Ministry eyes tech to prevent hacking of driving support system in self-driving cars

JIJI

Japan’s Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry has drawn up guidelines in a bid to defend against the hacking of an envisaged next-generation driving support system that is expected to help accelerate the development of autonomous driving cars.

The ministry is concerned about the possibility that a cyberattack on the system might lead to traffic accidents.

The ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) Connect Promotion Consortium, which is developing the system with the government, plans to establish specifications on the technology to prevent such cyberattacks in autumn this year, sources familiar with the matter said. The consortium is made up of automakers and electronics-makers.

The system is aimed at helping ensure safe driving by distributing information on nearby automobiles and pedestrians, traffic signals and other relevant matters collected through radio communications to moving vehicles. The vehicles will alert the drivers to possible dangers.

The consortium will consider encrypting such information by using special technologies to prevent it from being altered, the sources said.

The next-generation driving support system is also expected to improve automatic emergency braking technologies for preventing collisions.

Autonomous driving uses such equipment as an on-vehicle camera and sensor that collect information on the surrounding environment, with related technologies being developed by automakers and electronics-makers.

The planned next-generation driving support system is being touted as a way to strengthen the safety of autonomous driving by providing information on blind spots, the sources said.

Toyota Motor Corp. is considering introducing equipment compatible with the system in a planned fully remodeled version of its Prius hybrid vehicle and other vehicle models.