Self driving cars! They can be disabled with lasers!
Lasers are really exciting in films, but in real life, they're not nearly as fun. They don't go 'pew pew' and no-one has ever blown a spaceship up with one, as far as we know. However, things are hotting up in laser world, which is bad news for automated car enthusiasts.
Someone's assembled a gadget, that you can make at home if you're into that sort of thing, which can disable the systems that self-driving cars use to see where they're going.
This is according to a security researcher called Jonathan Petit, who showed off his car-halting skills by switching on his modified, cheapo laser which creates pretend objects in front of autonomous cars, which makes them stop. Perfect if you're thinking about getting into car-hijacking.
Petit, principle scientist at software company Security Innovation, cobbled together something that was similar to a laser pen and added a pulse generator, which you can make with a Raspberry Pi. Altogether, it set him back £40 and his gadget fooled the sensor on the cars, which are known as lidars.
"I can spoof thousands of objects and basically carry out a denial of service attack on the tracking system so it's not able to track real objects," Petit told IEEE Spectrum. "I can take echoes of a fake car and put them at any location I want."
"I don't think any of the lidar manufacturers have thought about this or tried this," he added.
If this all sounds like a bit of a faff, and you still want to annoy some drivers in a dangerous manner, you could just buy a laser pen and shine it directly into their eyes. Of course, if you end up getting arrested, we won't bail you out. You're on your own with this nonsense.