If you happen to be afraid of evil robots or giant snakes, Tesla’s latest charging station may not be for you. For folks like us, the slithering prototype is undeniably cool — a stirring combination of practicality and science fiction.
The snake-like contraption is completely real though, as evidenced by a 36-second video of it charging a bright red Model S without human intervention. The device — which has been dubbed Snakebot — appears to automatically locate the electric sedan’s charging port once the door has been opened, slowly but surely plugging in and replenishing the car’s batteries.
Tesla has been working on this technology for some time. Back in December 2014, Elon Musk wrote on Twitter, “Btw, we are actually working on a charger that automatically moves out from the wall & connects like a solid metal snake. For realz.”
On Thursday, Musk revisited the topic after the video was posted, stating, “Tesla Snakebot autocharger prototype. Does seem kinda wrong :).” Say what you want about the man’s business practices, but he has a way with words.
It’s not all good news for Tesla though, because this week, a team of American security experts were able to hack into a moving Model S and bring it to a stop. The experiment was conducted to highlight the vulnerabilities of the connected car, however Tesla quickly whipped up an over-the-air patch to fix the problem.
“Tesla has taken a number of different measures to address the effects of all six vulnerabilities reported by [the researchers],” a company spokeswoman told Wired. “In particular, the path that the team used to achieve root (superuser) privileges on the infotainment system has been closed off at several different points.”