Should We Be Concerned Our Future Autonomous Car May Get Hacked?


With the rise of autonomous cars very much upon us, many people are starting to get on board with the idea. However, one thing that seems to hold a lot of them back is the possibility that the car could be hacked, taken over, and we could all end up on a nightmare ride of our lives. There are also concerns from many that their human-piloted car may also be compromised in some way.

A new study carried out by a team from the University of Michigan involved asking 519 participants aged 18 or over what their concerns (if any) they had in relation to cyber-security and their vehicles. Many of the concerns recorded were to be expected.  This included the fact that people were more worried that an autonomous car would be hacked rather than a regular one, which is understandable. What the results from the survey highlighted were the fact that the less control a human has a car, the more concerned people were over their safety.

As well as illuminating the various concerns that people had in regards to autonomous cars being hacked, the report also broke the results by age and gender. It showed that as a whole, women tend to be more worried about cyber-security issues than men, which may or may not surprise you. One statistic that was quite surprising was that younger people were only slightly less worried about cyber-security issues than the older crowd.

Included as part of the conclusion of the survey, respondents were asked at what age they feel should be the minimum at which people should be allowed to ‘drive’ an autonomous vehicle.  While the majority of people chose 17 as the best option, around 4 percent chose 15-year-olds, and weirdly over 22 percent were happy with kids aged 14 and under operating an autonomous vehicle.  Considering that most of the people surveyed have ever even been inside an autonomous car I don’t think we should read too much into these results, but it is good to learn what people do fear so that auto manufacturers know where they need to work harder.

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