April 09, 2020

Why Smart Car Safety Depends on Cybersecurity

By Roland L. Trope and Thomas J. Smedinghoff

For autonomous cars to be safe, they must communicate with one another (especially about their respective position, speed, course, and intended maneuvers or turns). Their communications must be two-way. But that makes them and their onboard operating computers vulnerable to hackers. And if the hackers take control of the vehicle’s safety-critical systems—acceleration, steering, and braking—they can cause the vehicle to misbehave and crash. In this article, we explain why designers and makers of autonomous cars and other smart cars will not achieve vehicle safety if they fail to achieve vehicle cybersecurity. --------------

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