A fully autonomous vehicle uses onboard sensors and computers to understand its surroundings, plan its actions, and execute those plans to reach a destination. Some of the most important components of an AV that are relevant to cyberattacks on AVs include:
- sensor/actuator control (a computer that acts as a decision engine, analyzing sensor input and sending signals to mechanisms that control the car)
- wireless access to computer systems (which allows communication with other AVs, connected roadways, and authorized networks, such as the manufacturer's)
- autopilot and navigator elements to control vehicle movement and direction.