While many are aware of their tablets, laptops and smartphones being susceptible to hacking, this isn't just relevant to smartphones and such. It's also relevant to other technology, like autonomous cars. You may remember a couple of hackers who hacked a Jeep Cherokee, one that was not a self-driving vehicle, and basically made it useless on a highway. Well those hackers have been working with Uber to secure their own vehicles and now they have left the company and are talking about how tough it is to truly protect self-driving cars from hackers. And the spoiler here is that it's pretty darn tough.
They wouldn't talk about the specifics behind the difficulties in securing self-driving cars, but would only mention that it is pretty difficult. He has now joined Uber's Chinese competitor Didi, who are looking to do self-driving taxis', which are even tougher to secure than regular autonomous vehicles. This is due to the fact that you have plenty of people getting in and out of these vehicles, bringing a lot more variables into the car than with a standard autonomous car.
A few months ago, you may remember that basically the entire Internet went down due to a few Internet of Things products being vulnerable and allowing hackers to take down many websites, and the majority of the top sites on the web. That's nothing compared to what could happen with an autonomous vehicle that has been hacked. The possibilities are pretty much endless. A hacker could hack the car to break the rules of the road, which could end up pretty messy, with people getting killed and cars getting totaled. So securing these cars is a big deal, and definitely a tough task. While many people are worried about self-driving cars eliminating jobs, they will be opening up jobs elsewhere. Like people working to protect these cars from hackers, not to mention needing more people to service these vehicles since they are going to be doing a lot more driving than normal cars do at this point. Self-driving cars are still about a decade out, but tech companies and auto makers are making some pretty good progress already.