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#4536027 - 10/07/17 08:56 AM Tesla Hacks
whip Offline


Registered: 03/03/05
Posts: 2299
Loc: ohio
I heard that Tesla upped the range of cars in Florida during the hurricanes and you can upgrade the power after you purchase. That means it's all in the software. Has anyone heard of after market programming to access the extra power and range?
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#4536094 - 10/07/17 10:16 AM Re: Tesla Hacks [Re: whip]
LoneRanger Offline


Registered: 07/02/07
Posts: 4060
Loc: Midwest USA
Sounds dangerous to push too close to the low voltage limit of massive lithium battery arrays like that of the Tesla, as it can damage them. Fire risk from potential internal battery shorts caused by the damage. If I understand lithium battery dynamics properly.

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#4536111 - 10/07/17 10:50 AM Re: Tesla Hacks [Re: whip]
Ethan1 Offline


Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 1632
Loc: 'murica
If anyone has done it, hopefully they are smart enough to keep their mouths shut in order to keep on the right side of the DMCA.

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#4536135 - 10/07/17 11:20 AM Re: Tesla Hacks [Re: LoneRanger]
JohnnyJohnson Online   content


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2766
Loc: Wet side WA
Originally Posted By: LoneRanger
Sounds dangerous to push too close to the low voltage limit of massive lithium battery arrays like that of the Tesla, as it can damage them. Fire risk from potential internal battery shorts caused by the damage. If I understand lithium battery dynamics properly.



Yes I think Boeing found this out on their 787!
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#4536189 - 10/07/17 12:32 PM Re: Tesla Hacks [Re: whip]
KrisZ Offline


Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 7473
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Achieving something vs. achieving something safely are two different things.
Nobody knows what other software changes were made to get the extra distance out of the batteries, like altering the cooling algorithms, turning off some non-essential auxiliary systems etc.
Those that think it's a simple matter of just hacking the code obviously know nothing about engineering.
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#4536198 - 10/07/17 12:40 PM Re: Tesla Hacks [Re: whip]
OneEyeJack Offline


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 7479
Loc: S California
Didn't the Honda Civic hybrid go through a battery problem. My daughter had one and the upgrade done by Honda wiped out any mileage advantage. Evidently, the battery was failing under the original setup. She asked if the upgrade could be undone and was told, NO. The drop in mileage was bad and she immediately got rid of the car before the resale value tanked.

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#4536208 - 10/07/17 12:52 PM Re: Tesla Hacks [Re: OneEyeJack]
Mr Nice Offline


Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 21203
Loc: Orlando, FL
Originally Posted By: OneEyeJack
Didn't the Honda Civic hybrid go through a battery problem. My daughter had one and the upgrade done by Honda wiped out any mileage advantage. Evidently, the battery was failing under the original setup. She asked if the upgrade could be undone and was told, NO. The drop in mileage was bad and she immediately got rid of the car before the resale value tanked.


That hybrid engine was a disaster and Honda was very bad not to replace with a new battery under warranty.

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#4536286 - 10/07/17 03:22 PM Re: Tesla Hacks [Re: whip]
dparm Offline


Registered: 04/19/10
Posts: 13466
Loc: Chicago, IL
Originally Posted By: whip
I heard that Tesla upped the range of cars in Florida during the hurricanes and you can upgrade the power after you purchase. That means it's all in the software. Has anyone heard of after market programming to access the extra power and range?



Correct, it's in the software. It's probably more cost-effective for Tesla to just use one battery pack to simplify production and then simply disable cells in software or whatever. This isn't anything new; my BMW and both of my Audis, for example, could very easily have other features enabled with a laptop and the right cable. I enabled the European-setting of the DSC's M Dynamic Mode in my M3 since it was less restrictive. Took all of 90 seconds.


I doubt the aftermarket is going to come out with a "hack" because Tesla likely has something in the car's purchase agreement or the EULA that makes it illegal to break their encryption, reverse engineer, or otherwise alter the programming. Given the car's "uplink" to Tesla's servers, I suspect they could also detect these hacks pretty easily. You can bet that if the hack cuts into Tesla's sales, they would go after them in court.
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#4536383 - 10/07/17 05:32 PM Re: Tesla Hacks [Re: KrisZ]
Ethan1 Offline


Registered: 12/29/14
Posts: 1632
Loc: 'murica
Originally Posted By: KrisZ
Achieving something vs. achieving something safely are two different things.
Nobody knows what other software changes were made to get the extra distance out of the batteries, like altering the cooling algorithms, turning off some non-essential auxiliary systems etc.
Those that think it's a simple matter of just hacking the code obviously know nothing about engineering.


No, you know nothing about the situation. Tesla has already written the long range software and offered it for sale. They wouldn't reprogram the car from scratch, that's inconceivable. There aren't enough oscilloscopes and logic analyzers in the world for that. It would be more like "Hey we flipped this bit and now we're in the latent long range mode" or "Look we figured out how to load the extended range firmware without getting it from Tesla for $10k".

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#4536402 - 10/07/17 06:04 PM Re: Tesla Hacks [Re: whip]
Shannow Online   content


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 39914
Loc: 'Stralia
Tesla have changed the programming on customer's cars without their knowledge/consent via "wifi" a number of times.

Limiting the number of ludicrous launches
Limiting the charge rate at the fast chargers once a certain number of fast charges have been done.

There's a safety margin in the batteries for sure...and it's probably pretty big.

There's lots of scope for Tesla to play, and offer things like range extension in a natural disaster, but it's only "safe" using their knowledge of the battery.

We've had 3 18-650 battery fires in the last 6 weeks at work by replacement batteries being incompatible with existing chargers...they were nasty, but an array of a couple of thousand of them going spackers because of a hack is plain scary as an idea.

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#4537791 - 10/09/17 09:42 AM Re: Tesla Hacks [Re: Ethan1]
Anduril Offline


Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 1026
Loc: Perris, CA
Originally Posted By: Ethan1
If anyone has done it, hopefully they are smart enough to keep their mouths shut in order to keep on the right side of the DMCA.

And this is exactly what's wrong with our country/the electronics industry as a whole. If it was a physical part you had to remove/modify to get more range, that's 100% legal. Why is it any different with a digital "part"

Tesla takes the risk that someone will hack their product and enable the extra range for free when they decided to ship the same hardware with artificial restrictions. It's absolutely ridiculous that this has legal backing.
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