Tesla drivers can now control whether the company can send remote commands to their vehicles.
According to Not a Tesla App, the feature was discovered by a Tesla owner named Bennett. Bennett noticed the option in his vehicle’s service settings. The ability to turn remote access on and off appears to have been activated remotely.
Bennett’s Tesla operates on version 2023.27.7 software.
Found this toggle on my car tonight. Have no idea when it was first introduced. Running 2023.27.7 pic.twitter.com/BH55jS9rZd
— Bennett (@_bennettm_) November 3, 2023
This change suggests a more cautious approach to vehicle command protocols. Tesla likely made the change in response to concerns about customer consent and data protection.
The timing of this change coincides with Elon Musk’s recent appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience. In the past, Rogan has raised concerns about car companies restricting their drivers’ mobility through remote commands.
Tesla’s vehicles are known for their advanced technology, including over-the-air updates and commands. The ability to send remote commands can include actions like unlocking doors, starting the vehicle, or resetting systems in emergency situations.
Tesla’s advanced driving technology has raised concerns that hackers could manipulate vehicles to control steering wheels and brakes. At the Pwn2Own hacking conference in March 2023, Tesla gave hackers $100,000 for successfully taking control of a Tesla Model 3.
Allowing Tesla drivers to control remote access could provide enhanced privacy, personalized control, and an added layer of security.
Tesla’s privacy policies are widely perceived as one of the company’s main weak points. A September 2023 study by Mozilla found that Tesla is the worst of 25 major automakers when it comes to protecting customers’ data.
In February, Tesla was forced to make changes to its Sentry Mode feature in the Netherlands after the feature was deemed to violate the country’s privacy laws. Sentry Mode enables Tesla vehicles to capture and store video recordings using their built-in cameras.