Hacker finds 'Elon Mode' in Tesla's Full Self-Driving Mode but it is not what you would expect

It lets you drive without any nags to pay attention to but takes its own sweet time to get to the destination.
Ameya Paleja
Tesla's FSD allows hands-free driving
Tesla's FSD allows aims to allow hands-free driving


A white hat hacker who goes by the username Green on Twitter has found "Elon Mode" in Tesla's Full Self-Driving (FSD) software. He then took a 60-mile (965 km) trip on the highway and noted his observations in a Twitter thread.

For those who do not know about him, Green has been toying with Tesla's software and sometimes even hardware for years now and is especially interested in the FSD (who isn't? ). However, unlike Musk fans who gasp at the slightest of advancements made in software, Green has been critical of it in the past.

This time around, though, Green appears pleasantly surprised at what the mode unlocked for him and seems to have also enjoyed his long journey. Before we get a bit critical of Green's account, here's what he found.

The Elon Mode

Like video games offering a God Mode where a user has unlimited powers, Green expected the FSD also to offer a fully automated driving mode, locked somewhere in its algorithm. When he did find it, it was predictably called "Elon Mode".

FSD is currently available in its beta version to those ready to cough up $15,000 for the service. Given that the system is not entirely validated and there are multiple concerns about its effectiveness, it comes with several limitations and mandates.

One such mandate is to keep hands on the steering and ensure that the driver is always looking forward. Tesla cars keep nudging their drivers when such mandates are not met, which the Tesla drivers refer to as "nagging". Green found that in Elon Mode, the nags just disappear entirely.

Driving in Elon Mode

Green took the Elon Mode unlocked Tesla for a 600-mile drive on the highway and found the vehicle has its style of driving and is much more cautious and even changes lanes when utterly unnecessary. Interestingly though, when the Tesla approaches a slow car in the same lane, it chooses to slow down instead of switching lanes.

The mode is not very good at navigating potholes or road debris either, which Green flags as dangerous or ad hoc spottings of items like construction barrels left the Tesla baffled. Luckily, its response was to slow down.

If the vehicle exceeds 85mph (with little help from the human driver), the Elon Mode switches to Autopilot, the first-generation driver-assist system, which comes back with the "nags" that Tesla users want to get rid of.

Green also mentioned that he did not get to test this mode in a "non-Tesla car, " meaning that this trip was taken in a vehicle owned by Tesla. So, is Green working with Tesla to unveil FSD's capabilities? Also, why test the feature only on highways, where we know it works pretty well?