Attacks on self-driving cars and their countermeasures: a survey

Abdullahi Chowdhury, Gour Karmakar, Joarder Kamruzzaman*, Alireza Jolfaei, Rajkumar Das

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)
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Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) are currently evolving in the form of a cooperative ITS or connected vehicles. Both forms use the data communications between Vehicle-To-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-To-Infrastructure (V2I/I2V) and other on-road entities, and are accelerating the adoption of self-driving cars. The development of cyber-physical systems containing advanced sensors, sub-systems, and smart driving assistance applications over the past decade is equipping unmanned aerial and road vehicles with autonomous decision-making capabilities. The level of autonomy depends upon the make-up and degree of sensor sophistication and the vehicle's operational applications. As a result, self-driving cars are being compromised perceived as a serious threat. Therefore, analyzing the threats and attacks on self-driving cars and ITSs, and their corresponding countermeasures to reduce those threats and attacks are needed. For this reason, some survey papers compiling potential attacks on VANETs, ITSs and self-driving cars, and their detection mechanisms are available in the current literature. However, up to our knowledge, they have not covered the real attacks already happened in self-driving cars. To bridge this research gap, in this paper, we analyze the attacks that already targeted self-driving cars and extensively present potential cyber-Attacks and their impacts on those cars along with their vulnerabilities. For recently reported attacks, we describe the possible mitigation strategies taken by the manufacturers and governments. This survey includes recent works on how a self-driving car can ensure resilient operation even under ongoing cyber-Attack. We also provide further research directions to improve the security issues associated with self-driving cars.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207308-207342
Number of pages35
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Self-driving cars
  • intelligent transportation system
  • security attacks
  • mitigation strategies
  • cybersecurity


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