EV/AV Report: perplexing policies and ADAS laser attacks

Toronto, Ontario — In this week’s report, automakers criticize the push for electric vehicle adoption, scientists discover a dangerous exploit in autonomous vehicle (AV) sensors and American lawmakers approve integrating thermal cameras into AV sensor suites. This is the latest in electric and autonomous vehicles.

Too many Cooks
Representatives of Canada’s auto industry warn that complicated electric vehicle (EV) rulings by federal and provincial bodies may ultimately harm EV investment and adoption rates at the provincial level.

This follows Quebec’s decision to tighten ZEV credit requirements, with one example being the reduction of credits received from selling emission-reducing retrofitted vehicles.

“The governments of Quebec and across Canada need to be aware of the unintended consequences for consumers by setting targets that are both too aggressive and too costly for manufacturers to meet,” said David Adams, president of the Global Automakers of Canada industry alliance.

In addition to federal policies, provinces have taken additional policies, from internal combustion engine penalties in British Columbia to ZEV purchase subsidies in the Maritimes.

“These effects could include increased vehicle prices and reduced model choice, both of which could result in older vehicles remaining on the road for longer.”

Hack and Crash
A study from three major universities have discovered a flaw in the Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) systems on AVs, where laser attacks can disguise fire hydrants and pedestrians from detection by the vehicle with a 90 percent success rate, potentially leading to a crash or fatally wounded pedestrian.

Much like radar and sonar, LiDAR systems creating a map by emitting light signals and analyzing reflection times, or the lack thereof.

Countermeasures were proposed to distinguish authentic signals from false ones, but highlights the need for OEMs to consider informational security in AV development due to the potentially fatal consequences involved.

A visualized simulation of a LiDAR attack, with an external laser turning the pedestrian invisible on LiDAR systems. (Sara Rampazzi/ University of Florida)

Red Light, Blue Light

Recent comments by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggest that thermal cameras may be gaining acceptance in the AV and ADAS arena.

In a request for comment on the New Car Assessment Program by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the NHTSA proposed that thermal cameras were a potential sensing technology that could address the weakness of LiDAR, radar and visual cameras.

Given that several companies including Waymo Via and Cruise already use thermals for autonomous delivery vehicles, collision repairers may see more thermal equipped vehicles arriving at shops in the near future.


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