Google Is Keeping Self-Driving Car Offline To Prevent Hacking
Google is taking a bit of a different approach to autonomous vehicles. As it turns out, their driverless car will remain offline to prevent hacking. The news comes from John Krafcik, the CEO of Waymo, Google’s self-driving car division.
“Our cars communicate with the outside world only when they need to, so there isn’t a continuous line that’s able to be hacked, going into the car,” Krafcik explained in an interview with the Financial Times. “When we say that our cars are autonomous, it’s not just that there’s not a human driver, but also that there is not a continuous cloud connection to the car.”
Many self-driving prototypes today rely on the internet to send and receive location information and other forms of data. But these processes can lead to vulnerabilities in the system that could allow hackers to compromise the vehicle and its functions. However, Krafcik insists this isn’t going to be the case with Waymo’s Chrysler fleet, since they were not manufactured with the need for an external network.
“Think about it, if the system goes down and it relies on it, what does it do? Our car is a truly self driving car, it doesn’t require infrastructure,” the CEO emphasized.
As Krafcik explains, these cars can go for long periods of time without any sort of connection whatsoever, because the autonomous system is built right into the car itself. The vehicle would only briefly open an internet connection for the exchange of data, before closing the connection and remaining offline. It may not be a faultless plan of protection against hackers, but there’s a high likelihood that, simply by remaining offline altogether, these cars will be safer from hacking than their competitors. But that all remains to be seen, since the auto industry is still learning how to make driverless cars viable.
But what do you think about Google’s approach to preventing hacking? Sound off in the comments!
And for more automotive news, find out what Ford has in mind with its ambitious City of Tomorrow program!