Jailbreaking in the tech world has little to do with steel bars and orange outfits – and all to do with cracking software codes to get one up on the competition.
Tech nerds love to use their computer savvy to break into smartphones, but thanks to the super technology-heavy Tesla Model S, it’s possible to take control over the car’s super sweet 17-inch dashboard-mounted touchscreen.
The screen allows Tesla drivers to operate the car’s navigation system and infotainment functions, basically acting as a high-tech Web browser.
It’s all really cool – but Drag Times reports that one Model S owner has found his own “get out of jail free” card by patching into the car’s computer via a well-hidden dashboard ethernet port, thus opening a backdoor into the car’s central screen. By simply hooking up an ethernet cable between the car and a regular laptop computer, the Tesla owner was able to get a Firefox web browser inside his car.
The upside for Tesla owners is they can upload just about any third-party app right into their car.
The downside for this entrepreneurial Tesla whiz is that the automaker didn’t take too kindly to his technological revolution. Once they caught wind of his high-tech trickery, they kindly told him he better stop unless he wanted to void the car’s warranty.
All of this is a mixed bag for Tesla owners. On one hand, the type of person drawn to the Tesla is likely to enjoy being able to enhance their own user experience. On the other, however, if a person can hack into the car’s computer via a shifty ethernet cable and whiz-bang laptop work, it also opens the car up to being easier to steal.
While this surely isn’t the last time a Tesla owner will attempt to make the grass in their green car even greener, we’re betting most of them might want to keep this jailbreaking news in the garage for now – with their $100,000 car.