Researchers at cybersecurity firm McAfee have explored a new way to confuse Tesla Model X and Model S electric cars, allowing them to think of a 35-mile-per-hour speed limit sign as 85 miles per hour. In an 18-month research project, McAfee researchers are expected to find a replicable way to get the 2016 Tesla Model X and Model S (both equipped with Tesla Hardware Pack 1, Hardware Pack 1) electric cars to accelerate automatically and increase speeds by 50 miles per hour.
The safety of Tesla’s electric cars is indisputable, both in terms of hardware and software. So it came as a surprise when it was told that security researchers had successfully hacked into two Tesla electric cars and operated an automatic speed detection system.
Unsurprisingly, it turned out to be not so simple. Tesla’s electric car itself, the 2016 Model X and Model S, both installed the Hardware Pack 1, were not hacked. The actual target of security researchers is mobileye, developed by Intel’s subsidiary Mobileye, a global leader in autonomous driving and real-time collision prevention systems.
More than 40 million cars are currently installing Mobileye technology, according to Mobileye’s website. These vehicles use machine vision algorithms to provide advanced driver assistance and collision prevention systems, as well as self-driving solutions that focus on road safety.
McAfee researchers used a “confrontational machine learning” (also known as “model hacking”) method to manipulate mobileye EyeQ 3 systems. It should be noted that when it comes to autonomous driving functions such as automatic cruise control, Tesla vehicles do not rely entirely on the data received from these cameras, such as reading of speed signs (speed limit signs).
But the study used a 2-inch-long electronic tape to extend the short horizontal line in the middle of the number “3” on the speed limit sign “35 miles per hour.” It’s a subtle extension enough to fool the Mobileye EyeQ 3 system into thinking that the 35-mile-per-hour limit is 85 miles per hour.
In the actual test, the two Tesla electric vehicles tested by McAfee researchers automatically accelerated to 85 miles per hour after seeing the logo being done. Pasting road signs is not a new approach, but McAfee’s research is perhaps the most sophisticated demonstration yet of how to use it.
Tesla has not responded to a request for comment. But McAfee researchers said they were informed of the findings on September 27, 2019, and Tesla acknowledged the study. According to McAfee’s report, Tesla has not “stated any plans to address the issue on the current platform.” “
A mobileye spokesman said: “The changes to traffic signs introduced in this study may confuse the human eye, so we do not consider this to be a confrontational attack.” Traffic sign fonts are determined by regulators, so advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) focus on other, more challenging use cases, and the system is designed to support human drivers rather than autonomous driving. Self-driving car technology will not only rely on sensing, but will also be supported by a variety of other technologies and data, such as crowdsourced maps, to ensure the reliability of the information received. “