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Tesla has released a long-awaited feature that allows owners to remotely access their car's cameras in real-time. The enhanced capabilities will become available to owners with premium connectivity.
Tesla cars have always distinguished themselves in that they could provide additional protection. With external cameras and Sentry Mode, vehicles gain a unique level of protection, continuously monitoring their surroundings when 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 the 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.
While such a feature is already a great addition in itself, Tesla decided to go even further and provide owners with the ability to watch video streaming from the car in real-time. The manufacturer has begun releasing update 2021.36.8, which includes a feature that the owners have been asking for a long time—Sentry Mode Live. A new feature allows car owners to remotely view their cameras when Sentry Mode is activated.
In order to activate Sentry Mode Live, owners will need to subscribe to the Tesla Premium Connectivity package, which currently costs $10 per month per vehicle in the U.S. As such, for a small additional cost, owners will be able to react quickly if their vehicle detects suspicious activity near it. In the event that someone intentionally causes damage to the car, for example, the owner can promptly call the police to properly respond.
When viewing Sentry Mode live, the video stream is end-to-end encrypted and cannot be accessed by Tesla. The release notes for 2021.36.8 state:
"You can now remotely view your car's surroundings when parked to confirm the safety of your environment before returning to your car. Live Camera is end-to-end encrypted and cannot be accessed by Tesla. To enable or disable, tap Controls> Safety & Security.
Note: This feature requires iOS mobile app version 4.2.1 or higher, and Premium Connectivity."
© 2021, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.