A common fear regarding society’s shift towards more and more technology has always been that hackers can gain access, as well as control of so much regarding our daily lives.
This technological skepticism may only escalate with the recent revelations that a Tesla vehicle was able to be hacked and taken over by a team of researchers. Not only did these hackers gain access to the vehicle, but they were able to control the brakes, windshield wipers, unlock doors, and open the trunk. This all happened from 12 miles away all coming from a relatively average laptop.
Although this may seem to be an extremely dangerous situation, this system does not work with just any Tesla. The vehicle would have to be on a wifi network set up by the hackers which is set up in a specific way which allows for malicious activity. Further, the web browser would have to be opened in the vehicle.
Despite the company acknowledging that customers were at a low risk, Tesla has quickly come out with a security patch that should fix the issue. This is not the first issue that has been found with Tesla’s technologies.
For example, a similar team of researchers at the University of South Carolina were able to hack into the electric vehicles and change the autopilot system so that it would detect objects that were not actually present. Similarly, this comes months after the first death related to Tesla’s autopilot, as a 40 year old man was killed since the car did not detect a white trailer on a bright, sunny day.
(h/t The Guardian)