Self-driving cars are growing in both prominence and sophistication. Sensors and artificial intelligence help to not only maintain the vehicle’s speed and stability but also avoid serious accidents. Yet, the technology remains a work in progress. Glitches have already resulted in injuries and death, largely due to complacency that results from overreliance on automated systems.
One of the many purposes of vehicle intelligence is to improve driving safety. While cutting-edge technology can bring efficiency to engine performance, preventing serious accidents should always be the top priority.
Are Electronic Billboards Vulnerable to Hackers?
Billboards dot freeways nationwide, promoting restaurants, theme parks, and the occasional legal service. These large advertisements are also gaining in technological complexity, using electronics to change images from remote locations. While they remain far away from the road, they run the risk of creating more dangerous “obstacles” that affect how autonomous cars operate, not to mention putting drivers at risk.
Security experts believe that “e-billboards” could be compromised by hackers that would significantly affect the “behavior” of self-driving cars. Without warning, a vehicle “seeing” the phantom images could abruptly brake or swerve, resulting in catastrophic collisions. Those responsible for the “hack” would likely leave scant if any evidence behind.
Recent tests revealed severe issues with Tesla’s most current version of Autopilot and MobileEye. A split-second light projection depicting a stop sign or the shape of a human being tricked Tesla for 0.42 seconds and MobileEye for 1/8th of a second.
The potential for these deadly disruptions seems limitless and requires that autonomous automakers try to stay one step ahead of those who are only interested in chaos. In the end, eliminating the human factor entirely may fly in the face of safer transportation.