Columbia Car Accident Lawyers dicuss the treat that hackers pose to self-driving car technology. Self-driving vehicles, also known as autonomous or driverless cars, are poised to take-over America’s roadways. These vehicles can sense their environment and navigate without any input from human drivers. The technology continues to evolve, and currently, all self-driving cars require a human driver who can take control at any time. One might think that the biggest technological obstacle driverless cars face is collision avoidance. However, manufacturers must also anticipate the possibility that hackers can wreak havoc on the technology by interfering with these systems.

Security Hacks

Autonomous cars will need to defend against a full spectrum of attacks from hackers who want to endanger the safety of drivers on the road.  These hackers must be anticipated to employ traditional cyber attacks, as well as an increasingly broad new generation of attacks, including adversarial machine learning.

There have not been any reports of hostile hackers targeting autonomous vehicles, but that does not mean that it cannot happen and that it will not be an issue. Hackers have already demonstrated that driverless cars are vulnerable to multiple specific security threats. For example, researchers at the University of South Carolina and Chinese security and institutions of higher learning have demonstrated that they could jam the sensors on a Tesla S, making objects invisible to the computer sensory system. It has also been discovered that unusual graphic patterns can trip the algorithm in such a way that computer sensory vision systems can see things that are not there. This was the case with state-of-the-art facial recognition algorithms. If hackers can evade this technology, it is hard to believe that the visual systems on automobiles will be any more secure.

Taking Precaution

In response, automakers recalled and upgraded firmware of millions of cars. Recently, the CEO of General Motors announced that protecting cars from hackers was a matter of public safety, and that they were taking it very seriously. A major problematic factor is that the collision avoidance and computer sensory vision systems under development rely on such complex technology and algorithms, that even those companies who use them do not fully understand them. As automakers continue to focus on the potential safety advantages of driverless cars, such as less distracted driving and driver error, they continue to downplay the notion that malicious adversaries might try to intentionally make driverless vehicles crash.

Google, Nissan, and other automakers plan to have fully autonomous cars on the road as early as 2020. Ford plans to have fully autonomous urban taxis by 2021. Although automakers claim to be addressing these safety issues, there is little concrete evidence to back up their assertions. With the development of self-driving commercial trucks, this could pose a serious threat to delivery services and the safety of drivers everywhere

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Victims Injured From Autonomous Vehicles

Until driverless cars hit the road, human drivers are prone to negligence, including distraction, intoxication, and fatigue. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact an experienced car accident lawyer in Columbia at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A.. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at (803) 929-3600 or contact us online today. We provide the highest quality legal services to clients in Columbia, Alken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout South Carolina.