Hacking fears cloud self-driving push
— Automakers are working to put self-driving cars on U.S. roads as quickly as they can, but developers are still grappling with questions about whether they can be hacked or tricked into making driving errors.
Safety advocates have argued self-driving cars are prime targets for hackers who specialize in computer takeovers. Others have pointed out that autonomous cars rely heavily on sensors and mapping devices to read traffic signs — and that could make them susceptible to sabotage if signs are altered in certain ways.
“The current state of vehicles on the road today — the new, modern car, not even self-driving — have become rolling computers,” said John Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s privacy project director.
Simpson cited a 2015 hack of a non-self driving 2014 Jeep Cherokee by researchers in a realworld test that included disabling the SUV’s engine functions and controlling the air conditioning, locks and radio. That led to a recall of 1.4 million Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV cars, SUVs and pickups to fix the flaw.
“The vulnerability has been demonstrated and I think it’s only going to get worse with autonomous vehicles,” Simpson said.
The debate about the potential vulnerability of self-driving cars to hackers is occurring as automakers and technology