Scientists cheated Autopilot and forced Tesla to brake in an emergency Already next week, the first Tesla vehicles will become fully autonomous, while scientists have discovered software errors that can lead to dangerous incidents on the road.

Experts from the Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva, Israel, prepared an experiment, during which they managed to easily trick the autonomous systems aboard the Model X from Tesla and force the vehicle to brake suddenly.

First, they used a projector to project an image of a human figure on the road and a speed limit sign. In both cases, the car slowed down and even stopped suddenly. The latest test was to place a small display by the road. It displayed an advertisement for burgers in which the stop sign symbol was used.

The Model X came to a halt while driving, as if it had hit a right-of-way road with a stop sign next to it. Engineers point out that if such an advertisement appeared on the displays on the main roads, Tesla vehicles could stop in place and then dangerous incidents would certainly occur.

The stop sign symbol only appeared in the ad for 500 ms, and that was enough for the Autopilot to react. The problem here is the camera-based system, technology advices the LiDAR technology. Cars equipped with this radar map the surroundings of the vehicle much better and easily detect elements that are not directly related to the road infrastructure.

Although this may never happen under natural conditions, scientists believe that this patent can be used by cybercriminals for fun, to paralyze a city. It is more and more common in the world that digital advertising billboards are hacked in order to display some information on them.

It must be emphasized here that the engineers conducted tests on two versions of the on-board software, the older and the newest, which is currently used in all vehicles of this brand. In both cases, their trick worked, which shows how still underdeveloped the technologies are.

Scientists emphasize that they do not do such tests out of boredom and for fun, their goal is to detect as many errors as possible and cooperate with engineers to remove them quickly, thus ensuring greater safety for the owners of such vehicles.