Self-driving cars can be fooled by graffiti on street signs
University of Washington researchers have discovered that a defaced street sign can pose a challenge to a self-driving car. Their research showed that an autonomous vehicle’s image recognition system can be thrown off by placing stickers on street signs. “We physically realised and evaluated two attacks, one that causes a Stop sign to be misclassified as a Speed Limit sign in 100% of the testing conditions, and one that causes a Right Turn sign to be misclassified as either a Stop or Added Lane sign in 100% of the testing conditions,” stated the researchers.
This poses a problem for car makers which plan to roll out self-driving vehicles, as vandalising a street sign is easy for potential attackers.
A suggested solution is to ensure the cars read signs with context-awareness.
An example is that a city will not place a Stop sign on a freeway, and an autonomous system would know this.