Hackers pose serious risks to safety of self-driving cars

While many of the tests involving driverless cars may not be happening in Alabama, residents throughout the state nonetheless are watching with great interest. The ability to leverage self-driving technology to reduce the number of accidents could be a great benefit to people in Alabama. Yet, as this technology evolves with a reducing in accident risk being one goal, people in the state should know that other risks may be emerging.

Some may be concerned about the safety of driverless cars and that is warranted. However, it is not simply a computer malfunction that people should be concerned about. The deliberate actions of hackers may put innocent people at risk in many ways. Some have indicated that it is easier than people might believe to cause havoc with some of the technologies in a self-driving vehicle.

One man was able to use a $43 laser pointer to interfere with the operation of one self-driving vehicle's sensors. This type of hack might prevent a vehicle from detecting other vehicles or hazards and cause accidents. Other hacks could be used to lure innocent people to locations where they could be in danger of theft or other crimes.

As driverless cars become reality on American roads, people should be aware of the new dangers that come along with them. Talking with an attorney after any type of accident may be helpful and offer insight into opportunities for compensation.

Source: Business Insider, "Driverless cars are prone to hacks - and automakers are barely talking about it," Danielle Muoio, Dec. 15, 2016

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