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Tesla hacker discovers hidden ‘Elon Mode’ in car for hands-free full self-driving | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, appears to have a hidden ace up his sleeve when it comes to Tesla vehicles. Recent discoveries made by a skilled Tesla software hacker known as greentheonly have shed light on a secret feature called Elon Mode. This elusive mode enables hands-free driving and was confirmed by the hacker, who shared preliminary footage of the system in action. While the exact settings for “Elon Mode” were not revealed, greentheonly affirms its existence and functionality.

For years, greentheonly has delved into Tesla’s vehicle code, unearthing intriguing features such as Tesla’s ability to restrict access to power seats and the centre camera in the Model 3 before their official activation. In their most recent exploit, greentheonly discovered and enabled Elon Mode. Keen to test this hidden gem, they embarked on a trial run and provided a glimpse of their experience through a raw video recording. While the hacker did not disclose the exact on-screen representation of “Elon Mode,” they maintain that it is a genuine discovery.

During greentheonly’s exploration of Elon Mode, it was observed that Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) software functioned seamlessly without requiring any attention from the driver. FSD is Tesla’s advanced driver-assist system, which primarily relies on vision-based technology. While it is still in beta, Tesla has made it available to customers who can pony up $15,000 for the feature. However, leaked reports in recent times indicated that FSD has garnered customer complaints concerning sudden braking and abrupt acceleration.

Tesla’s initial driver-assist system, Autopilot, necessitates the driver’s interaction by requesting steering wheel input to confirm attentiveness while in use on highways. Users often express frustration about the system’s frequent checks, often describing it as “nagging.” FSD users face a similar predicament, with the need for regular steering wheel interaction, sometimes requiring considerable force that could inadvertently disable the system.

Unlike the existing hands-on-steering confirmation, Elon Mode bypasses the requirement for driver interaction. Moreover, vehicles equipped with an interior camera (typically positioned above the rearview mirror) are no longer burdened with ensuring that drivers maintain their gaze forward. Previously, even minor deviations, such as wearing a baseball cap, could trigger the system to repeatedly remind the driver to focus on the road. Elon Mode eliminates these nagging prompts, seemingly granting users a more liberating driving experience.

The hacker conducted an extensive test spanning nearly 600 miles using Elon Mode. It is important to note that they claimed to have used a company-owned vehicle, mentioning their inability to procure a non-Tesla car for this purpose. The video footage showcases greentheonly driving what appears to be an early Model X, which might not be equipped with an interior camera. Details regarding the camera’s presence and the hacker’s access to the vehicle remain unclear.

During the extensive test, greentheonly noted a few drawbacks with the system. Elon Mode exhibited occasional random lane changes and a tendency to drive at a slower pace on highways. Whether this specific version of FSD, with its nag-free driving, will be made available to regular Tesla owners is still uncertain. However, Musk had previously hinted at the arrival of a driving experience free from constant alerts and prompts.

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