Transducers Can Be Security Hole For Self-Driving Cars

Lance Eliot
9 min readJul 28, 2019

Dr. Lance Eliot, AI Insider

When I was an undergraduate majoring in computer science and electrical engineering, I used to spend a lot of my time in the computer center working on my systems projects. We had a mid-range computer system that was quite powerful for the time period and I often operated the system in addition to writing programs on it.

One day, I had my radio with me and was turning the radio channels when I noticed a pattern to the static on one of the otherwise unused channels. Listening more closely, I could definitely tell that it was not just pure random noise and that it was a pattern of some kind.

Was it finally a sign from the skies that outer space aliens were trying to communicate to us from far away planets?

No, turns out it wasn’t proof of aliens from outer space.

Instead, it was picking up the electromagnetic waves being emitted by the mid-range computer system.

It then dawned on me that I could potentially get the computer to whistle a tune (so to speak), by writing a program that would use the memory and processor of the computer in such a fashion that it would produce certain patterns and tones on the radio channel.

The sensors in the radio consisted of transducers, which officially is defined by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a device that provides a usable output in response to a measurand.

For many years, transduction was considered the conversion of a physical measurand into mechanical energy, such as operating a kinematic control.

Once solid-state electronics came along, most of today’s transducers or sensors serve to transduce physical phenomena into electrical output.

About The Nature Of Transducers

To provide some clarity, let’s define a sensor element or transducer element as a transduction mechanism that will convert one form of energy into another form, while the actual sensor or transducer itself consists of its physical packaging and its external connections.

A sensor system consists of various sensors and transducers that are made-up of sensor elements and transducer elements, and ultimately…



Lance Eliot

Dr. Lance B. Eliot is a renowned global expert on AI, successful startup founder, global CIO/CTO, , was a top exec at a major Venture Capital (VC) firm.