Tesla’s Autopilot is ‘easily’ tricked into working without anyone in the driver’s seatAnonymousBoard owner04/22/2021 (Thu) 18:19:48No.14695del
Consumer Reports said Thursday it was “easily” able to trick Tesla’s Autopilot system to operate without anyone in the driver’s seat. The publication’s test came amid questions about the safety of the company’s advanced driver assist system in the aftermath of a fatal crash in Texas in which authorities said there was no one behind the steering wheel.
Using a weighted chain attached to the steering wheel to simulate the pressure of the driver’s hands, two Consumer Reports researchers were able to use the steering wheel dial on a Tesla Model Y to accelerate from a full stop, and then “drive” around on a closed-course test track for several miles — all while sitting in the passenger seat and backseat. They stopped the vehicle by again using the dial to bring the speed back down to zero.
Tricking the Tesla to operate without someone behind the wheel was as simple as keeping the driver’s seatbelt buckled, not opening the driver’s side door during the test, and using the weight to simulate hands on the steering wheel.
“The car drove up and down the half-mile lane of our track, repeatedly, never noting that no one was in the driver’s seat, never noting that there was no one touching the steering wheel, never noting there was no weight on the seat,” Jake Fisher, CR’s senior director of auto testing, said in a statement. “It was a bit frightening when we realized how easy it was to defeat the safeguards, which we proved were clearly insufficient.”