Tesla Autopilot is 'easily' tricked into driverless driving

Occurred: April 2021

A Tesla car was 'easily' tricked into driving in Autopilot mode with no one at the wheel, raising questions about the company's approach to safety.

A Consumer Reports tester switched the Tesla Model Y to Autopilot while it was on the track, and set the speed dial to zero miles per hour so the vehicle came to a stop. 

The driver then placed a weighted chain on the wheel to trick the car into believing a person’s hand was there and moved to the passenger’s seat. He turned the speed dial back up when he was in the passenger seat and the car started driving.

Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ senior director of auto testing, said, 'In our evaluation, the system not only failed to make sure the driver was paying attention, but it also couldn’t tell if there was a driver there at all.'

The test came a few days after a Tesla crashed in Texas, killing the two men in the car. Neither of the men were in the driver’s seat at the time of the crash, according to authorities.

Operator: Consumer Reports
Developer: Tesla
Country: USA
Sector: Automotive
Purpose: Automate steering, acceleration, braking
Technology: Driver assistance system
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Safety
Transparency: Black box

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