Tesla’s Sentry and Dog Modes are here to save your car and your pets

If you want to hear Bach's Toccata and Fugue just smash your window

Tesla’s ‘Sentry Mode’ feature is finally rolling out in a new update, confirms a recent press release from the company. 

All Tesla cars with Autopilot 2.0. get Sentry Mode in the latest update for their vehicle.

The mode works in two stages. If the car detects something subtle like a person leaning on the car, it alerts the vehicle’s owner with a push notification on their phone. Then the interior touchscreen displays a message that lets people around the vehicle know they’re on camera.

When something more series happens, like a broken window, the vehicle’s alarm sounds, the touchscreen’s brightness goes to max, and music plays at full volume through its speakers. Users still get an alert on their phone when this happens. Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter that the musical alarm will play classical music, as he promised.

Users will need to add a USB stick to their cars if they want to save the recordings that this new mode captures.

You’ll also need to turn Sentry Mode on each time you want to use it. The feature is in the ‘Controls’ menu under ‘Safety & Security.’

The ‘@TeslaMilton’ Twitter account has discovered more specific information regarding Sentry mode and Dashcam.

Dashcam records an hour of footage into a folder called ‘RecentClips’ in one-minute chunks from the three front-facing cameras. Particularly, the front camera and the right and left forward-facing cameras. After an hour of footage is recorded the systems begins overwriting the first hour of footage.

To take advantage of this feature users need to have at least 5.5GB of USB storage plugged into their vehicle’s dash.

Sentry mode records for 10 minutes every time the surveillance feature is activated in one-minute increments from the same three cameras as the Dashcam. Ten minutes of footage takes up 900MB of space in a folder called ‘SavedClips’ on a USB stick plugged into the user’s dashboard. Sentry Mode doesn’t overwrite its own footage, so if your USB stick fills up you’ll need to manually clear it.

It’s worth noting that if your vehicle’s battery is lower than 20 percent full Sentry mode won’t activate, according to Electrek. Additionallybackups of Sentry mode are sent to Tesla as a temporary backup in case the USB stick that the footage is recorded to is stolen, reports the publication.

Dog mode

Tesla’s Twitter accounted has confirmed that ‘Dog Mode’ is also live. The tweet shows a driver getting out of their vehicle while the touchscreen displays the car’s internal temperature and a message that reads, “my owner will be back soon. Don’t worry the A/C is on and it’s 70 degrees Fahrenheit.”

The tweet mentions that this is an addition to ‘Cabin Overheat Protection’ feature which automatically turns on the A/C when it gets too hot.

To turn on Dog Mode go into the climate control settings and select the option labelled ‘Dog,’ according to The Verge.

Source: Tesla, Tesla Twitter, The Verge

Update 22/03/19: The Sentry Mode section of the story has been updated with more detail regarding how the feature works.

Update 28/03/31: Tesla has added Dog and Sentry Mode to its top of the line Model S and X vehicles in software version 2019.8.3.