Could Hackers Bring Down Our Transportation Systems and Intelligent Infrastructure?

One of the most exciting developments today is the imminent arrival of not only autonomous vehicles, but smart highway infrastructure — including virtual guardrails, dynamic lane changes, cameras that auto-sense and avoid impending collisions, and lots more — that will interact with future vehicles. These technologies promise to bring us all great new benefits in mobility, safety, and potentially even energy efficiency.

Intelligent infrastructure threats vary, as do motivations—researchers wanting notoriety, hackers motivated by greed, or those wanting to create instability. With drivers more connected than ever, will there be greater susceptibility to hacking that might threaten people’s lives and safety? It’s not impossible to imagine. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, for instance, hackers managed to bring down the San Francisco train system for hours.

Atkins, one of the world’s leading design and engineering consultancies, is at the forefront of smart highway infrastructure, working with federal, state, and local government entities to advance projects such as Colorado’s RoadX.
Michael Bertram, Atkins Senior ITS/Tolls Analyst, collaborated with industry experts to develop a 10-step plan that can help governments and vehicle manufacturers work together to best address future security and safety threats. We think this is a story of immense importance that your readers would be interested in.

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