Consumer Reports finds it's easy to trick Tesla into driving with nobody at the wheel

Consumer Reports found that it is easy to trick a Tesla into driving when nobody is at the wheel, a test it took after a crash on Saturday involving a Tesla that killed two people.

No one was in the driver’s seat of the Tesla involved in the accident in Texas.

Consumer Reports used a Tesla Model Y in its test and had the driver, Jake Fisher, the company’s senior director of auto testing, switch the car to autopilot while it was on the track.


The driver then set the speed dial to zero miles per hour so the vehicle came to a stop. The driver placed a weighted chain on the wheel to trick the car into believing a person’s hand was there and moved to the passenger’s seat.

He turned the speed dial back up when he was in the passenger seat and the car started driving with no one in the driver’s seat, the news organization reported.

“In our evaluation, the system not only failed to make sure the driver was paying attention, but it also couldn’t tell if there was a driver there at all,” said Fisher “Tesla is falling behind other automakers like GM and Ford that, on models with advanced driver assist systems, use technology to make sure the driver is looking at the road.”

The Hill has reached out to Tesla for comment.

The test was performed on a half-mile track and the vehicle did not exceed 30 miles per hour.

“Let me be clear: Anyone who uses Autopilot on the road without someone in the driver seat is putting themselves and others in imminent danger,” Fisher said.

Tesla’s cars with autopilot still require a driver behind the wheel and for the driver to pay attention in case of an emergency.

Authorities are looking into a crash in Texas on Saturday that may have involved Tesla’s autopilot feature and a person not being in the driver’s seat.

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