I started coding a long time ago... very long time ago... think Cobol and punched cards... That's a LONG time ago :)... I have used pretty much any programming language out there... I have designed and built any kind of software you can imagine: from simple stand-alone apps (desktop or iOS) to large complex distributed system. I have built software for large computers (even one that was run on a Cray) all the way to embeded system for life supporting medical devices. And pretty much anything in between. So you can easily say coding is one of my passions. The other one is cars. Fast cars especially. I love racing them. But when I started a 50-mile commute (each direction) a few years back on a heavily congested Interstate in Pennsylvania, I sarted looking at options to automate my drive. That is when I ran into the OpenPilot project (back then at version 0.4.2) and immediately got hooked into the community. Making OpenPilot work on preAP Tesla Model S, adding new capabilities, pushing the bounderies of the system... It was love at first sight and the rest is pretty much history.
Loving a good Challenge
NOTHING can motivate me more than beeing told "this can't be done". While we were doing the early integration into the instrument cluster, one amazingly bright and well known person in the Tesla hacking community told me that emulating the DAS so that the car thinks it is there can not be done... Oh my did that make me super motivated and few weeks later I had it going. Same thing with the radar and emulating all the messages so it can be retrofitted to preAP cars... Another challenge was when Tesla started to lock down the MCU1 and we could not run our original softPanda software on the CID. That's when I created the Tinkla Buddy. The more I got challenged, the more I learned about the complex interconnections between the Tesla ECUs, their messages and how the safety system works to ensure that the message are correct. With that knowledge I was able to create the Tinkla Relay. Then I retrofitted the whole AP1 system to my car and learned few more tricks in the process. All those items have helped improve the Tesla Unity branch of the OpenPilot.
DEFCON 27 - August 2019
Winning the Car Hacking Village Competition
I was lucky enough to be part of the CANucks team. After a grueling three days of literally breaking a Tesla 3, reversing ECUs, injecting payloads in traffic lights, we came out on top.
The estimated number of times I took my frunk apart
Between installing the EPAS harness, the temporary Bosch radar, the permanent radar retrofit, adding the iBooster, adding more power, removing the EPAS harness, retrofitting AP1, etc I have taken the car apart at least 16 times in the past 3 years.
Finally able to hack inside my research lab
I spent months literally inside my car in my driveway, with wires hanging from the MCU and IC and other parts of the car, reading CAN messages and trying to make the car do what I wanted. When winter came, this became a lot harder. So I decided to built a Tesla inside my lab... Meet Woodla... the only thing it is missing is a large battery (though it has the BMS) and a motor. It even has the EPAS controller. And yes, the remote works :)