Driverless cars could be vulnerable to mass hacking, warns expert

Driverless cars could be vulnerable to being hacked en masse, according to an expert.

Autonomous vehicles could be a target for hackers, says Matthew Channon, an expert on driverless cars from Exeter University, because of the connectivity they rely on for updates and to read road and weather conditions.

He has warned MPs about the potential threat as part of his written evidence to Parliament as it considers the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill.

(Olivier Le Moal/Getty Images)
“A major issue that has not been introduced in the Bill is in relation to mass risk,” he wrote in his letter.

“Particularly if more than one vehicle is hacked at the same time and damage is caused, there is a real risk of this happening and this is a real target due to the connected nature of these vehicles.”

Fully autonomous cars could be on Britain’s roads by 2021, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said last week.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling in a semi-autonomous Tesla S (Philip Toscano/PA)

It is thought that such vehicles will reduce the number of accidents and make roads safer by removing human error.

In the US, Google’s self-driving car company Waymo has removed the backup driver from its autonomous vehicles.

Waymo is testing autonomous vehicles on public roads – but no longer has a human driver poised to take over (Paul Sancya/AP)
Previous test drives had a human driver at the steering wheel to take over if necessary. From October, Waymo began testing on public roads with an employee in the back seat.

It is using a Chrysler Pacifica minivan in its testing.


More in this Section

Unilad’s Facebook page briefly disappeared amid claims of policy breaches on the social network

Apple delays the HomePod speaker until 2018

EA turns off all microtransactions in Star Wars: Battlefront II

Instagram Stories can now be updated via the mobile web


Today's Stories

First licence granted to treat pain with cannabis

Barry Walsh quits Fine Gael role after ‘trial by media’

EU chiefs back Irish threat to veto Brexit trade talks

Violent teen ‘will harm girl he defiled’ if bailed

Lifestyle

A towering achievement: Exploring Irish castles and beautiful buildings

Books that belong on the gardener's bookshelf

The domestic flash of Francis Brennan

John Wilson touring with music made with Rory Gallagher in Taste

More From The Irish Examiner