Recently, Telsa Motors sent a software update to its cars that activates two modes: Sentry Mode and Dog Mode. One protects against thieves, the other protects against judgmental passers-by.
Sentry Mode (available only on the Model 3 for now, and coming later to Model S and X vehicles built after August 2017) uses the cameras and sensors throughout the vehicle—the same hardware that informs the Autopilot self-driving system—to discourage would-be thieves or anyone from getting too close. If a car’s cameras and accelerometers detect someone leaning on the car, for example, the car’s center screen will display, in font big enough for the knucklehead to see, a message that cameras are recording.
If a window breaks, then the car goes into full panic mode: loud alarms sound, lights flash, the main display goes to full brightness, and a push notification goes to the owner. After everything cools down, the owner can plug a USB stick into the car and pull video of everything. Tesla says that video starts recording 10 minutes before anything happens, presumably looping over its own footage until something happens, like a dash cam.
To turn it on, go to Controls -> Safety & Security -> Sentry Mode. The update also allows the car’s Dashcam system to record video from the car’s side cameras, along with the center forward-facing camera.
Dog Mode is a deterrent for the animal rescuers who might break a window to save a pet from a hot car. The idea came from a tweet request from an owner, but the execution is vaguely meme-inspired, which would make sense: CEO Elon Musk recently bought the site stankmemes.com, and has asked his followers for memes.
When activated, Dog Mode keeps the climate control on, while the main screen displays a message: “My owner will be back soon. Don’t worry! The A/C is on, and it’s 70 degrees,” or whatever temperature the owner sets. If leaving the temperature on that setting pushes the battery below 20 percent, the owner will get a push notification to take action. To turn it on, while in park, tap the fan icon, then set Keep Climate On to DOG.
Originally posted on Popular Mechanics