Tesla is gradually releasing its new Sentry Mode feature to deter break-ins and we are learning new interesting details about the mode as it reaches more Model 3 owners.

As we reported last week, Tesla launched the new Sentry Mode to ‘protect against break-ins and theft’.

The system uses the Autopilot cameras to “detect potential threats” and it goes through different levels of alarms based on those detected “threats.”

We got a first look at what the system looks like when activated.

Now Tesla describes the Sentry Mode in a new warning when activating it:

“Sentry Mode allows your vehicle to be aware of its surroundings while parked by using its sensors, microphones, cameras, and computers. While active, Sentry Mode evaluates the risk of theft or vandalism, and records video, activates visual and auditory alarms, and sends you mobile notifications as necessary.”

Some Tesla owners were worried about the power used to operate the feature when the car is idle.

While Tesla doesn’t elaborate on the drain that Sentry Mode has on the battery pack, the automaker does note that there’s a minimal battery level required to activate the feature.

The company wrote in the same warning:

Note: Additional Battery power is consumed while Sentry Mode is active. To enable Sentry Mode battery level must be greater than 20%.

The storage of the footage if a threat was detected was also another concern of some owners.

Since the Teslacam footage is stored on a USB drive inside the car, some feared that a thief could also steal it.

In the note, Tesla states that it is temporarily backing footage to its network:

“Sentry Mode will send recorded footage to Tesla for temporary backup and feature improvement. You can enable or disable this collection any time via the DATA SHARING video clip setting in Controls > Settings > Safety & Security. Please refer to your Owner’s Manual for more information.”

The initiative should prevent footage to be lost if the USB drive is lost.

Tesla is slowly releasing the new Sentry Mode to its fleet. It may take a while before it propagates to the wider fleet.

CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla will release a new update to make it easier to activate the feature when parking.

Electrek’s Take

With a few upgrades, I think Sentry Mode could become a really useful feature and an impressive one to be pushed simply by over-the-air software update.

In the note, Tesla also wrote:

“Sentry Mode will play loud music when the alarm is triggered. Avoid leaving sentient beings in the vehicle when Sentry Mode is active.”

“Sentient beings.” What kind of automaker communicates like that? It’s hilarious.

Featured Image: First look at Tesla’s Sentry Mode with Space Odyssey AI Easter egg – by Redditor u/Spamium 

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