facility at the time of the event. This includes listening for instructions provided through the public address system and following posted evacuation routes if required.

In case of an emergency, or a major disruption to the schedule of the event, attendees and exhibitors may call the below number to receive updated information on the status of the event. Updates will also be provided via the SAE website at and event mobile app.

SAE Emergency Hotline