Tesla ‘Stealth’ Sentry Mode gets nod of approval from CEO Elon Musk

(Photo: Austin Sellers via Youtube)

It appears that Tesla’s Sentry Mode is poised for another upgrade soon, if a recent tweet from Elon Musk is any indication. Following a recent social media interaction between the CEO and a member of the Tesla community, it appears that a “stealth” version of the popular built-in vehicle surveillance system has been given the green light.

The current iteration of Sentry Mode utilizes a variety of alerts to notify vehicle owners about potentially risky events that are happening around the vehicle. The feature also uses a series of visual and audio alarms that escalate depending on the threat level at hand. At its “Alarm” state, Sentry Mode maximizes the display on a vehicle’s screen while playing music at full volume. The headlights of the car also blink, attracting as much attention as possible.

Based on the recent request to Elon Musk, it appears that some Tesla owners prefer it if Sentry Mode could function without the headlights and in-car display alerts, both of which are seemingly designed to alert, and if needed, disorient a would-be thief. Musk seems to have promptly acknowledged the value of the point, with the CEO immediately agreeing to the suggestion.

A “Stealth” version of Sentry Mode could have many uses and advantages. For one, it provides vehicles with a way to monitor their surroundings without getting noticed by other people. This is particularly useful in residential areas, where cars parked outside the home can result in several Sentry Mode incidents that can otherwise disturb neighbors.

Sentry Mode is designed to be sensitive, with the vehicles’ eight cameras recording events that transpire around the car. The feature has three states, starting with the “Standby” state, which actively monitors a Tesla’s surroundings. The “Alert” state follows the “Standby” state, and it is triggered by a minimal threat, such as a person leaning into a vehicle. The “Alert” state flashes the headlights and activates the infotainment system, notifying individuals around the car that the vehicle is recording video.

Yet inasmuch as the “Alert” state is useful and sensitive, it could be triggered by several events that are not really risky. Family members passing near the vehicle while it’s parked at the driveway, for example, can result in Sentry mode’s “Alert” state being triggered. This could be quite annoying, especially if family members pass the vehicle in a crowded driveway or garage.

If Tesla can design its “Stealth” Sentry Mode in such a way that the feature only engages its full visual and audio warnings at the “Alarm” state, instances of safety feature being an inconvenience to EV owners will definitely decrease. Sentry Mode, after all, is Tesla’s flagship in-car security system, and it would be a great option if vehicle owners can select which of the security suite’s features are engaged when the need arises.

Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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