According to a new survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) specialist Focal Point Positioning, 48.9% of consumers still believe self-driving cars will make our roads more dangerous.
Key concerns, the Cambridge-based company found, relate to the reliability of the technology, liability for accidents, vulnerability to cyberattack, and potential subscription costs. Of particular interest to Focal Point was the threat of GPS spoofing, which it says is on the rise.
Self-driving safety threat
Spoofing is a form of cyberattack that targets positioning systems such as GPS, with spoofers broadcasting fake signals to confuse the GNSS receiver, potentially interfering with vehicle navigation, ADAS and automated driving systems.
Manuel Del Castillo, VP of Business Development at Focal Point, has over 20 years’ experience in the GNSS industry, having previously worked for semiconductor manufacturer Broadcom.
“Our S-GNSS Auto solution is a software upgrade to the existing GNSS sensor in the car,” he said. “GNSS sensors are a marvel of engineering, able to compute an absolute position – latitude, longitude and altitude – anywhere in the world. However, they can suffer from accuracy problems in urban environments due to all the reflections off buildings, and they can also be subjected to RF cyberattacks, known as spoofing.
“Spoofers send malicious signals pretending to be the satellite signals, which can expose the naive design of some GNSS sensors. To combat this, our S-GNSS Auto software can run in the GNSS chips of any of the major chipmakers in the automotive industry, to generate a ‘trust zone’ around the GPS sensor.
“It can also be useful in improving the performance of suboptimal antennas, which vehicle manufacturers sometimes use because they are easier to conceal and don’t interfere so much with the design, for instance, those embedded in windscreens.
“We already have strategic investment from General Motors and are in discussion with manufacturers in Europe and the US.”
The full survey report is available via focalpointpositioning.com