Autonomous Vehicles

The hidden risks of remote software updates

Illustration of a car with loading symbols instead of wheels
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

To get a car with the latest automated driving features all it takes in some cases is a couple of software updates — a growing trend with potential safety and cybersecurity risks.

Why it matters: Using a built-in wireless connection to fix a bug or add new functions can be a welcome convenience that can also prompt people to make needed repairs. But if it means instantly handing over more of the driving task to your vehicle, you could be putting yourself at risk if the new software is glitchy or you don't understand and misuse the car's new capabilities.

Expert Voices

What passenger and industrial AVs can learn from each other

an autonomous mining truck at a sandpit
An autonomous truck staged for loading. Photo: Caterpillar

The future of AVs is a whirl of hype and uncertainty, but AV technology has been used in mining and construction for decades — an often overlooked point of reference.

Why it matters: Developers of passenger AVs should be working more closely with the heavy equipment industry, which has learned key lessons about developing functional, fully autonomous vehicles, and how to prepare people for the technology.

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