An Insight into Thwarting GPS Sabotage, Safeguarding Self-driving Cars

By CIOReview | Thursday, June 27, 2019

GPSWhat if you are new in a city and your self-driving car takes you to a shady lane rather than the multiplex where you had to go? Could the GPS have made a mistake? Yes, your GPS might have been spoofed.  

FREMONT, CA: Global Positioning System (GPS) is integral to self-driving vehicles. GPS collects real-time data from satellites to calculate the exact location of points and helps in navigation. Like every other technology, there are a set of vulnerabilities that one can associate with self-driving vehicles. In recent years, GPS has become a point of weakness in autonomous vehicles. Many instances of GPS hacking in vehicles and other systems have come to the fore. Termed as GPS spoofing, this security concern has become a challenge that car makers are eager to address as the development of self-driving cars picks up.

The threat of GPS spoofing is a critical one, as many users depend on it. Upon being spoofed, a GPS will redirect navigation paths and cause delays or take one to wrong destinations. This can lead to potentially harmful situations as drivers trust and depend on GPS to find unfamiliar places.

Research is underway to come up with a solution against GPS spoofing attacks. This is important from the security aspect of driverless cars. With an increase in the level of automation, the chances of spoofing also increase. One way in which automated vehicles can reduce spoofing chances is by using multiple technologies that assist GPS like, secondary sensors and cameras that can help navigate by recognizing landmarks on the way. Anti-spoofing technology will allow automated and electric vehicles from the dangers of spoofing.

Most of the emergency helplines track the position of emergencies using GPS as well. If someone spoofs the GPS, they can easily hinder emergency tracking. Sometimes, the GPS is used as a source of time, and hence spoofing affects all the time-dependent processes as well.  GPS spoofing can hamper transportation and mobility leading to financial and other losses in the process. Makers can ensure the safety of autonomous driving vehicles by clubbing all kinds of sensor data to obtain accurate locations rather than depending entirely on GPS.