According to reports, Google's version of self-driving cars will remain unplugged and separated from the internet most of the time. This is to prevent them from being hacked, the chief executive of Waymo, its driver-less vehicle program, has revealed.
Avoiding hacks and infiltrations
"Our cars will communicate with the outside world only when they truly need to, so there will not be a continuous line that is able to be hacked, going into the car," John Krafcik told the Financial Times in a recent interview in Detroit.
John Krafcik also claimed that their cars are autonomous not just that there's not a human driver, but also the fact that there is not any certain continuous cloud connection to the car. He also added that cyber security is something that they take very, very seriously.
The dangers of getting hacked
According to Google, several large carmakers that would include Nissan and Fiat Chrysler have already fallen prey to cyber-attacks and the risks of getting hacked will only worsen as vehicles contain even more connected technology.
Because components in a vehicle communicate with each other on a central system, there is always a potential for hackers to gain access towards a certain car through one channel, such as an internet connection. Once they are inside the car, they can take control of critical functions such as steering and braking.
Importance of communication
Self-driving cars have the ability to communicate with other vehicles in order to prevent crashes, as well as with some parts of the road's infrastructure such as traffic lights so they can tell whether they are red or green and whether they need to stop or go. They also import information to the cloud and receive locational data that would help the car know where it currently is.
With that, it clearly is very vital for a self-driving car to be able to communicate with its surroundings, but with the disruption of potential hackers, it could also potentially hinder the self-driving cars abilities, resulting in unwanted events like crashes or accidents.