AUSTIN (KXAN) — Inside the Austin Convention Center sits a dune buggy that is strung up with wires and boxes connecting it to a myriad of computers with engineers running tests. The idea is to demonstrate the ease at which smart cars can be hacked into and how new technology created by National Instruments can keep a car safe.

“What the NI engineers have done is taken the steering and braking and automated both and designed their security layer around braking and left steering normal,” says Jeff Phillips, an engineer with National Instruments.  

It’s one of nearly 200 exhibits on display during the annual NIWeek exhibition. 

“We bring in 4,000 academics, scientists, and every tech industry professional to see what products companies are building with the LabVIEW software,” says Phillips. “This brings the technology that our customers hear about in the keynote to life. It’s the practical application and how it might be useful in life.”

The exhibition hall is free and open to the public. Students interested in STEM are encouraged to attend. The hall is open Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. and Wednesday 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The keynote address is also free and open to the public. The conference itself requires a badge.