Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, is rumored to possess a hidden driver mode that enables hands-free driving in Tesla vehicles. This secretive feature, known as “Elon Mode,” was discovered by an anonymous Tesla software hacker named @greentheonly.
Over time, this hacker has thoroughly analyzed the vehicle’s code, uncovering various functionalities such as Tesla’s ability to restrict the use of power seats or the center camera in the Model 3 even before its official activation.
After activating Elon Mode, greentheonly proceeded to test the system and shared preliminary footage of the experiment. While they didn’t reveal the exact on-screen setting for “Elon Mode,” they confirmed its authenticity.
During the test, the hacker found that Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) software didn’t require any attention or input from them. FSD is Tesla’s advanced driver-assist system that relies on vision-based technology and is currently in beta testing.
Customers who have paid up to $15,000 have access to this feature. However, leaked internal reports indicate that FSD has received numerous customer complaints about sudden braking and abrupt acceleration.
Impressions after nearly 600 miles on 11.4.3 with Elon mode (could not get a non-Tesla car to try in time).— green (@greentheonly) June 17, 2023
It went much better than the prior experiment obviously.
Many contributing factors. I was not as late so I did not mind as much (still ended up 5 minutes late solely
Tesla’s initial driver-assist system, Autopilot, necessitates periodic touching of the steering wheel to ensure the driver remains attentive. This requirement has faced criticism from owners who find it intrusive. FSD users also encounter these prompts, which can sometimes demand a significant amount of force and inadvertently disable the system.
In addition to the hands-on steering confirmation, vehicles equipped with an interior camera positioned above the rearview mirror monitor drivers to ensure they maintain forward-facing attention.
However, during greentheonly’s extensive testing of Elon Mode, no such prompts were observed. The test was conducted in a vehicle claimed to be owned by the company, as greentheonly mentioned their inability to acquire a non-Tesla car for this purpose.
Based on the video, it appears that greentheonly is driving an early Model X, which might not include an interior camera. The details regarding the presence of the camera and how greentheonly gained access to the car remain unclear.
Among the information shared on Twitter by greentheonly, they noted that the system still exhibited random lane changes and tended to drive slowly on highways. It’s uncertain whether this version of FSD will be available to regular Tesla owners. In December, Musk hinted at the possibility of driving without prompts.
Greentheonly also mentioned that Tesla’s software has greatly improved its security compared to 2017 when they first started examining it. Despite consistently bypassing Tesla’s security measures, the hacker acknowledges the meticulousness with which Tesla develops its software, surpassing what they have encountered in other vehicles.