Can self-driving systems like Tesla Autopilot be tricked by using LED lights?
Today we are not talking about the bugs in any mobile phone or computer software. Instead, we are discussing autonomous cars and how they function in an increasingly chaotic world.
The cameras of these self-driving cars do not see what humans see with their eyes. If we look at these lights through a digital camera, then we can understand the difference between them both.
Mould, a YouTuber, explained everything about how LED lights can affect an Autonomous driving system, using all sorts of technical data. Here’s what you need to know.
Can LED Lights Fool Tesla Autopilot?
LED lights in Cars Affect Decision Making-Ability of Self-Driving Cars
As we move into a vehicle, it is the driver who makes the decision. However, in an autonomous vehicle, it is the computer that makes them. Since digital cameras do not see the lights as we do, they can get confused upon seeing LED lights.
For instance, unlike most countries, most cars in the USA have red color blinkers instead of amber color. The digital camera, unable to see a uniform red color of rear LED lights, could interpret it as a turn indicator or an emergency signal.
It can lead the car to make a decision based on what it sees.
The LED light in cars isn’t always on; it has a frequency of around 50 times per second. This high frequency makes it undetectable for the human eye to see the difference, and it merely gives us an illusion of being ON. The time for which LED is “ON” is often termed as the duty cycle of an LED.
On the other hand, the cameras have a different frame rate. It might be possible that when the camera shutter opens, the LED light is dim or not ON, resulting in no light, and the very next fraction of second it is ON. This can confuse the sensors used to detect the actual signal.
How Can Self-Driving Systems Be Improved?
Moving forward with the video, the YouTuber had a video conference call with Robert Stead, who is the former Chair-IEEE P2020 Standard Group.
Robert confirmed the flaw in the system. However, the companies are working on it. He jokingly said that sometimes they expect some random nerds out there to come up with ideas and solve such problems.
In the near future, self-driving will be the norm. Electric car manufacturers like Tesla have already gained some reputation in Autonomous driving; we hope Tesla already has a solution to fix this.
However, it is always better not to rely entirely on computers; driving is something that should be monitored by humans.
And it isn’t a personal call, not until self-driving systems are perfected.