Ring, the security doorbell camera company known for its comedic and celebrity-driven commercials, has developed a device that has the potential to expand the capabilities of Tesla’s Sentry Mode. Using the software API for Ring’s new line of car products, Tesla owners will be able to install a device that taps into their Model S, 3, X, or Y’s cameras and gives them expanded security capabilities that can be used in real-time.
Currently, Tesla owners with Sentry Mode are alerted when a significant event is detected, such as a bump or break-in on the vehicle. The owner then receives an alert on their phone with the option to record and save the relevant video beginning from about 10 minutes prior to the alert being sent. It seems that with the new Ring device, Tesla owners will be able to check on their car immediately with a live view.
Own a @Tesla? We’ve created a way to view recorded footage from Tesla’s built-in cameras so you can keep an eye out directly from the Ring App with an optional connectivity plan.
— Ring (@ring) September 24, 2020
Interestingly, Ring’s car security software also has a feature that may integrate with the interior camera included on the Model 3 rearview mirror intended for future Robotaxis. When pulled over by police, a driver can use the phrase “Alexa, I’m being pulled over” to trigger the cameras to begin recording, save the interaction to the cloud, and notify loved ones of the event. However, specifics of the Tesla-Ring software were not provided in Ring’s announcement. Ring has also announced that its new product will be compatible with any car manufacturer. Tesla is simply the first automaker whose vehicles support the accessory.
Hey there, Ring Car Connect is an API for car manufacturers & is available for any car manufacturer. The first vehicles compatible with the Ring Car Connect are Tesla models 3, X, S, and Y.
— Ring (@ring) September 24, 2020
Tesla’s Sentry Mode is designed to be quite sensitive, with the vehicles’ eight cameras recording events that transpire around the car. Tesla’s integrated vehicle cameras, primarily meant for Autopilot functionality, can be a huge boon to owners, and the feature has been credited with helping solve several headline-making crimes along with assisting with a few neighbor disputes. It looks to be a win-win for the two companies to join forces to enhance vehicle security rather than compete directly.
The relevant part of Ring’s product announcement can be read below:
Ring Car Connect
Newer cars are automatically integrating interior and exterior cameras into their design to bring customers peace of mind for things like back-up assist, blind spot notification and more. With Ring Car Connect, an API for car manufacturers, we’re bringing customers this information right to their Ring app, by offering a way to integrate cars with the Ring experience. Starting today, we will be working with car manufacturers to use this API, making it easy for customers to check in on what’s going on in and around their car from anywhere.
Ring Car Connect for Tesla
Building off the Ring Car Connect API, we created an aftermarket device specifically designed for Tesla models 3, X, S, and Y. With this, we’ve created a way to view Tesla Sentry Mode and recorded driving footage directly in the Ring App over WiFi or LTE.
A previous iteration of this article suggested that Tesla was a partner in Ring’s development of Car Connect. The article has been updated to reflect Ring’s clarifications.