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Test Lab “Hackers” Cause Tesla Autopilot to Drive Vehicle into Oncoming Traffic

April 08, 2019

According to an online article at, test lab “hackers” caused Tesla’s autopilot system to drive the vehicle into the wrong lane or towards oncoming vehicles.*

According to Forbes, a Chinese cybersecurity research group known as Keen Labs developed two ways in which they can confuse Tesla’s autopilot system to cause the car to drive into the wrong lane of traffic or towards oncoming vehicles.  The method they used actually confuses the autopilot system’s lane recognition technology.  

The first experiment that the lab conducted what to change the lane markings on the roadway, where patches were affixed to the ground to make it seem blurry.  This was successful however, the patches were visible and could easily be seen by drivers. As a result, the lab determined that this would prove too difficult to implement in reality.

The lab then tried to create a “fake lane” after their discovery that Tesla’s autopilot system could uncover a laneway once it was able to track three small stickers that were put onto the ground.  The fake hackers conducted an experiment of this theory on a closed test track.  They placed small stickers at an intersection under the belief that they could trick the vehicle into believing that the patches was the natural continuation of the right hand lane.  This experiment proved that the vehicle, which went into the left lane thinking it was still in the right lane, easily could have led to an accident in reality.

Keen Labs wrote in a paper: “[o]ur experiments proved that this architecture has security risks and reverse-lane recognition is one of the necessary functions for autonomous driving in non-closed roads. In the scene we build, if the vehicle knows that the fake lane is pointing to the reverse lane, it should ignore this fake lane and then it could avoid a traffic accident.”

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Category: Auto Accidents

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