Tesla CEO Elon Musk has confirmed that a future over-the-air software update for Sentry Mode will enable Model 3’s in-cabin camera to protect against vehicle break-ins. A tiny camera located above the rearview mirror will begin to record video and sound of unauthorized intruders when triggered.
The idea of using the cabin-facing camera was brought up during the latest Tesla Owners Online podcast by Model 3 owner and YouTuber, Tesla Raj. In a very traditional Musk fashion, which has given rise to countless features after Twitter suggestions, the Tesla CEO greenlit the idea with a simple “Ok” reply.
This idea for activating the interior-facing camera was first confirmed by Musk in early 2019 when keen-eyed new Model 3 owners took notice of the never-before-seen hardware. According to the Tesla chief at that time, “It’s there for when we start competing with Uber/Lyft & people allow their car to earn money for them as part of the Tesla shared autonomy fleet. In case someone messes up your car, you can check the video.”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 5, 2020
Looking back at Tesla’s revised master plan, the company aims to have a fleet of self-driving robotaxis in the future that will become the backbone for Tesla’s ridesharing network. Additionally, Tesla owners can enroll their vehicles in the network and earn extra money by chaperoning passengers. This model will further help owners reduce their cost of ownership over time. The internal camera was always designed with security in mind by keeping an eye on passengers. For Tesla owners worried about privacy, Musk noted that an option to disable the camera will be made available.
Tesla is taking steps to make the dream of having robotaxis on the road come true by taking the necessary steps to achieve Full Self-Driving. The company has registered over 2 billion miles worth of driving in Autopilot, a treasure trove of data that can help the company perfect the technology to please even the tightest regulatory bodies in the world.
Turning on the cabin-facing camera when Sentry Mode is activated can be seen as the first proof of concept for the previously unused hardware. Additionally, the ability to record both video and sound of intruders will only further the narrative that vandalizing Tesla vehicles will only lead to criminal arrests.
Sentry Mode has caught some of the most senseless attacks on Tesla vehicles from taking video footage of keying incidents, hit-and-runs, and other forms of vandalism.
It’s there for when we start competing with Uber/Lyft & people allow their car to earn money for them as part of the Tesla shared autonomy fleet. In case someone messes up your car, you can check the video.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 5, 2019