Tesla’s latest over-the-air update gives you a dog-friendly mode and an opportunity to turn your car into a giant four-wheeled surveillance system.
Say what you want about Tesla, but one quantum-leap advancement that it has pioneered in the automotive industry that you simply cannot argue with is over-the-air updates. In the past, upgrading your car was a matter of buying parts and taking it into the shop or spannering it yourself.
In Tesla vehicles, new features can be added while you sleep, with simple internet-fed software installations. Dog and Sentry modes are the latest and they won’t be the last…
What is Tesla ‘Dog mode’?
Introducing Dog Mode: set a cabin temperature to keep your dog comfortable while letting passersby know they don’t need to worry pic.twitter.com/xFU6MGZT53
— Tesla (@Tesla) February 14, 2019
Dog mode allows the driver to set a comfortable temperature for your four-legged companions for when he or she is out on an errand. That’s the bit that’s crucial to your pups. What’s crucial for concerned dog-loving passers-by is the enormous message displayed on the screen; “My owner will be back soon. Don’t worry!”, with the temperature displayed even larger.
Such a good idea that addresses something that bothers a great many people.
What is Tesla’s ‘Sentry mode’?
On the company’s Twitter page, news of the Sentry mode is accompanied by the caption ‘Sentry Mode: Guarding Your Tesla’. That pretty well sums it up, and we’ve addressed it before when Elon Musk tweeted about the feature allowing the car to become its own dash cam. Nevertheless, here are a few more details that focus more on the anti-theft side of things.
Sentry mode uses the car’s various monitoring systems, including the cameras, to continuously examine the surrounding area when it’s left unattended.
If a ‘minimal threat’ – such as someone leaning on the car – is detected, the car goes into ‘alert’ state, where the screen shows a message warning that there are cameras recording.
‘Alarm’ state activates when there’s an attempted break-in or a similar greater threat. This includes activating the alarm, upping the brightness of the centre screen and playing music at full volume. The owner will also be alerted via the app and a video recording (beginning 10 minutes before the threat occurs) will be downloadable via a pre-inserted memory stick.
The feature needs to be activated every time the owner wants it running. Model 3 gets it first, with post-August 2017 Model S and X models following shortly thereafter.