Humanity 'Not Ready' for Robot Cars, but Poised for Car Hackers

Humanity 'Not Ready' for Robot Cars, but Poised for Car Hackers

Missy Cummings - one of the US Navy’s first-ever female fighter pilots, who’s an engineering professor at Duke University, rained all over the car industry’s robot car parade, at a recent US Senate Commerce Committee hearing.

Professor Cummings - who is director of the Humans and Autonomy Lab at Duke, and who previously managed a $100 million US Navy project to build a robotic helicopter - spoke to Automotive News after the hearing and said of autonomous cars:

“We’re just not ready, and I haven’t seen any test data to suggest we are.”

So take that, useless Google robot car. [TILT HEAD] More on the biggest problem with robot cars here.

Video Report: Will robot cars kill? >>


Humanity 'Not Ready' for Robot Cars, but Poised for Car Hackers

Also in the US, the FBI and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a warning that modern cars are increasingly vulnerable to being hacked. The two agencies are jointly:

“Warning the general public and manufacturers to maintain awareness of potential issues and cybersecurity threats related to connected vehicle technologies in modern vehicles.”

That means: Don’t leave backdoors open so malicious arseholes with laptops can connect via Bluetooth and take control of the car while it’s driving, or just unlock it and steal it using - I dunno - an iPad instead of a key. In 2014, Wired magazine reported that hackers (correction: cybersecurity researchers - so: professional hackers) Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek cracked the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, remotely seizing control of brakes, steering and transmission. Sounds like fun … but you probably wouldn’t want your ex-wife doing it.

That lead to a July 2015 recall of 1.4 million Fiat Chrysler vehicles.