Giving autonomous vehicles the ability to communicate has a lot of potential benefits: the entire network of cars will be able to operate with more information, making everything more efficient.

That said, I'm struggling to see any form of (useful) communication that doesn't have potential for abuse:

  • Communicating traffic levels can direct cars to take different routes. This could give a malicious car the ability to create traffic jams and slowdowns.

  • Communicating your position/velocity/route can cause cars to try and avoid your path. This has potential for causing swerving/accidents.

Fundamentally, if communication is used to improve navigation, then that influence can be abused to influence other car's navigation.

EDIT: To be clear, I'm not imagining a world where cars solely rely on other cars for navigation. Regardless, placing any trust in other cars is trust that can be abused.

What progress has been made in this area? How can cars trust one another in matters of navigation?

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    and how is this question related to information security ? – cyzczy Jul 3 '17 at 15:13
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    It's true, an individual car can "lie" about traffic. I think it's unlikely that any car is going to believe just one car. These types of algorithms are more likely to look at masses of data rather than one data point. I think it's also unlikely that an autonomous vehicle is going to make swerving decisions based solely on broadcast data. Right now cars use LIDAR and visuals to navigate. Broadcast data from other cars is more likely to just add to this. – Steve Sether Jul 3 '17 at 16:10
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    @schroeder I'm not asking how the designers of the system will deal with it (as the future is unknowable), but rather what research/progress in this area has been made. – Nathan Merrill Jul 3 '17 at 16:16
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    @NathanMerrill there's a whole group working on this: car-2-car.org/… – schroeder Jul 3 '17 at 16:17
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    I think if you can't see, and you're relying completely on what some other car SAYS it's position is, the car shouldn't be on the road. We're never really going to have a world where every car broadcasts position data like an airplane. Even if we did, what happens when the equipment malfunctions? Even in airplanes with position transponders visibility is massively important, and bad flying conditions warrant not flying. – Steve Sether Jul 3 '17 at 16:20

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