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Tesla rolls out brand new ‘Sentry Mode’ and ‘Dog Mode’ features

Published Feb 14th, 2019 4:00PM EST
Sentry Mode
Image: Ena/AP/REX/Shutterstock

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As promised, Tesla on Wednesday night began rolling out a pair of new features the company has been teasing for a short while. Of particular interest is a new safety-oriented feature dubbed Sentry Mode. As the name suggests, Sentry Mode allows users to record and view 360 degree video of their car when a serious incident like a break-in or an attempted theft occurs.

As Tesla describes it, Sentry Mode remains in a “standby” state until a camera or sensor detects a potential threat. “If a minimal threat is detected,” Tesla notes in a blog post, “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.”

When a serious incident is detected, such as an attempted forced entry or the breaking of a window, Tesla explains that “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.” The new feature will presumably deter would-be criminals from trying to steal or break into Tesla vehicles.

Naturally, when the aforementioned “Alarm” state is activated, Tesla owners will receive an alert on their mobile app informing them that something is afoot. What’s more, users will be able to download a video of any recorded incidents.

The feature is currently available for Model 3 owners and will soon roll out to Model S and Model X owners with vehicles that were manufactured post-August 2017.

Alongside “Sentry Mode,” Tesla on Wednesday also introduced a new feature it calls “Dog Mode.” As illustrated via the video below, “Dog Mode” effectively alerts passersby that dogs left inside of a Tesla are doing just fine temperature-wise and that the owner will be back shortly.

One of the cooler things about Dog Mode is that it was initially an idea conjured up by a Tesla owner and relayed to Elon Musk via Twitter last October. It may seem trivial, but it’s pretty cool that users can tweet ideas to Musk and have it turn into a shipping feature in just a matter of a few months.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.