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Panic Button for Autonomous Vehicles

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000248188D
Publication Date: 2016-Nov-07
Document File: 1 page(s) / 18K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A "panic button" for a vehicle is described, which when activated ensures proper functionality of vehicle software, potentially with a reduced set of vehicle functionality.

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Panic Button for Autonomous Vehicles

There's a rising trend towards autonomous vehicles, and connected vehicles. The connectivity opens beneficial ways for over-the-air software updates for vehicles, but also offers a potential access path for hackers & malware.

While the security procedures for SW deployment in vehicles is improving, there is no such thing as absolute security. So vehicles can be hacked, and will be hacked.

To deal with this situation, there are two fundamental approaches: "Prevent hacking" vs "Handle the risk of hacking". This disclosure is about the latter to solve the problem of unpredictable (and potentially very dangerous) behavior of a hacked vehicle.

A "Panic Button" for autonomous (be it fully autonomous or partially autonomous) vehicles is disclosed, which when activated switches to a unalterable version of the vehicle software (e.g. "factory reset mode"). This can or can not be the vehicle SW with full functionality.

Specifically, it is disclosed that the "Panic Button" can be the same as the "Warnblinker Button" (hazard lights button) which is typically activated by the user of the vehicle when the user detects any danger and/or unintended behavior of the vehicle. In a sense, the user is the detector of the intrusion or the evidence that a vehicle has been hacked, but the Panic Button is the means to prevent the intrusion/hacking of doing anything bad.

A possible scenario could be the following: The driver recognizes strange behavior...