Nash from “Tesla in the Gong” is a Tesla owner in Australia who often shares videos of his experiences with his Teslas. He has shared a three-part video series in response to the Consumer Reports tests on Tesla’s Autopilot.
Recently, Consumer Reports shared how one can manipulate Tesla’s Autopilot into thinking there is a driver in the seat. It took a lot of skill, flexibility, and patience, but Consumer Reports was able to trick the Tesla into thinking there was a driver in the seat. Let’s take a look at Nash demonstrating how absurd this whole thing is.
Three part video series calling out @ConsumerReports Autopilot “Test”
Part 1 : 101 on Autopilot works : https://t.co/Lrl8JR14OR
Part 2 : safety features actually in place : https://t.co/n30Wkil7xv
Part 3 : I tried to cheat the system using CR methods : https://t.co/iunodiAr8X pic.twitter.com/p6D9DDWCYZ
— Tesla in the Gong 🇦🇺🦘🤖🚕 (@TeslaGong) April 25, 2021
Video 1: How Difficult Is It To Cheat Tesla Autopilot?
In the first video, Nash goes over a comment that Jason, a fellow Tesla owner in Australia, shared regarding sleeping in a Tesla with Autopilot enabled. There have been numerous videos of people “sleeping” in a Tesla while driving, and Nash points out that it is literally not possible for someone to sleep while using Autopilot in a Tesla. The tests that Nash does on this first video include leaving his hand draped over the steering wheel and leaving his foot on the accelerator while “sleeping.”
The first thing Nash does once activating Autopilot is take his hands off the wheel to see how long it takes for the nag to kick in. (The nag is Tesla’s way of reminding you to put your hands on the wheel.) In the Consumer Reports test, a weight was used to prevent Autopilot from nagging the tester to put his hands on the wheel. Within a few moments, the system starts flashing a reminder on the screen for Nash to put his hands on the steering wheel. When he doesn’t apply slight force, the car makes a loud beeping noise.
Once, then twice, then continuously the car is beeping as if frantic with worry. After Nash still doesn’t put his hands on the steering wheel, the car turns off Autopilot and comes to a complete stop. “So, you see, right away, Autopilot did what it was supposed to do,” Nash explained.
In the second part of the test, Nash keeps his hand at the lower end of the wheel. Nash noticed that this wasn’t a comfortable way of holding the steering wheel. The nag shows up asking Nash to apply slight force.
“It’s not easy to escape this nag. You have to do something really, really stupid or do an act of something to actually cheat the nag.”
Video 2: Extra Safety Features
In the second video, Nash goes over the extra safety features Tesla includes in Autopilot to make sure the driver is in the right place. In this test, Nash also tries to cheat those safety features.
Nash pointed out that you need to have the seatbelt locked in order to use Autopilot. Nash took off his seatbelt and the car started going nuts with several different warning sounds all at once.
Opening The Door
In the next part of this test, Nash opens the door while the car is driving on Autopilot to see what happens. He takes a deep breath, says this is in the name of science, and tries to open the door. “I can’t open the door!” he exclaimed. He realized that with Autopilot turned on, you can’t open your car door — it locks the doors.
Video 3: Consumer Reports Driverless Autopilot Reaction Test
In the final video of this series, Nash reacts to the Consumer Reports video and gives his thoughts. After watching the video, Nash safely tries to replicate the Consumer Reports test.
Although Nash didn’t have any weights on hand, he did have a miniature Falcon 9 with a Dragon Capsule and a Starship to use as weights. He pointed out that he wasn’t as slim as the Consumer Reports driver, so it was hard to hang something off the steering wheel in a similar fashion as the Consumer Reports test was performed. The rockets were not heavy enough to weigh down the steering wheel, and this is important because it demonstrated that the weight used in the Consumer Reports report was heavier than many were led to believe.
“I know, I did this for comic relief. But you see the absolute absurdity in what they suggest,” he said, pointing out that although Consumer Reports called it “easy” to do, it clearly wasn’t easy or simple to do.
“You guys must be nuts. What the hell? We use Autopilot every single day and we know what the system does and what the system does not do, so keep all of your FUD to yourself.” That’s a core takeaway point.