Hack my car? Most believe it can happen

February 8, 2017 by Bernie Degroat, University of Michigan
Credit: University of Michigan

Most Americans have some concerns that self-driving cars can be hacked to cause crashes, disable the vehicle in some way or even be used as weapons by terrorists, according to researchers at the University of Michigan.

And large percentages of people are at least slightly concerned that these kinds of vehicles can be hacked to gain access to .

However, more than half have these same cybersecurity concerns about conventional vehicles, say Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle of the U-M Transportation Research Institute.

Using an online survey of more than 500 Americans, the researchers asked respondents how concerned they are about hackers gaining access to personally owned self-driving (both with control over the , brake and steering, and without) and conventional vehicles.

They found that 76-88 percent of people are at least slightly concerned that self-driving vehicles could be to cause crashes, or disable many vehicles simultaneously or the vehicles' main traffic-management systems. More than 40 percent are very or extremely concerned.

But even with regard to current conventional vehicles, about a third of respondents are at least somewhat concerned that hackers could cause crashes, disable vehicles or use them for acts of terror, or gain access to personal data.

"Hacking of vehicles is even a concern for conventional vehicles," Sivak said. "But hacking of self-driving vehicles with controls is of greater concern, and hacking of without controls is an even greater concern."

The researchers also found that women and older people have stronger concerns about cybersecurity.

Explore further: Despite expected benefits, concerns about self-driving vehicles still exist

More information: Cybersecurity Concerns with Self-Driving and Conventional Vehicles: www.umich.edu/~umtriswt/PDF/SW … Abstract_English.pdf

Related Stories

Security and privacy concerns regarding connected vehicles

April 23, 2014

(Phys.org) —A majority of Americans, Australians and Britons believe that connected-vehicle technology will make driving safer, but most are also concerned about security and privacy, according to a University of Michigan ...

Recommended for you

Study: With Twitter, race of the messenger matters

February 23, 2019

When NFL player Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice, the ensuing debate took traditional and social media by storm. University of Kansas researchers have ...

After a reset, Сuriosity is operating normally

February 23, 2019

NASA's Curiosity rover is busy making new discoveries on Mars. The rover has been climbing Mount Sharp since 2014 and recently reached a clay region that may offer new clues about the ancient Martian environment's potential ...

Researchers engineer a tougher fiber

February 22, 2019

North Carolina State University researchers have developed a fiber that combines the elasticity of rubber with the strength of a metal, resulting in a tougher material that could be incorporated into soft robotics, packaging ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.