There are several intuitive ways of getting started with a Tesla, but one owner of a Model 3 has taken it upon herself and introduced a new method, which involved “biohacking” a keycard into her arm to open car doors.
Compared to other regular cars, Tesla Model 3 owners do not receive a physical key. Instead, they do have a car-shaped key fob or their smartphone to unlock and start the Model 3’s engine.
The Model 3 keycard includes an RFID chip that detects the card from a distance. And it functions to open and start the electric vehicle in cases where owners don’t have their key fob or phone with them.
Model 3’s keycard and RFID unlocking system was not designed to be the primary way to unlock and use the car. However, it does work well for situations like valeting the car or sharing with a friend.
A biohacker that goes by the name Amie DD salvaged the RFID chip in her keycard and implanted on her right arm. The online persona tells people that the method is the new “Tesla hack;” an invasive way to get around with opening their car doors without having to worry about bringing their key fobs, keycards, or phones.
With Amie DD’s background in software engineering, game simulation, programming, and a self-described “maker of things,” she demonstrated in a newly released YouTube video of how she bio hacked her body with Tesla’s RFID chip.
In the video, released on Hackaday, she dissolved the card using acetone and had it encased in a biopolymer to use the RFID for body implant safely.
To inject it into her body, she went to a body-modification studio and asked the help of a man named Pineapple to safely implant the chip into her right forearm.
The now biopolymer-encased RFID chip was about the size of a Lego mini-figure, and according to her, the procedure came out a success, and that she only experienced a little swelling from the injection.
However, she failed to demonstrate in her YouTube video whether or not it was successful in accessing her car door as she has claimed.
In a statement released by the biohacker, she claims that the chip does work; however, the range from her arm to the console “isn’t the greatest,” and she at least has to be nearby—approximately an inch (25 mm).
She hasn’t released a video of the hack working, but it’s apparently coming soon.
Tesla’s Model 3 keycard RFID chip wasn’t the first technological implant Amie DD has injected herself, though.
In a longer YouTube video, she explained that she had implanted an RFID tag in her left arm years ago, which she says that is used to “access control” over a few other things. In instance, she can use the other chip implant to open her home’s front door and to send a smartphone’s browser to her personal website.
That method involved her taking the Java applet and writing it onto her own chip.
This was initially the same method the biohacker wanted to achieve with Tesla’s keycard and transfer the software to her pre-existing implant; however, failed due to Tesla’s security. Amie DD eventually opted for another implant and made a video documenting the process and thinking that it was a clever workaround.
In general, biotech implants is not an entirely new idea and an emerging trend. In a demonstration during this year’s Mobile World Congress, a man named Edgar Pons inserted an RFID chip live on stage, which was organized by Sabadell Bank. At the same event, a man named Pau, who had the same implant, showed the audience how payments were made just by scanning the chip under his skin by placing his smartphone over it.
It’s a technology that seems to be revolutionizing the payments industry in Europe — and may soon come to China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia.
These chips may soon become a staple due to its claimed security and the convenience of limiting physical access methods for digital homes and offices.