If You See Some Odd-Looking Tape On a 35 Speed Limit Sign, You’d Better Call “911” Right Away!

While there is no question that Tesla vehicles have some extremely unique innovations, there are still some situations where they can run into some pitfalls. Even though Elon Musk wants you to believe that his vehicles are safe, there is bad news to go with this. Unfortunately, in certain situations the Tesla can be tricked into accelerating at a dangerously high speed.

One case in point came from researchers at McAfee. All it took was a small two-inch piece of electrical tape that you can buy at any hardware store. Once the researchers placed the tape where it extended the three on a 35 speed limit sign, the autonomous computer on the Tesla was duped into thinking that the “3” was an “8” and the vehicle began to perilously speed up to 85 miles per hour.

The car in question was a 2016 Tesla Model X, and it made it to 50 before the driver realized that something was wrong and intervened. Heaven forbid what could have happened if this car had been completely driverless!

This demonstration by McAfee researchers came upon the heels of the revelation that there have been 127 complaints from the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) that these vehicle models tend to have a “sudden and unexpected” acceleration in speed in certain conditions.

This particular situation proves that all someone has to do is intentionally change the speed limit sign with electrical tape and then it would fool the Tesla’s on-board computer into speeding up!

“By making the smallest sticker-based modification to the speed limit sign in question, we were able to trick the Tesla’s MobilEye camera into misreading the sign and start speeding up to 85 miles per hour,” McAfee researchers said in a statement. “We noted how the speeds start to accelerate and the TACC system starts climbing to 85, but of course we applied the brakes well before it reached that level.”

Of course, Tesla didn’t think this research was valid since it was just a stunt, but it has made some people grow weary. Should it be consdered a bit more? Should Tesla models be manufactured so that they are not as easily tricked?

“In some cases, this doesn’t even look suspicious or altered to the trained eye at all,” McAfee further commented.

What do you think about this?

10 thoughts on “If You See Some Odd-Looking Tape On a 35 Speed Limit Sign, You’d Better Call “911” Right Away!

  1. Me would walk before I had a car that drives it’s self. We have enough things running our lives. Me I prefer to drive my own car.

  2. IF this actually works as described, the system is fundamentally flawed. The system shouldn’t use signs as the primary means of determining the speed limit, and shouldn’t rapidly accelerate in any case.

  3. legislation probably should be put in place that statutorily supports “any autonomous navigation/driverless capable vehicle must have in the driver’s seat an experienced, licensed human driver when the vehicle is under power. Additionally, the vehicle should have a dead-man protocol that will insist the vehicle “find” a safe haven to exit any roadway and come to a complete halt, check for human vital signs to indicate either if the human pilot is simply asleep or if the human pilot is suffering some medical emergency. In either case, it should then be capable of awakening the human pilot or sending a distress signal for medical help.” This is the ‘kernal’ of the law. it’s rooted in some science fiction writer’s idea of three immutable robotic laws, or some such far-fetched watchdog software idea like it. (i purpose to employ sarcasm)

  4. The driver absolutely should be in control of the vehicle at ALL TIMES. This means eyes on the road ahead with awareness of traffic to the sides and behind, hands on the steering wheel and foot ready to brake when needed. Today’s drivers were never taught the importance of awareness at all time. Reliance on gadgetry does NOT make a safe driver.

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