If billboards are hijacked, they can force self-driving cars to brake

While it is certain that autonomous vehicles are not about to roll without any user intervention during a whole trip, there are still areas where they can improve. Researchers at Ben-Gurion University in the Negev in Israel have found that certain elements can impact the driving of self-driving cars, which could be very dangerous for those on board.

According to academics, artificial intelligence systems present in self-driving cars could be disrupted by ” ghost objects “. These cannot be seen with the naked eye by the driver, but they are taken into account by the vehicle device. As a result, the car may consider it necessary to brake quickly or turn. The display panels concerned would include the presence of flashing lights which could influence the reading by the devices of the vehicles, for the example of a Stop sign hijacked in this way.

Panels that can induce ” braking or swerving »

Security researcher Yisroel Mirsky says these hijacked signs could lead to ” braking or swerving »So that« the car will simply react, and [le conducteur, NDLR] won’t understand why ».

In a previous article on the subject, the specialized media Wired evokes the concrete case of Wired. These hypotheses were tested with vehicles from the group equipped with the latest version of Autopilot, the latest version of the driving assistance tool. About him, the automaker always clarifies that it does not replace the driver and always requires the vigilance of the latter. During the tests, a Stop sign which was visible by the vehicle for 0.42 seconds deceived the vehicle against 1/8e a second was enough for MobileEye — another anti-collision and driver assistance device.

The results of this research should be communicated more widely in the future so that manufacturers can look into a solution. And for good reason, malicious people could use this kind of flaw to attack a large number of vehicles rather than targeting one specifically and having more difficulty reaching their end.

However, autonomous vehicles still have some progress to make before they are able to function perfectly correctly. We remember, among other things, the case of Uber’s car which failed to stop at the sight of a cyclist crossing the road. As the driver on board was not concentrated on the road, the person died as a result of the collision.

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