Someone Hacked the Tesla Model 3 To Run YouTube and Ubuntu Linux
Even the Model 3’s system isn’t impenetrableby Michael Fira, on
Tesla’s "people’s car." the Model 3, was thought to be harder to crack into than the Model S and Model X that proved to be a field day for hackers. However, we’re now seeing a Model 3 owner on Reddit showcase his ability to run YouTube and Ubuntu on his car.
This is not the first instance of a Model 3 getting hacked into. Earlier this year, an owner, who goes by the name of ’Ingineerix’ online, was able to crack open Tesla’s ’Factory Mode’ to reveal interesting information about the car’s full battery pack capacity, information that Tesla only offered as a range figure.
Want YouTube to play on your Model 3? You can if you root it
Every operating system, no matter how well protected, has proved to have flaws and shortcomings in its security shield. The same goes for the system on the Model 3 which, while harder to breach into compared to those on the Model S and Model X, is not unbeatable. In fact, ’Ingineerix’ hasn’t remained a sole figure in the world of Model 3 hackers.
Recently, another owner, Reddit user 'trsohmers' posted a number of videos where we can see that he's been able to run Ubuntu on his Tesla and even open up Youtube.
He claims in his posts that ’Ingineerix’ laid the groundwork for his success.
"Huge amount of the work is credit of ’Ingineerix’, who spent many months finding the initial exploit that gave temporary root access (reset on reboot), while I was able to work with him to find a way to get persistence and read/write ability on the roots," said user ’trsohmers’. "From when I started, it took about a month total time, probably on the order of 100 hours of direct work,” he added.
While he did manage to find out the complete specifications of the Model 3’s computer that operates the whole of the infotainment system through its microcontroller, he wasn’t able to get into the Autopilot functionality.
The specs are: "an Intel Atom E3950 processor (Quad-core 1.6GHz), 4GB of (DDR4 I think) RAM, and a 64GB eMMC for storage. The motherboard also has a Freescale/NXP QorIQ chip that acts as the gateway, and the Autopilot hardware (NVIDIA Tegra Parker + discrete Pascal GPU) is on a separate board attached by a fairly chunky cable bundle.”
As said, 'Ingineerix' was among the first to get an insider's look of the Model 3's computer brain.
He found information regarding the car’s ’Long Range’ battery pack which has a capacity of about 76 Kwh although there’s a buffer that can’t be used. He also uncovered the information that the car’s maximum discharge of energy rate is at 1,200 Amps.
Read our full review on the 2018 Tesla Model 3.