Are Autonomous Driving Cars Safe? UW Research Aims to Find Out.

October 28, 2021, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer


AVRIL at night

The safety and security of autonomous, automated and semi-autonomous vehicles is a top priority for consumers, auto manufacturers, insurers and law-makers. Researchers in the Engineering Department of the University of Waterloo are looking into what the risks of these vehicles is now.


In partnership with Magna international UW’s Autonomous Vehicle Research and Intelligence Lab is researching the risks of the vehicles and how they can be made safer and more secure. Automated systems are a challenge to study as they develop incrementally. Testing these features is also difficult. Many have already rolled out. One example of an automated system is adaptive cruise control which is now standard on many cars. Drivers use the feature with the expectation that it won’t malfunction.


Researchers are using the feedback from the adaptive cruise system along with machine learning to develop other systems that drivers will trust and use.


Risks to the systems beyond their failure, include malicious hacking as the car’s computer systems are connected to a central location or may even communicate to one another. Malware inserted into the central system could cause tragic system-wide effects. This is why security is a key challenge for all manufacturers.


The research at UW will focus on improving the car computer systems, and testing how these ‘improvements’ perform in real-life situations.


You can read all about the interesting work being done at the UW lab here.

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