A Hacker Has Discovered A Secret Hands-Free ‘Elon Mode’ In Tesla’s Full-Self Driving

A white hat hacker, known as Green on Twitter, recently made an intriguing discovery in Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) software. Green, who has been tinkering with Tesla’s software and hardware for years, stumbled upon a hidden mode he dubbed “Elon Mode” and decided to put it to the test. Green embarked on a 60-mile (965 km) highway journey to assess the capabilities of this mysterious mode and shared his observations on Twitter.

Green has been critical of Tesla’s software in the past, making his positive feedback on “Elon Mode” all the more noteworthy. Similar to video game “God Modes” that grant unlimited powers to users, Green anticipated that FSD might hide a fully automated driving mode within its algorithms. True to his hunch, he found it, cleverly named “Elon Mode.”

At present, FSD is available in beta to customers willing to pay $15,000 for the service. However, it comes with limitations and mandates, such as keeping hands on the steering wheel and maintaining forward focus. Tesla cars typically nudge drivers when these requirements are not met, colloquially referred to as “nagging.” In Elon Mode, these nags disappear entirely.

Green took his unlocked Tesla on a 600-mile highway drive and discovered that the vehicle exhibited its own driving style, displaying heightened caution and unnecessarily changing lanes. Interestingly, when encountering a slow car in the same lane, the Tesla chose to slow down rather than switch lanes. While Elon Mode proved efficient on highways, it struggled with navigating potholes and road debris, which Green deemed concerning. However, the vehicle appropriately responded by slowing down in such situations.

If the vehicle exceeds 85mph (with minimal assistance from the human driver), Elon Mode switches to Autopilot, Tesla’s first-generation driver-assist system, reintroducing the previously mentioned “nags” that Tesla owners wish to avoid.

It’s worth noting that Green conducted this test exclusively in a Tesla vehicle, raising questions about his collaboration with the company. Additionally, the test primarily focused on highways, where FSD has shown promising performance. However, the true litmus test for FSD lies in city traffic, and Tesla must transparently demonstrate its capabilities in these challenging environments if they expect customers to pay a premium for the feature.

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