Tesla has started pushing a new software update that enables drivers to review videos from TeslaCam and Sentry Mode directly in the car.
Tesla Cam and Sentry Mode Viewer
Sentry Mode, which is an integrated surveillance system inside Tesla’s vehicles using the Autopilot cameras around the car, has been changing the game when it comes to vandalizing parked cars.
On several occasions, Sentry Mode videos went viral, and the vandals turned themselves in after the online pressure.
In other cases, it helped police with video evidence to help them identify and find the vandals.
The feature was built on top “TeslaCam,” a previously released integrated dashcam system with similar capability as Sentry mode, but used when someone is inside the car.
TeslaCam helped several Tesla owners with insurance claims by proving that they weren’t at fault in some accidents captured by the integrated dashcam system.
In order to activate the TeslaCam and Sentry Mode features, owners have to plug a storage device, thumb-drive, or SSD inside their Tesla and activate the features in the settings.
It’s fairly simple. But to watch the videos, it’s a little more complicated.
All of our prayers have been answered by TESLA. Thank you .
— Eshak Mir (@esok_mir) April 3, 2020
Owners have to unplug the storage device and connect it to another device, computer, phone, or tablet, in order to watch each video file from each camera.
In an update that Tesla started pushing last night (2020.12.5), the automaker created a new “Dashcam viewer” feature that enables Tesla owners to watch the videos directly in the car.
Tesla wrote in the release notes for 2020.12.5:
Watch Saved Dashcam clips or Sentry Mode events directly from the touchscreen with the Dashcam Viewer. To launch, tap the Dashcam icon in the status bar and select ‘Launch Viewer’ while the car is in PARK. If the car is in DRIVE, you will continue to save a clip by tapping the icon.
To view saved clips and events stored on your USB drive, tap the Menu icon in the upper left corner of the viewer. Each video is organized by location, date, and thumbnail for easy access. For additional filtering options, tap the ‘Dashcam” or ‘Sentry’ tabs.
Select a clip or event to play the corresponding video. To select video from a particular camera, tap the associated thumbnail marked Front, Rear, Left, or Right. Play pause or scroll by using the video controls at the bottom of the player. To delete a video, tap the trash icon in the bottom right corner of the video player.
The dashcam viewer overlays each camera recordings for easier access to different angles of a particular event.
In order for TeslaCam and Sentry Mode to work on a Tesla, you need a few accessories. We recommend Jeda’s Model 3 USB hub (now also available for Model Y) to be able to still use the other plugs and hide your Sentry Mode drive. For the drive, I’m now using a Samsung portable SSD, which you need to format, but it gives you a ton of capacity, and it can be easily hidden in the Jeda hub.