Cutter Law P.C.

There are many things a self-driving car would likely need to be able to do to function safely out on the roads. This includes accurately interpret roads signs it encounters. Some tests researchers recently conducted raise concerns that there might be ways to trick self-driving car systems into misreading traffic signs.

In the tests, researchers attached graffiti-like stickers to road signs to see if they could cause cameras commonly used in autonomous vehicle systems to get confused in their interpretation of the signs. The stickers succeeded in causing such confusion. For example, the researchers were able to get a self-driving system to misinterpret a stop sign as being a speed limit sign.

The stickers were aimed at interfering with the interpretative abilities of the algorithms used in self-driving car systems. So, the results of these tests raise concerns that hackers who are able to get access to such algorithms could use similar tactics to try to alter signs out in the real world in a way that would make them vulnerable to misinterpretation by self-driving vehicles.

As this illustrates, as self-driving cars move closer and closer to one day becoming a regular presence out on the roads, new safety concerns and issues may arise regarding the technology. How new safety issues and concerns that are brought up are addressed could end up impacting how safe the technology ends up being. One wonders how the concerns raised in this study will be addressed.

As self-driving car technology develops, there could also be a lot of unique and new legal concerns and issues that could come up regarding the technology. This includes issues related to how the legal system will treat personal injury claims involving self-driving vehicles. How courts and lawmakers address these issues as they arise could end up having major implications regarding personal injury claims.

Source: Digital Trends, “Stickers on street signs can confuse self-driving cars, researchers show,” Trevor Mogg, Aug. 8, 2017

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