THE CAR COACH REPORTS:
September 11, 2015
Freakin’ Lasers Edition –
Drivers with Lasers Can Stop Autonomous Vehicles
All right, all right. I am not Chicken Little and I resisted the urge to say the sky is falling over the security breaches in autonomous cars while saying this might be a problem. But the number of hacked stories (controlled, but hacked nonetheless) is getting out of control.
In the latest hack, drivers with lasers can stop an autonomous vehicle. http://www.popsci.com/hackers-can-trick-lidar-used-in-autonomous-cars-with-laser-pointer.
Apparently, pointing a laser at one of the cameras that help the self-driving car drive will shut the car down. Self-drivers aren’t going exactly fast these days, but if they get adopted without any of the myriad problems addressed, imagine what kind of havoc this will create on a highway if a car or two or three suddenly stop.
And wasn’t the whole point of autonomous cars to eliminate the margin of error that we mere mortal humans have when driving?
This is not an easy truth to hear, but someone has to say it: Sorry for the companies who may have effectively squandered research dollars, but if the self-driver tech can’t be 100-percent accident, and more importantly security-vulnerability free, what’s the point?
This is real talk. I will not spend my money on a vehicle that can be hacked by USB or satellite, or powered down by a laser. No way. No how. And this is where it gets tricky, then.
For starters, this is just another example of auto industry R&D having a brilliant idea but not so brilliant execution. Nice try guys. It isn’t working. Let it go. Take the loss. They won’t though, and then when they’ve sunk enough of their own money and can’t fix the security problems, they will ask for tax money to fund the research to fix and make the vehicles viable. Where have we heard this before? EVs perhaps?
And let’s face it, our government doesn’t work for us, it works for the corporations. So if Google, et. al refuse to cash out of their research and foist autonomous vehicles on us, guess who they will use to get a return on their investment? The government will mandate that the vehicles replace what we use, and NHTSA and other organizations will tell us self-drivers are safe, not to worry. Until a freakin’ laser beam shuts down a highway and kills or injures a bunch of citizens. I know this sounds Chicken Little-y and maybe even a little like grab your tinfoil hat. But just watch.
But what do you think?
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My Final Thought:
And this is why you don’t drive and selfie. http://jalopnik.com/jeep-gets-penetrated-by-canoe-because-selfie-stick-1729867655. Thankfully, no one was hurt. Maybe just the driver’s pride got a little injured. Maybe not.
Don’t be that driver. Be safe.
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Love Your Car! See you next week!