Does Tesla program its cars to cheat in safety tests?

Snippets of code in Tesla’s OS would mention major road safety rating agencies. A presence that raises many questions.

A particularly well-known hacker in the Tesla community, @greentheonly, has discovered clues in the OS code of the Model 3 and other Model Ys that could cause a stir. In a message posted on Twitter, the developer indicates that the code for Tesla OS would include a few lines specific to vehicle safety rating agencies. Indeed, the Californian manufacturer’s vehicles would mention in their code the various rating organizations such as EuroNCAP (the independent European organization) or ANCAP and I VISTA, their equivalents in Australia and China. The presence of these mentions in the code of the OS is not explained, but the hacker openly wonders if Tesla would not modify its vehicles so that they stick as best as possible to the requirements of each safety test.

This claim obviously needs to be proven, but Tesla will also have to explain why these organisms appear in his code. In addition, this revelation comes a week after Tesla obtained the maximum score of five stars in the EuroNCAP test, with its Model Y. Questioned, the ANCAP agency has already expressed itself, indicating that it is aware of @green’s allegations. The organization told our colleagues from Drive, an Australian magazine, that it was going to carry out investigations. EuroNCAP, Korea NCAP and I VISTA, the other organizations mentioned by the hacker, have not yet reacted on this subject.

An accusation without evidence?

What about Tesla? The response of the Californian manufacturer is obviously scrutinized with the greatest interest. Tesla has always made it a point of honor to take care of its safety communication, proclaiming on many occasions that its cars are safer than those of the competition. If the word of Elon Musk on this subject may be disputed, the fact remains that the statistics and other studies of organizations as serious as the NHTSA (the American traffic regulation authority) very often place Tesla on the podium of the most successful manufacturers on this point.

The fact that Tesla includes references to road safety agencies in the code of its vehicles rightly raises questions. Tesla will have to communicate quickly if it wishes to clear the doubts, but the relevant agencies will also have a say in this matter. Anyway, it’s an episode that the manufacturer would have done well without as it faces a major investigation into its Autopilot from the American authorities. Another case that could force him to recall more than 800,000 vehicles.

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