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When the State Police Chief got ‘kidnapped’

When the State Police Chief got ‘kidnapped’

When the State Police Chief got ‘kidnapped’Session on live hacking of autonomous car held

Rarely does a State Police Chief get ‘kidnapped’ in broad daylight while being watched by a crowd.

Only in this case, Loknath Behera played along and volunteered to be taken hostage for a few minutes as part of a session on live hacking of an autonomous car at the 11th edition of Cocon-2018.

The live demonstration was done by a team led by Roshy John, Global Head, Industrial Robotics & Cognitive Systems of Tata Consultancy Services, who has been working on the project for the past nine years. The simulated kidnapping drama was organised to demonstrate how, despite its many advantages, a driverless car presented a real scary prospect of being hacked using an external device.

Held close on the heels of the recent tragic death of violin maestro Balabhaskar in a road accident after the driver of the car reportedly dozed off, the pros of a driverless car were obvious. The anchor of the session asked whether the tragedy would have happened had the gifted musician travelled in an autonomous car, which largely rules out the probability of an accident due to driver fatigue. However, such a car also presented a law-and-order and security challenge considering that it could be hacked and used for disruptive activities.

A Tata Nano car fitted with sensors, cameras and precision Global Positioning System was used for the demo. “New technology raises security challenges and we were trying to demonstrate the scary prospect of how an autonomous car could be hacked into and used for anything from hijacking to extremist activities,” Mr. John said.

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