Most carmakers only think of the human occupants in their vehicles, but not Tesla. The company has released a software update for its cars that includes a new feature called “Dog Mode.”
The new mode can be activated with a push of a button and activates the car’s climate control mode, regulating the temperature to a safe degree no matter how hot it is outside the car. This temperature regulation ensures that your dog won’t overheat while you run inside to grab some groceries.
Dog Mode also makes use of the large touch panel in a Tesla to display the car’s inside temp to passersby and also shows them a message reading “My owner will be back soon” so they don’t worry about the dog inside.
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
The same software update also introduces “Sentry Mode.” This mode uses a Telsa’s external cameras to monitor the car’s surroundings when it is locked and parked. If Sentry Mode picks up any external threats, it will send an alert to the car’s owner. As Tesla writes in a blog post:
Sentry Mode adds a unique layer of protection to Tesla vehicles by continuously monitoring the environment around a car when it’s left unattended. When enabled, Sentry Mode enters a “Standby” state, like many home alarm systems, which uses the car’s external cameras to detect potential threats. If a minimal threat is detected, such as someone leaning on a car, Sentry Mode switches to an “Alert” state and displays a message on the touchscreen warning that its cameras are recording. If a more severe threat is detected, such as someone breaking a window, Sentry Mode switches to an “Alarm” state, which activates the car alarm, increases the brightness of the center display, and plays music at maximum volume from the car’s audio system.
If a car switches to “Alarm” state, owners will also receive an alert from their Tesla mobile app notifying them that an incident has occurred. They’ll be able to download a video recording of an incident (which begins 10 minutes prior to the time a threat was detected) by inserting a formatted USB drive into their car before they enable Sentry Mode.
Both Dog and Sentry Mode will be rolling out to U.S. Model 3 vehicles today, soon followed by Model S and Model X vehicles that were built after August 2017.