Living in the 21st century: drones versus autonomous cars

We injected spoofed traffic signs into Mobileye to assess the influence of environmental changes (e.g., changes in color, shape, projection speed, diameter and ambient light) on the outcome of an attack. To conduct this experiment in a realistic scenario, we used a drone to carry a portable projector which projected the spoofed traffic sign on a driving car. Our experiments show that it is possible to fool Mobileye so that it interprets the drone carried spoofed traffic sign as a real traffic sign.

contain[ing] a signed message to the approaching car, informing the car of the traffic sign ahead, and its type, coordinates, and digital signature for authentication during the recognition process.

We discovered that a projection speed of 100 ms is sufficient for fooling the system. We were unable to fool the system with faster projection speeds probably due to the frame per second rate of the optical sensor of the Mobileye.

No physical alteration of the scenery is required; this means no chain of physical evidence, and no human needs to be on the scene. It also means setup and teardown time amounts to “how fast does your drone fly?” which may even make targeted attacks possible — a drone might acquire and shadow a target car, then wait for an optimal time to spoof a sign in a place and at an angle most likely to affect the target with minimal “collateral damage” in the form of other nearby cars also reading the fake sign.

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