MACON, Georgia. The vast majority of car accidents occur due to human error. Drivers can be distracted by their cell phones, they can be tempted to speed to get to their destinations on time, and they can even be impacted by their emotions. Researchers have found that drivers who are emotional are actually more likely to be involved in an accident. Humans are fallible behind the wheel. According to the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, 90% of car accidents occur due to human error. This is one of the major reasons why researchers and policymakers claim that we need to use self-driving vehicles in the future. Yet, before these cars take over our roads, researchers need to first consider weaknesses in these systems. Every day, it seems, researchers are finding new weaknesses.
For example, as it stands, self-driving vehicles remain prone to major attacks. Self-driving cars rely on vision systems. These systems are essentially video feeds that tell the computer where the car is located in space. According to Wired, these vision systems remain prone to attack. In one instance, hackers were able to attach stickers to stop signs, thus rendering them invisible to vision software. This is the same thing as removing a stop sign from a busy intersection or putting a blindfold over a driver’s eyes as the driver enters an intersection.
Artificial intelligence technologies are advancing every day, but along with these advancements come greater opportunities for hackers and terrorists. Researchers who are fighting to defend self-driving systems against attack are fighting an arms race. Almost as soon as new research is developed to increase security, along come new hackers determined to break the system.
Computer vision systems are difficult to protect. Even human vision can be tricked. Think of any optical illusion to which you’ve fallen victim and then imagine a hacker using something similar to trick a car into doing what the hacker wants. While it may not be as simple as this, the problem is serious enough to put limits on when and where driverless technology will be available to the public.
While fully autonomous vehicles are not available to the general public, there are certainly partially autonomous vehicles available for purchase and some are on the road. Are these subject to hacks? It isn’t clear. What can a victim do if she finds herself seriously injured by a hacked vehicle? Personal injury law is only beginning to understand the legal options that may be available to victims and their families.
Adams, Hemingway, & Wilson, L.L.P. are personal injury lawyers in Macon, Georgia who are closely watching the ways that technology is changing car accident law. While some victims may be able to make product liability claims against manufacturers, other victims may still be able to pursue a claim against the driver. Currently, drivers are required to ultimately be in control of their vehicles. If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Macon, Georgia, you may be entitled to seek damages for your injuries and other losses. Visit our firm at http://ahwllp.com/index.html to learn more about your rights.