"We might end up with a physical danger issue, so we have to get out in front of it," Sakamoto said.
Savari, based in Santa Clara, Calif., began in 2008 after CEO Ravi Puvvala began testing vehicle messaging technology while working at Atheros Communications, acquired by Qualcomm (QCOM) in 2011. The company started primarily with research, and now provides tests in security and privacy for connected cars.
Savari uses vehicle-to-vehicle, or V2V, technology -- a messaging system that allows cars to communicate on the road, in hopes of preventing human error crashes -- which some see as a steppingstone to autonomous driving.
Sakamoto said his primary concern for connected cars is that if consumers don't trust the technology to be gridlocked from hackers, they won't trust the technology to keep them safe on the road.
The tech is supposed to give "real-time safety" for passengers, predicting movements like merging cars, red lights or cars slowing down, even when a driver can't see the threats.
In terms of hacking, the technology isn't necessarily actively fighting breaches, compared to Argus' technology, but V2V is supposedly designed with hacking in mind; it's sealed shut to prevent either a physical intruder or a laptop user from a remote location.
Most commonly, breaches are successful when the hacker has some sort of physical access to the car, and usually for a long time, Sakamoto said.
Companies working without V2V technology in connected cars using any kind of internet computer system are more vulnerable to breaches, whether the hacker has physical access to it or not. And experts say the tech works the most efficiently when every vehicle on the road is communicating. But that could take time and money.
The average age of cars on the road is about 11 years old, according to the Department of Transportation, and initial estimates are that the technology could cost $300 million to $2.1 billion by 2020.
Heilbronn said V2V acts as a communicator between vehicles and infrastructure, which ultimately could leave holes in security. Debates about the scope of autonomous cars' safety and privacy continue to be hotly debated as the competition for security is notably between a few larger companies and startups.
"It's one of the great shames of our current state [that there are] all sorts of debates that come up when you talk about things like this," Sakamoto added. "Any technology could have negative issues."
In the first six months of 2015, there was a 14% increase in fatalities by traffic incidents, compared to the same six months in 2014. V2V and similar technology has the potential, if used by every car on the road, to reduce the number of nonalcoholic-related crashes by 80%, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.