BlackBerry CEO says driverless car industry requires more government regulation

john chen

BlackBerry CEO John Chen has expressed concerns that autonomous vehicles can be extremely dangerous in the hands of hackers.

In an interview with the Telegraph, Chen said that driverless cars have more lines of code than a typical fighter jet, which makes them particularly vulnerable for hackers to exploit and insert malware.

“A car could easily be infected with viruses (and) is literally a fully loaded weapon. If hackers can get hold of it, you can imagine what they could do,” Chen said. He also said that environmental conditions can prove just as dangerous.

“I think the recognition part of it is a problem,” he said. “We know in our lab that if the sun is at a certain angle and the wind is blowing a certain way, the road sign is not 100 percent recognizable in a second,” he said.

Chen went on to call for greater regulation of driverless cars. “I can create a car I think is 90 percent virus free but as soon as that car gets on the road and is being used, those conditions need to be regularly checked,” he said.

Chen said governments need to set safety standards for tech giants as they develop autonomous vehicles.

“Regulation, and safety and security tech needs to be established well before I think anyone should allow the cars on the road,” he said. “The self-driving car still has a lot of human error and safety control.” BlackBerry is currently developing software for driverless vehicles with Baidu, the Chinese web search giant.

This article was originally published on MobileSyrup.

Bradly Shankar

Bradly Shankar

Fourth-year journalism student at Ryerson University.