Illuminated Road Signs Can Be Good For Your Eyes; Bad For AIs

Source: The Register Illuminated Road Signs Can Be Good For Your Eyes; Bad For AIs

Abusing The Rolling Digital Shutters On CMOS Camera Sensors

There is yet another reason to distrust self driving cars, adding to a long list of ways to fool sensors to force them to behave in unexpected ways.  This one, which The Register found out was called ChostStripe, uses LED lighting to confuse the sensors so that they cannot recognize street signs.   The attack uses LEDs to illuminate a sign, common enough on highways to ensure we can see them with the human eyeball Mk. 1, but adds a little something.

The modified illumination looks to us to be absolutely normal, however a CMOS based camera will see rapidly changing colours as it’s capture line rolls down the sign.  This means a stop sign might start out being detected as red, but then have rainbow stripes of colour as the camera rolls down the sign.  This changing hue means that the sensor is going to pass on strange looking data to the neural net that makes the call as to whether this is a street sign or not.  It is going to discard it as not matching the expect pattern, and your self driving car will drive straight through the intersection.

As seems to have been the case for some time now, we will have safe self driving cars tomorrow … always tomorrow.

Six boffins mostly hailing from Singapore-based universities say they can prove it's possible to interfere with autonomous vehicles by exploiting the machines' reliance on camera-based computer vision and cause them to not recognize road signs.

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About The Author

Jeremy Hellstrom

Call it,, or PC Perspective, Jeremy has been hanging out and then working with the gang here for years. Apart from the front page you might find him on the BOINC Forums or possibly the Fraggin' Frogs if he has the time.

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