Tesla is launching its new Sentry Mode to ‘protect against break-ins and theft’ through a software update using its Autopilot camera.

Over the past few months, Tesla vehicles have been subject to a series of break-ins and owners have been trying to find solutions.

Last year, Tesla introduced its over-the-air dashcam feature using an Autopilot camera, but the system has many limitations, like only using the front-facing camera.

CEO Elon Musk has been talking about enabling the use of more Autopilot cameras and a parking mode.

Last month, Musk said that it would be coming soon and started referring to the new 360° dashcam surveillance feature as Tesla’s ‘Sentry Mode’.

Today, Tesla announced that it started pushing the feature to Model 3 and Model S and Model X will follow soon.

The automaker explains that the system detects if someone breaks a window and activates an “alarm”, which consists of blasting the music and increasing the brightness of the screen.

Previously, Musk said that Sentry Mode would blast Bach’s Toccata and Fugue, a famous organ piece often used in horror movies, and  “keep Summer safe”, which appears to be a reference to a scene in the popular animated show Rick and Morty where a vehicle’s AI goes on a killing spree in order to protect its occupant:

Tesla also announced that it is releasing ‘Dog Mode’ to keep your puppies safe and cool inside their cars.

They describe the Sentry Mode feature in a blog post:

Sentry Mode: Guarding Your Tesla

According to federal statistics, there was an estimated one motor vehicle theft or attempted theft every 40.8 seconds in the United States in 2017— and that doesn’t even include the vast number of car break-ins that happen nationwide. To further enhance the security of our vehicles and give our customers additional peace of mind, today we’re starting to roll out a new safeguard – Sentry Mode – to protect against break-ins and theft.

Sentry Mode adds a unique layer of protection to Tesla vehicles by continuously monitoring the environment around a car when it’s left unattended. When enabled, Sentry Mode enters a “Standby” state, like many home alarm systems, which uses the car’s external cameras to detect potential threats. If a minimal threat is detected, such as someone leaning on a car, Sentry Mode switches to an “Alert” state and displays a message on the touchscreen warning that its cameras are recording. If a more severe threat is detected, such as someone breaking a window, Sentry Mode switches to an “Alarm” state, which activates the car alarm, increases the brightness of the center display, and plays music at maximum volume from the car’s audio system.

If a car switches to “Alarm” state, owners will also receive an alert from their Tesla mobile app notifying them that an incident has occurred. They’ll be able to download a video recording of an incident (which begins 10 minutes prior to the time a threat was detected) by inserting a formatted USB drive into their car before they enable Sentry Mode.

Sentry Mode must be enabled each time a driver wants to use the feature by going to Controls > Safety & Security > Sentry Mode. The feature will begin rolling out today to U.S. Model 3 vehicles, followed by Model S and Model X vehicles that were built after August 2017.

While no alarm system can prevent against all vehicle thefts, break-ins and threats, we hope that with Sentry Mode and our other security features, your Tesla will be even more secure.


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