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Driverless Cars Can Be Tricked into Seeing Red Traffic Lights as Green

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The researchers suggest redesigning driverless car cameras so they scan rows of pixels in a random order, rather than one row at a time, would make it harder for an attacker to introduce color interference.

Credit: temp-64GTX/Shutterstock

Researchers at China's Zhejiang University found driverless cars could be fooled into seeing red traffic lights as green.

The scientists directed a laser at the sensors of five camera models used by self-driving vehicles, with two open-source software packages reading the captured images.

Lasers of a 650-nanometer and a 520-nanometer wavelength rendered the entire image red or green, respectively, while flickering the laser at high frequencies only induced this coloration in certain image segments.

Adding a horizontal bar of green or red caused both software packages to incorrectly sense the traffic lights as green 30% of the time and red 86% of the time, on average, across the cameras.

From New Scientist
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