Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Software Leaked, and Hackers Are Having a Field Day

Tesla’s beta Full Self-Driving (FSD) software has been a major topic of discussion in the Tesla community since it first rolled out. Initially FSD was only released to a very small group of people, mainly Tesla employees. As the software has been improved, the number of people with access to it has grown. Now, with only days left until a more widespread release of Full Self-Driving in the form of FSD 10, Tesla’s Full Self-Driving software has been leaked. What are people doing with FSD?

A dark gray 2021 Tesla Model Y against a black background.
2021 Tesla Model Y | Tesla

How are people using the leaked software to their benefit?

According to Electrek, Tesla’s binary firmware is what’s been leaked, and hackers have been using root access to manipulate the software. Sometimes people can use root access to look through Tesla’s software and do things like activate features or even put Tesla Full Self-Driving in a car without it. 

Though this sounds kind of scary, it turns out that most people with access to Tesla’s Full Self-Driving software don’t want to do anything bad with it. They just want to use it.

Hackers are using the leaked software to put FSD in their cars

Teslas are sold in countries all over the world, but that doesn’t mean that everyone in every country where Teslas are available has access to Full Self-Driving. In fact, in many countries it isn’t yet available. This is at least partly due to the fact that road signs and markings in other countries are different, and FSD isn’t ready for that. 

When a Twitter user asked Musk about FSD in Canada, Musk responded with, “Not sure, but maybe a few months. In general for any region, we need to make software work well, test it extensively & then get regulatory approval. If we could go faster while being safe, we would!”

Yet with Tesla’s Full Self-Driving software being leaked, that means that some people in areas without access to FSD have been able to program it into their cars. Electrek points to a user in the Ukraine who posted a video of using root access to put the leaked Tesla Full Self-Driving software in their car. Up until that point, it wasn’t widely known – or at least talked about – that some users had access to the leaked software. In fact, Electrek says that until now Tesla didn’t even realize that there was a security breach.

There’s a reason the software has been released on a limited basis

Tesla has good reason to want to take their time with the Full Self-Driving release. In the United States, Tesla has come under fire for its advertisement of FSD and Autopilot, its other semi-autonomous system. Two senators want Tesla investigated for touting that these systems are autonomous, when really they are only Level 2. This means that a user still has to be in full control of the vehicle at all times. 

Unfortunately, some people are either ignoring or unaware of this, and they aren’t paying attention while behind the wheel of their Tesla. Some are even tricking their Tesla into believing there’s a person in the driver’s seat. Accidents while Autopilot and Full Self-Driving are engaged have people wondering if the software rollout is going too quickly. 

Now that Tesla is aware of the leaked software, it’s likely they’ll do something about it. It may not be much longer that people are able to get into Tesla’s Full Self-Driving software. 

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