OnBoard Security, the embedded security division of Security Innovation, recently commented on the US Department of Transportation’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on V2V communications. OnBoard Security strongly supports the establishment of the proposed regulation since the number of lives saved increases dramatically as the number of cars with V2V increases. Widespread penetration of the technology, and the corresponding prevention of deaths, can only be reached in a reasonable time with a mandate.
In September 2016, Tesla Motors issued an over-the-air software update to make its Autopilot system rely more on radar than cameras. This update was in response to a highly publicized crash in May 2016 in which a 40-year-old man was killed when his Tesla crashed into a turning tractor trailer. Tesla wrote in a blog post that Autopilot didn't detect "the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied." Without more information about the accident I can only speculate, but let me try to reflect on the problem and how security plays a role. The cause of the accident was that the camera did not detect the object because of natural/non-malicious blinding. I define blinding as the action of affecting the camera in a way that objects are not detected, either partial or full blinding. So, what does it say about the robustness of the system against blinding attacks? It says that Tesla's Autopilot apparently does not prioritize safety or does not do sensor fusion correctly, if at all.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), part of the US Department of Transportation recently issued their much anticipated Federal Automated Vehicles Policy. This 116-page document is guidance, not mandatory rule-making to "guide manufacturers and other entities in the safe design, development, testing, and deployment of HAVs [Highly Automated Vehicles]."