Teslas can be tricked into accelerating up to 85mph by sticking tape onto a speed sign – The Sun

SELF-DRIVING Teslas can be tricked into dangerously accelerating by sticking tape onto a speed sign.

Researchers at McAfee were able to fool two Teslas into speeding over the limit by placing electric tape over a part of a road sign.

The hackers stuck a small piece of black tape on a 35mph speed sign to slightly elongate the middle line in the '3'.

The subtle change meant the car's on-board camera recognised it as a 85mph speed sign.

They then drove a 2016 Tesla Model X with its cruise control on towards the sign, before the car suddenly accelerated.

The driver behind the wheel is forced to take control of the car as it hits 50mph in an empty car park.

A 2016 Model S was also tricked by the dangerous hack.

Worryingly, the changes to the sign are hard to pick up, especially for drivers travelling at high speeds.

Teslas can be mislead into going quicker due its Traffic Aware Cruise Control system and Speed Assist feature, which uses a camera to read speed signs and warn you if you over the limit.

The McAfee team presented the findings to both Tesla and Mobil Eye, who produce the cameras.

Tesla declined to comment on the research, while MobilEye said newer versions of the cameras had already addressed the issue.

Steve Povolny, head of advanced threat research at McAfee, said: "Manufacturers and vendors are aware of the problem and they’re learning from the problem.

"But it doesn’t change the fact that there are a lot of blind spots in this industry.

"It’s quite improbable that we’ll ever see this in the wild or that attackers will try to leverage this until we have truly autonomous vehicles, and by that point we hope that these kinds of flaws are addressed earlier on."

Earlier this week, two families narrowly escaped a falling tree during Storm Dennis when their Tesla's automatic brakes suddenly kicked in.

Instead of landing on top of your roof, the enormous branch crashed onto their bonnet.

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