The quest to design a smarter road | fast co-design

Katherine Schwab in Fast co-design writes The quest to design a smarter road. I am quoted:


One key element of safety when it comes to connected anything, whether a smart fridge or a smart road, is how easy it is to hack. While 3M hopes to become the leading purveyor of connected roads, it’s still figuring out how to make its technology secure–complicated by the fact that national standards don’t yet exist for it.

According to David Levinson, a professor at the University of Sydney who leads the Network Design Lab and the Transport Engineering group, this is one of the biggest problems with any smart infrastructure. “Camera sensors and programs that analyze images can be spoofed by markings on stop signs to make them think they’re a different type of sign,” he says. “It’s going to be a cat and mouse game. If someone can broadcast the 55 mph sign, I can sneak up to the speed limit sign and broadcast that the speed limit is 95 mph.”

“We don’t have a standard for what would help the driverless car,” Levinson says. “We don’t have a standard for, this is the most efficient paint marking, or we’re going to put this RFID in the sign to broadcast this message.” That means it’ll be difficult for any state to begin implementing technology when there aren’t any guidelines for what to invest in–a significant barrier for 3M as the company looks to market its new products.