Researchers Hack Tesla Vehicle

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April 4, 2019—A group of hackers tricked a Tesla Model S into switching lanes. CNBC reports that a group of cybersecurity researchers from Keen Security Labs in China placed bright stickers on a road to create a fake lane which resulted in the self-driving vehicle to switch lanes. 

According to CNBC, Tesla chief executive officer Elon Musk recognized the researchers for their "solid work" via Twitter. 

“Tesla autopilot module’s lane recognition function has a good robustness in an ordinary external environment (no strong light, rain, snow, sand and dust interference), but it still doesn’t handle the situation correctly in our test scenario,” Keen Security Labs wrote in their published report.

”[T]his kind of attack is simple to deploy,” according to the researchers at Keen Security Labs.

An additional experiment tricked the Tesla's automatic windshield wipers to turn on after playing a TV screen with images of water in front of the vehicle. The windshield wipers turned on as they are powered by cameras and the Autopilot's computer vision software. 

A Tesla spokesperson pointed out that the Keen Security Labs’ tests “the physical environment around the vehicle is artificially altered.” Additionally, the Tesla spokesperson told CNBC the vulnerability “is not a realistic concern given that a driver can easily override Autopilot at any time by using the steering wheel or brakes and should always be prepared to do so, and can manually operate the windshield wiper settings at all times.”


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