Just imagine driving around through a 35MPH zone and some hacker manipulates your Tesla electric car and its Autopilot mode, tricking it into seeing that 35MPH speed sign and making it think it was an 85MPH sign.
Yeah, so a group of McAfee researchers did just that -- manipulated a speed limit sign that tricks the Autopilot self-driving technology that Tesla is a leader in. The researchers put a small sticker on a 35MPH speed limit sign, tricking both a 2016 Tesla Model X and Model S in Autopilot mode, into thinking it was an 85MPH sign -- both vehicles then began accelerating up to 85MPH.
MIT Technology Review says that this isn't the first time researchers have been able to manipulate Tesla in Autopilot mode, where they report: "In an 18-month-long research process, [McAfee researchers] Trivedi and Povolny replicated and expanded upon a host of adversarial machine-learning attacks including a study from UC Berkeley professor Dawn Song that used stickers to trick a self-driving car into believing a stop sign was a 45-mile-per-hour speed limit sign. Last year, hackers tricked a Tesla into veering into the wrong lane in traffic by placing stickers on the road in an adversarial attack meant to manipulate the car's machine-learning algorithms".
We've seen Tesla Autopilot functionality remotely disabled by Tesla Motors by a used Model S owner, a Tesla driver horrifically dying in a car crash playing mobile games, and a US senator calling the Autopilot feature 'misleading'.
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