Security Threats in Autonomous Vehicles

Security Threats in Autonomous Vehicles

R. Thandeeswaran (VIT University, India), Rajat Pawar (VIT University, India) and Mallika Rai (VIT University, India)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2296-6.ch006
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The automotive industry has reached a stage categorisation of the degree of the automation has become crucial. According to the levels of automation defined by SAE, the automotive industry is already past the first four and development is now being heavily concentrated on level 5, that is, driving independent of human control. This obviously requires an array of sensors, microcontrollers and visual feedback systems like cameras, LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) to be present in the vehicle. With security concerns omnipresent among these devices, they are now ported to the realm of vehicles and must be tackled so that unsafe driving conditions are never experienced. In this paper, Section 3 elaborates upon the technologies that have shaped autonomous cars into the form known today and Section 4 explains the network architecture and network security amongst these cars. Section 5 describes the rippling effect of this evolution in the automotive industry on other supportive industries, Section 6 talks about the challenges posed to the development of AVs and finally, Section 7 discusses the future of autonomous vehicles in India.
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Technology Applications

Autonomous cars need to be able to detect and avoid obstacles and distinguish objects on the road as a curb, a pedestrian or cyclist. For the purpose, they rely on a set of technologies referred to as the ‘circle of safety’ comprising of lane departure warning and lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection, parallel and rear parking assist, driver monitoring system, traffic sign recognition, night view assist system, collision avoidance system, antilock braking system, airbags, navigation system and adaptive headlights (Howard, 2013; Sanchez, 2015)

Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist

Engendered from the need for lane driving to minimize crashes, the lane departure warning (LDW) system has been formulated to alert the driver when the vehicle begins drift away from its lane unless a turn signal is on in that direction on freeways and arterial roads. As the car approaches the lane marking, the system generates a warning in the form of a visual alert, and audible tone or a vibration in the steering wheel or seat. In response to these warnings, the driver steers back the vehicle into the lane. Figure 1 presents an autonomous car’s perspective of the road ahead of it.

Figure 1.

Lane Departure Warning System

Source: Howard, 2013

Most commonly, the system consists of a camera mounted at the top of the windshield, as a part of the rear-view mirror mounting block that captures the view of the road ahead and parses it for lane markings (Howard, 2013). This technology particularly addresses human-inflicted causes of collision such as driver error, distractions and drowsiness (Wikipedia, n.d).

Keeping in mind the above causes, the LDW system has been evolved into the lane keep assist system that automatically reacts when the vehicle goes astray, thus reducing dependency on human intervention for corrective measures. The vehicle is autonomously pivoted back into the lane by braking the opposite front wheel or simply turning the steering wheel (Howard, 2013). Since the reactions are subtle, the driver can always overcome the effect with minimal effort.

Alternatively, a very accurate GPS or magnetic markers in the roads may be used in addition to on board sensors (radar, LIDAR, ultrasonic range finders) to assist the systems (Sanchez, 2015).

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