Tesla hacker shares insights after nearly 600-mile test on FSD Beta “Elon Mode”

Credit: @evamcmillan333/Twitter)

A Tesla hacker who has made a reputation for doing deep dives into the electric vehicle maker’s code for years has reportedly accessed “Elon Mode,” an alleged setting for FSD Beta that effectively makes the system a hands-free solution. 

The hacker, who goes by the username @greentheonly on Twitter, noted that he was able to access “Elon Mode” on a 2020 Tesla that was equipped with FSD Beta 11.4.3. Considering the age of the car, it would appear that it was a vehicle without Tesla’s in-cabin camera.

Sharing his thoughts about the drive, the hacker noted that he arrived late to his destination due to FSD Beta’s behavior. The system reportedly also did not match Green’s driving style, as FSD Beta generally drove slowly, and it performed apparent random lane changes every so often. Overall, however, the performance of the system on divided highways is decent, and likely enough to enable zero-intervention drives on freeways. 

“There’s a very nonzero chance the car can navigate any two points on highway (that don’t need charging) in between with zero input needed. Obviously, I don’t have Tesla side statistics, but if they offer this as L3 where I don’t need to pay attention – it would be a solid deal at $15k,” the Tesla hacker wrote in a post on Twitter. 

With this in mind, Green observed that the lane changes of FSD Beta on “Elon Mode” could be unnecessary and thus may also invite road rage from some drivers. At the same time, the system may also end up slowing down when it encounters a slow-moving car and not change lanes to overtake. 

Without its constant nags, FSD Beta would effectively become closer to a Level 3 system, which pertains to “conditional” automation. This suggests that in situations such as traffic jams, FSD Beta could operate without requiring driver input. 

This is something that was utilized by Mercedes-Benz, which released its Drive Pilot system in Nevada, becoming the first automaker in the US to gain approval for a Level 3 driving system. Mercedes-Benz’s Level 3 system allows drivers to take their eyes off the road while the vehicle is moving, but it only operates at speeds of up to 40 mph on “suitable freeway sections and where there is high traffic density.”

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Tesla hacker shares insights after nearly 600-mile test on FSD Beta “Elon Mode”
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