NDSU researchers work on self-driving car model

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FARGO—NDSU researchers could be a 'driving force' in the development of self-driving cars.

Some say it's the way of the future; Self-Driving Cars.

While they aren't quite like Knight Rider's KITT, experts say we're at the point that it's not an "if" these cars will be on our roadways, it's "when" but will they be safe?

"There's a lot of talk of how do we get these cars to communicate with one another," said Jeremy Straub, Researcher.

Which is what researchers at NDSU are working on.

"We're trying to actually create systems and softwares to actually detect and respond to different types of issues," said Straub.

They've been using small-scaled models and computer simulations to figure out what those issues may be.

Whether it's as small as a bad sensor to something as big as the car being hacked, and anything in between.

"There's always a chance for a security vulnerability, very complex systems such as self-driving cars might contain vulnerabilities that may be potentially exploited by hackers," said Straub.

But, try not to fret, the researchers say the work they're doing is to stay ahead of the curve.

"More likely that a sensor is going to fail in the grand scheme of things instead of someone hacking in," said Straub.

"Really just kind of set the baseline when this stuff starts getting big. We already have some measures in place," said Jordan Harman, Student Researcher.

To keep every man and machine safe on our roadways.

The researchers have been working on this project for about 4-months and hope to have a working model by the end of the semester.

10-million self-driving cars are expected to be on the road by 2020.