Due to the development of Tesla Model 3 software, new features for other vehicles have been quite rare over the last year.
One long-awaited feature that suffered from this delay has been the dashcam feature using Autopilot cameras.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk now says that the feature might end up in the automaker’s software update version 9, which is supposedly coming this summer.
Tesla’s vehicles are now all equipped with 8 cameras to power its Autopilot features and for a while now, some owners have been asking for the possibility to also use them as a dashcam.
It sort of already does, but for Tesla’s own benefit and not the owners.
While working on a damaged Model S last year, Tesla tinkerer Jason Hughes found out that Tesla Autopilot camera stores footage after a crash like a dashcam.
He managed to restore the images from the crash that damaged the all-electric vehicle. Hughes even used the feature to find the evidence that points toward pedal misapplication in a case of sudden acceleration in a Model X.
It showed the all-electric SUV pulling into a parking space and crashing into a building:
That was with Tesla’s first generation Autopilot, which had only one forward-facing camera.
Now with even more cameras and using Tesla’s own system instead of Mobileye’s, the company should have more flexibility to offer a dashcam feature using the same hardware.
Last summer, Musk said that it was “coming soon,” but it is still not available almost a year later.
Now the CEO says that it could be released with the upcoming software version 9:
Hopefully in V9.0 release in a few months
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 25, 2018
Over the past few weeks, Musk started referencing this new version 9 of its vehicle software.
Tesla’s vehicles are quite expensive and owners want the extra security of having a dashcam recording everything that happens around it – whether it’d be in case of an accident or even vandalism with an always-on feature.
It can also capture some interesting footage, especially regarding Autopilot. A few examples:
- Tesla Autopilot crash caught on dashcam shows how not to use the system
- Tesla Autopilot’s new radar technology predicts an accident caught on dashcam a second later
- Tesla owner says Autopilot’s side collision avoidance system prevented highway accident caught on dashcam
The Blackvue dashcam has been a popular option for Tesla owners, but now it looks like they could simply use their existing onboard cameras after a software update.
We will wait to see the actual capabilities of the feature before calling it the end of the Tesla market for dashcams, but it is certainly interesting.
Featured Image: Here’s what Tesla’s Autopilot 2.0 can see with its 8 cameras by Bjornb using images by Green