Tesla: Guy Discovers ‘Elon Mode,’ Enabling Nag-Free Hands-Free Driving

A Tesla software hacker, known as @greentheonly, has uncovered a hidden feature — which they called “Elon Mode” — that allows for hands-free driving in Tesla vehicles. 

@greentheonly, who has extensively explored Tesla’s vehicle code in the past, stumbled upon the secret mode and decided to put it to the test. While the hacker did not reveal the exact method to activate “Elon Mode,” they confirmed its existence and authenticity.

During the test, the hacker claimed that the vehicle operated smoothly without requiring any attention while using Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) software. FSD is Tesla’s controversial advanced driver-assist system, currently in beta testing but available to customers who paid a premium price of $15,000. 

In related news, an internal leaked report last month revealed thousands of customer complaints regarding sudden braking and abrupt acceleration with FSD.

Before the leak, company documents also showed that the electric carmaker admitted that FSD is not autonomous and will remain unchanged for a while, despite what CEO Elon Musk has been promising since 2016.

Tesla’s Autopilot, the company’s initial driver-assist system, needs occasional steering wheel contact to verify driver attentiveness. This “nagging” feature has been a source of frustration for many. Similarly, FSD users also face frequent reminders.

To ensure driver focus, vehicles equipped with a center interior camera monitor the driver’s forward gaze. However, this system can be overly sensitive, leading to constant alerts even when the driver is attentive. In contrast, @greentheonly’s test in “Elon Mode” revealed a lack of such reminders, showing a more seamless driving experience.

Via @greentheonly

The Verge, which first reported the discovery, noted that the hacker conducted the test using what they claim to be a company-owned vehicle, suggesting that access to a non-Tesla car was unavailable. The specific model used, an early Model X, may not have been equipped with an interior camera. It’s unknown how @greentheonly was able to get the vehicle, but his identity is known to Tesla according to CNBC.

Like much about Tesla, it remains uncertain whether regular owners will have access to “Elon Mode” in the future. Musk has previously hinted at the possibility of introducing a “nag-free” driving experience.

Information for this story was found via The Verge, CNBC, Twitter, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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