Tesla Semi Test Vehicles Are Equipped With Puzzling ‘Mad Max’ Mode

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has revealed that test mules of the upcoming Tesla Semi feature a ‘Mad Max’ mode.

Musk took to Twitter to reveal the Easter egg, which follows on from the likes of Ludicrous and Plaid speed modes available in the Model S, Model X and Roadster. Whereas those modes have been designed to improve acceleration, the Semi’s Mad Max mode relates to the vehicle’s Autopilot system.

An image posted by Musk shows that the special setting is found under ‘Blind Spot Threshold’. Other options are Standard and Aggressive, but the exact function of ‘Blind Sport Threshold’ remains unclear.

One possible explanation, offered by Autoblog, is that it could be related to how aggressively the truck executes lane changes when Autopilot is enabled. The different settings most likely relate to how close another vehicle is in the other lane and whether or not the Semi will change lanes in front of them.

Interestingly, Musk suggested that the Mad Max mode might not actually make its way to the production model.

“Reality is that it will be pretty easy to bully a self-driving car, as it will always yield. Will probably have a manual override that requires continuous press for hardcore lane changes,” he said in response to a question about if the mode will make it to production.

Whether or not Mad Max mode makes it to production or not is neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things. Of much more importance will be the Semi’s range, which, according to Musk, will exceed 600 miles (965 km) under perfect driving conditions in the range-topping version.

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  • Jay

    Anyone who drives a bus, suv or truck knows why it’s there, many will not let any big vehicles in ‘their’ lanes. Out from parking lots and side streets that don’t have lights.

  • Mike anonymous

    It would be nice if they could, you know,.. “ship” these things.

    We keep hearing about new feature, new updates, this and that, but where is the actual vehicle. I suggest they focus on one thing at a time. Focusing on one thing at a time has worked for them in the past, hopefully it will work for them in the future.

  • Status

    Why sue Musk when they could sue all the people making Mad Max tribute videos on youtube!

    Besides, the article says it likely won’t reach production.

  • “Interestingly, Musk suggested that the Mad Max mode might not actually make its way to the production model.”

    So, a way to satisfied your fanbois?

  • john1168

    Designing in aggressiveness into the autopilot software… hhmmm… I know why they’re doing this. I’ve driven a small truck before and sometimes people don’t give you a break so you have to make you’re own opportunities for getting into a lane when no one will let you in or whatever… But I would imagine accident attorney’s EVERYWHERE will be waiting for the first accident where the truck on autopilot is put into aggressive mode and the truck cuts into a driver of a car who isn’t paying attention or refuses to move and get’s hurt or worse. I understand they may not use “Mad Max” mode but they may not want to label the other mode “aggressive” either. It’s going to be interesting to see what the final programming will be. And I think it will set the initial standard on how autopilots for ALL vehicles will be programmed in the future.

  • iea96

    These little quirks and easter eggs gained attention on the passenger cars because people liked trying something new with their personal cars. However the story is drastically different when it comes to commercial vehicles like a semi where reliability is the one and only priority. Nobody cares if the vehicle is fun or not. Owners will block access to any of these features before handing the trucks to the drivers anyway.
    TL;DR: Good job Elon! Keep spending time on pointless stuff!

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