Thursday 28, December
Berlin students hack Tesla’s autopilot mode
Three doctoral students from TU Berlin managed to hack into a Tesla circuit board, confirming the existence of a so-called “Elon Mode” and gaining insight into how the self-driving cars’ AI system learns, according to reports by rbb.
What stands out most about the security breach is how easy it was for the students to gain access — spending just a few hundred euros on tools and buying a circuit board from a local scrap dealer.
According to the students, the hack provided some rare insight into the inner-workings of a vehicle that’s often described as a “black box.” A major discovery was made into a so-called executive mode ominously known as the “Elon Mode,” which switches off a vehicle’s autopilot safety feature.
The students also learned that, quite surprisingly, the car’s operating system described approaching cyclists and pedestrians as a “threat.” They were also able to reconstruct videos of journeys made by the vehicle’s former owner and even retrieve GPS data.