Self-driving cars have become quite popular over the last few years. While not everyone owns one of these vehicles, most people are aware of them, and would agree that they are a very good idea. Of course, though, when something is completely controlled by electronics and computers, there will always be a security risk. This doesn’t just apply to self-driving cars, either, with many modern machines relying on electrical mechanisms to power things like steering and acceleration. So, how exactly do car manufacturers expect to be able to control this sort of issue?
Encryption & Identification
Encryption has long been used in the computing world to keep data safe, scabbling transmissions and making them unreadable to those without the right keys. When it comes to digital vehicles, this provides an opportunity to give each car its own identity. It will only respond to orders from components which share this identity, and all of the required information will be kept encrypted, making it impossible to see on the outside. This all makes it extremely difficult for criminals to intercept the signals and find ways to take control of them. Of course, though, it isn’t where engineers have stopped with this, with this market always expanding and on the move.
When the software which drives a digital car is programmed well enough, the sensors which are attached to it can be used to make it almost impossible for their cars to do the wrong things. For example, if you were driving down a busy street filled with pedestrians either side of you, the cameras attached to your vehicle could prevent it from turning side to side. Putting a limit on your speed like this will make it hard to break the law. This means that even if a car is hacked, it can only be driven safely by the criminal, severely limiting the impact they can have.
While relying solely on digital tools can provide excellent results, a lot of people will feel more comfortable with a little more protection in place. For this reason, all cars with self-driving features give their users the power to take manual control at any point during a trip. Along with this, though, telematics data, including loads of information about a vehicle, can be shared with an external monitoring facility. This works very well for businesses, and is a service which more and more car manufacturers are starting to offer. Knowing that someone is watching over you will make driving a lot more pleasant.
With all of this in mind, you should be feeling a little less concerned about the threat of hackers taking control of your vehicle. Car companies used to give little thought to this sort of work, but this was long before it was ever an issue. Nowadays, in a lot of cases, these businesses are the ones leading the charge in the cyber security world. This market is always expanding and growing, making it worth keeping up to date if you are interested in self-driving vehicles.