The magazine Consumer Report in the USA managed without any major problems to trick a Tesla into driving without a driver. Two US senators are demanding a rigorous review of a crash with a Tesla car in Texas, where no one seems to have been behind the wheel.
Two people died in the accident late on Saturday night, local time, when a Tesla Model S caught fire after driving into a tree.
Police investigators say they are sure that no one was behind the wheel at the time of the accident.
– This is an important opportunity to emphasize that many automated driver assistance systems are still dependent on an expectation that an attentive driver is behind the wheel, says Minister of Transport Pete Buttigieg, who adds that the incident is still being investigated.
Tesla describes its so-called autopilot system as that, despite its name, it requires a human, and that it is not a self-driving car.
The company’s CEO Elon Musk also said earlier this week that data from the crash indicated that the system was not activated at the time of the accident.
The demands for a more comprehensive review then grow technicians the magazine Consumer Report easily cheated Teslan’s autopilot to drive the car without anyone sitting in the driver’s seat, something that is described as “extremely dangerous” if carried out on public roads.
“Surprisingly easy to outsmart security measures”
In the test, a weight was placed on the steering wheel, and a person slipped from the driver ‘s seat to the passenger’s seat without unbuckling his seat belt, to trick the system.
– It continued to drive without warnings that the driver would continue to pay attention. We were surprised at how easy it was to outsmart the inadequate security measures, says Jake Fisher at Consumer Report.
Other vehicle manufacturers have camera-based systems that follow the driver’s eyes, to prevent the driver from losing attention on the road.
Democratic senators Richard Blumenthal and Ed Markey are demanding that the country’s road safety authority conduct a comprehensive investigation into the crash, with suggestions on how similar accidents can be prevented in the future.
The Center for Auto Safety agrees with the requirements, and urges the Swedish Road Safety Agency to carefully examine whether the autopilot function, combined with consumers continuing to believe that it is self-driving technology, has created an unreasonable risk to road safety.