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Students test self-driving car at U of A

Posted at 4:50 PM, Aug 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-10 21:22:39-04

A group of undergraduate students operated a self-driving car on the University of Arizona campus Tuesday. 

Companies like Google and Tesla are working to perfect a self-driving car, but 10 students from across the country spent 10 weeks running tests on a car.

"Not all cars are autonomous, but only some of them are autonomous because that is the future in the next five to ten years," said Jonathan Sprinkle, an Associate Professor at U of A.

"What we had written using code produced movement in the vehicle," said Tyler Sypherd, a student engineer. "It was astonishing."

The car had to be steered by a driver. However, everything else was completely controlled by a computer. This leaves room for potential hackers. 

"It certainly is scary to think," said Carrie Smith, another engineering student. 

Smith said that if the car did get hacked, somebody could take control of the car. 

"You have thieves at every level of technology," she said. "As we move forward we can implement strategies that could keep us safer in the technology."

Despite a hacking concern, the student engineers said self-driving cars are very safe. 

The project overseer said that there will be more autometry features in consumer cars in the next few years.