Self-driving cars will NOT be hitting UK roads anytime soon, and this is why
Driverless cars are easily one of the most anticipated advances in automotive history, with the field gaining serious traction in the last 12 months. Unfortunately, there is still a long way to go, and this is why…
Car manufacturers and technology companies are pouring money into self-driving technology
Tesla, Apple, Google, Uber and Ford – to name just a few of the companies investing serious time and resources into this field.
Driverless technology promises to revolutionise the way we travel and boasts a huge number of benefits to drivers.
In theory, autonomous vehicles will be safer, more comfortable and would enable the driver to sleep or rest throughout the journey.
The technology could also reduce congestion with a continuous flow of traffic and a level playing field in terms of driving ability.
However, the technology to enable these advances is still a long way off – if this latest test is anything to go by.
One of the most advanced autonomous vehicles was tricked by a handful of stickers placed on a road sign.
These signs, while easy to interpret by a human – even if partially obstructed, confounded the computer powering the vehicle.
The danger is that a car could completely ignore the sign or just stop in the middle of the road which is dangerous and unsafe.
University of Washington researchers found that signs that had been tampered with fooled autonomous technology every time.
For example, stop signs were mistaken for 45mph speed limits and right turn signals were misinterpreted as stop signs.
Researchers said that these changes to the signs can trick the AI’s learning algorithms and lead it to “misbehave in unexpected and potentially dangerous ways”.
The right turn with the faded arrow were wrongly identified 66 per cent of the time.
The team behind the tests also believe that roadside graffiti could also have an impact and an effect on driverless technology.
It was suggested that the vehicles should use contextual information in conjunction with the sign to determine what it is informing the technology on.
There is also a risk of hacking which is concerning experts.
Hackers could access the algorithm and used it to confuse the car’s camera.