Tesla introduced its over-the-air dashcam feature using an Autopilot camera just over a week ago and it is already proving useful by capturing a few accidents on video.
In this day and age, it can be very useful to have some video evidence even for small fender-benders whether it’d be due to a lying party or an overzealous insurance company.
Tesla tried to help out customer by giving them a free-of-charge feature using one of the front-facing Autopilot cameras as a defacto dashcam.
Every Tesla owner with a vehicle equipped with Autopilot 2.5 and who receive the new version 9 software update can simply plug a USB drive in their car and follow some simple instructions to get the feature.
Under the first version of the feature, Tesla owners need a USB flash drive with “as much available storage as possible”, and it needs to be formatted in FAT32. The drive needs a manually created folder called “TeslaCam” and be plugged into one of the front USB ports.
Once it is plugged in, the vehicle should recognize it and a dashcam icon appears in the status bar at the top of your touchscreen.
At that point, the dashcam automatically begins recording and you can control the dashcam by pressing the icon. When the feature is in use, it records for an hour before overwriting the old videos.
The drive can archive the most recent ten minutes of video by tapping the dashcam icon while recording. Those videos will be saved with a timestamp and will not be overwritten.
The feature hasn’t even been available for 2 weeks and it has already proven quite useful as a few owners have shared videos of accidents caught on video by the feature that can help them or the authorities.
Model 3 owner Brad King’s TeslaCam feature captured the moment when the driver of an already damaged car appeared out of nowhere to crash into his vehicle.
The driver reportedly denied fault and didn’t even have insurance or a license:
A dashcam is not only used to protect you but it can also help others on the road. Another TeslaCam user captured this accident this week:
While it’s impressive that the TeslaCam is already proving useful, I still think it doesn’t really replace a regular dashcam at this point.
But if you weren’t going to install a dashcam, it, of course, makes sense to activate the TeslaCam since it only costs you a USB drive.
Elon Musk also said that Tesla will improve on its new dashcam feature with more Autopilot cameras and parking mode, which could eventually truly replace a regular dashcam.
In the meantime, let us know if you have good examples of the TeslaCam at work.