One of our research projects in vehicular communication has been noticed by The Atlantic magazine. LE/FT Lab researchers have teamed with Prof. Ryan Gerdes to study security and reliability in automated vehicles. The project also involves Prof. Rajnikant Sharma of the USU RISC Lab (they do research on coordinated control systems), Prof. Ming Li of the USU WiSeR Lab (in the Computer Science Department), and Prof. Kevin Heaslip (now with the Transportation Infrastructure group at Virginia Tech).
Here's a quote from the article:
Imagine this future scenario: Self-driving cars form an orderly procession down a highway, traveling at precisely the right following distance and speed. All the on-board computers cooperate and all the vehicles travel reach their destinations safely.
But what if one person jailbreaks her car, and tells her AI driver to go just a little faster than the other cars? As the aggressive car moves up on the other vehicles, their safety mechanisms kick in and they change lanes to get out of the way. It might make the overall efficiency of the transportation lower, but this one person would get ahead.
This is but one of many scenarios that Ryan Gerdes of Utah State University is exploring with a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to look at the security of the autonomous vehicle future.