Today's self-driving cars rely on spinning sensors called lidar that can cost more than $10,000 each. But it took Jonathan Petit just $43 and a laser pointer to confuse and defeat them.
"Anybody can go online and get access to this, buy it really quickly, and just assemble it, and there you go, you have a device that can spoof lidar," Petit, a cybersecurity expert, told Business Insider.
Some automakers are exploring using vehicle-to-vehicle communication for self-driving cars because the cars can use the data to navigate more safely without relying on their sensors exclusively to see obstacles, like a traffic jam, with their sensors.
The cars won't send personally identifying information, but the data, like GPS locations, are sent to other vehicles unencrypted.
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