Information Systems Integration – Messina

Hung Dau

Are self-driving shuttles safe to be school buses?

EZ10 Generation photo

EZ10 Generation II is the autonomous electric shuttle designed by EasyMile. The shuttle can hold upto 12 people. EZ10 Generation II is used as the school bus on September 5 to take children to and from Babcock Neighborhood School in Babcock Ranch, Florida. However, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has sent a letter to Transdev, requesting that it stop using its EZ10 Generation II autonomous shuttle as a school bus. NHTSA’s deputy administrator worries about the safety of this electric shuttle and having children on this shuttle is dangerous. NHTSA claims that Transdev was only given permission for testing and that the company never received the green light from the feds to use it as a school bus. Transdev said the 12-person shuttle bus would operate from a designated pick-up area with a safety attendant on board and would travel at a top speed of 8mph (13kph), with the potential to reach speeds of 30mph once the additional infrastructure was completed. It had a human driver on board in case of an emergency, but it operated autonomously on its single route between the school and the designated pick-up and drop-off point. Is the self-drying shuttle safe enough to be a school bus?


Threats from Cyber Adversaries Follow You Home

Cyber security photo

Cybersecurity attack is always the concern of many companies about their information’s safety. However, that threat can nowadays follow you home. With less protection than the office, a home network is becoming the target of adversaries and cybersecurity attacks. According to the article, “VPNFilters, a malware designed to infect routers and certain network-attached storage devices, like the common internet router used at homes. This is particular concerning, because this malware targets users at their home, extending the threat from the office” (Ziadeh, 2018). The method of targeting users at home somehow helps adversaries infiltrate larger networks and systems. If the adversaries get access to the router, there will be the high risk that the adversaries can ultimately gain access into the enterprise network which the home device connects to. The challenge that the company is having right now that “It’s a very easy way for adversaries to monetize their hacking, without having to maintain a lot of the access that you do with a lot of the other threats we’ve seen, like ransomware” (Ziadeh, 2018). Moreover, the adversaries are moving faster and advancing that it is becoming more difficult for the agencies to keep up with. Thus, the companies now will need people who keep track of what is going on and update the home routers to fight off VPNFilters. But, is it completely safe?



Software can model how a wildfire will spread

Wildfire photo

The wildfire can be avoided or prevented by the fire-forecasting software. With the data of the area’s vegetation, building materials, paved surfaces, type of trees, paths to the sea, weather patterns, etc., the software can be able to model how a wildfire will spread and announce the fire risks. The data are collected by the satellites and aircraft and the details are contributed by the ranger and firefighter on the ground. The software also contains the data of the area’s temperature, rainfall, snowfall, and sunshine in order to predict how the this wildfire might be changed or be affected. Another model called RHESSys, with the fuel and moisture-data around 800km2 of wildland, shows where is the best to bulldoze firebreaks, cut down trees or clear scrub. Another modeling software called FIRETEC can model how the flames of a planned burn, intended to clear vegetation in a controlled way according to the wind.

However, there are the challenging problems facing the software on its accuracy and the consequences of its failed prevention. Is the software’s calculation trustable? What if the software fails to forecast the fire spread? Can the software able to provide the information in time?