Tesla gets in trouble for using HAL 9000 for Sentry Mode, switching to Portal turret

Tesla apparently got in trouble for using imagery representing HAL 9000 from the movie ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ for Sentry Mode so it is switching to something that now seems inspired by a turret from the video game Portal.

Sentry Mode is an integrated surveillance system inside Tesla’s vehicles using the Autopilot cameras around the car.

The feature was released in early 2019 and it was built on top of “TeslaCam,” a previously released integrated dashcam system with similar capability as Sentry mode, but used when someone is inside the car.

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

When activated, it displayed a red dot on the Tesla’s large center touchscreen:

The image clearly appears to be inspired by HAL 9000, a fictional AI character in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Here’s a screenshot from the movie:

Now Tesla hacker green, who had access to an upcoming Tesla update in the early access program, reported on Twitter that MGM, who owns the rights to 2001: A Space Odyssey, has issued a copyright claim against Tesla forcing them to stop using the image.

He wrote on Twitter:

“MGM has spoken and HAL9000 is forbidden (those pesky IP rights). There are new sentry mode icon and the full screen image.”

The hacker shared the new image that Tesla is going to be using for Sentry Mode:

Several people have been commenting on the resemblance with the turret from the popular Steam video game Portal:

Tesla has been using a lot of movie and video game references as Easter eggs in its vehicles.

With Sentry Mode, it wasn’t only using imagery from 2001: A Space Odyssey and now apparently Portal, but in order to deter robbers and vandals, it is also blasting Bach’s Toccata and Fugue, a famous organ piece often used in horror movies, and “keep Summer safe”, which is the audio of 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’s Sentry Mode has been changing the game when it comes to vandalizing parked cars.

On several occasions, Sentry Mode videos went viral, and the vandals turned themselves in after the online pressure.

In other cases, it helped police with video evidence to help them identify and find the vandals.

And for fun, here are the 10 craziest Tesla Sentry Mode/TeslaCam videos of last year.

In order for TeslaCam and Sentry Mode to work on a Tesla, you need a few accessories. We recommend Jeda’s Model 3 USB hub (now also available for Model Y) to be able to still use the other plugs and hide your Sentry Mode drive. For the drive, I’m now using a Samsung portable SSD, which you need to format, but it gives you a ton of capacity, and it can be easily hidden in the Jeda hub.

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Tesla is a transportation and energy company. It sells vehicles under its 'Tesla Motors' division and stationary battery pack for home, commercial and utility-scale projects under its 'Tesla Energy' division.

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