Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Auto Hack

PostedNovember 21, 2019

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Lede: As you drive to your Thanksgiving destination, think about this: Today’s cars are basically computers on wheels, and are becoming more and more connected to the internet. So what if a particular brand got hacked?

Randy Atkins: Hacking isn’t just about stealing information, but can have real effects in the physical world. Skanda Vivek, a Georgia Tech postdoc, modeled what would happen if a hacker found a way to disable just one brand of cars in Manhattan.

Skanda Vivek: That would cause complete gridlock and it would fragment some parts of the city making it completely inaccessible from the other parts.

Randy Atkins: Vivek collaborator Jesse Silverberg, founder of startup Multiscale Systems, says while internet-connected vehicles have huge potential benefits, including for safety, we also need to understand the risks so that engineers can…

Jesse Silverberg: …hopefully build in safeguards so that the technology doesn’t get turned around against us.

Randy Atkins: The researchers say their software tool could also be useful for policy making and emergency planning, and that it can model various scenarios in any city. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.