Elon Musk may have his very own supersecret driver mode that enables hand-free driving in Tesla vehicles. A security researcher, who goes by the handle “@GreentheOnly” on Twitter, discovered a hidden setting in Tesla vehicles, dubbed “Elon Mode,” that enables drivers to use Tesla’s advanced driver assistance systems, known as Autopilot and Full self-driving (FSD), without keeping their hands on the steering wheel for an extended period.
When this mode is engaged on a Tesla vehicle, it eliminates what Tesla owners refer to as the “nag,” or the alert system that requires drivers to exert resistance on their steering wheels.
Currently, Tesla does not sell a self-driving car. Since 2016, Musk has promised to create a self-driving car, and he claimed that by the end of 2017, a Tesla would be able to perform a demo drive across the U.S. without human assistance. Current Tesla models, still require human drivers to maintain focus and be prepared to steer or brake at any time when using driver assistance technologies.
The researcher is a Tesla Model X who has evaluated Tesla’s vehicle functions for years. He has frequently reported problems to the company and has received thousands of dollars for submitting successful Tesla bug bounties.
On June 20, in an online chat, the “White Hat Hacker” wrote, “Unless you work at Tesla or otherwise have access to relevant databases at the company, there’s no way to tell how many cars have ‘Elon Mode’ accessible at the moment.”
@GreentheOnly anticipates recalls relating to FSD Beta concerns and how successfully the system automatically pauses for “traffic-control devices” such as traffic lights and stop signs.
Tesla has reported 19 instances to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that resulted in at least one fatality and where the company’s driver assistance systems were in use within 30 seconds of the collision. Overall, Tesla reported 21 incidents to the NHTSA involving its driver assistance systems-equipped vehicles that resulted in fatalities.