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Tesla releases new software update with bunch of new features

Tesla has started pushing a new software update with a bunch of interesting and highly requested new features, including enabling the use of the cabin-facing camera.

The automaker has started pushing a new 2020.24 software update to its fleet.

As of now, it seems to be limited to early access owners in North America, but it is also being pushed to other markets with the new driving visualizations with detections of objects like traffic lights and stop signs, which was previously released in the US.

Tesla needs to gradually adapt the feature to different markets with different road signage.

For example, the update is being pushed to China:

As you can see, it also includes other features that are brand new for all Tesla markets, like more backup camera angles.

Backup camera improvements

That’s one that has been highly requested by Tesla owners. They want Tesla to give access to more camera angles when using the backup camera and Tesla delivered with the new 2020.24 updates.

Tesla writes in the release notes:

You can now view video streams coming from your side repeater cameras for added visibility around the vehicle. When the backup camera is visible, simply swipe to display the repeater camera video feeds.

The “repeater cameras” are mounted on the sides of the cars and basically offer a view of the blind spots.

Dashcam Viewer improvements

Earlier this year, Tesla released a Dashcam Viewer feature to allow TeslaCam and Sentry Mode video viewing in the car.

Now Tesla is making some improvements to make the viewing experience easier:

To make Sentry Mode Videos easier to review, we have added a red dot along the video scrubber to indicate the moment when a Sentry Mode event was triggered. When playing a Sentry Mode video, the dashcam viewer will skip ahead and begin playback right before this point.

I also hear that Tesla is looking to even let you know more information about what this “event” is (to a degree, like object detection) ahead of viewing the video.

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.

Walk-away door lock improvements

That’s another owner-requested feature that Tesla is delivering. Now you can disable the auto-locking when walking away if you are home:

You now have the option to disable Walk-Away Door Lock when your vehicle is parked at Home, Tap controls > Locks and select ‘Exclude Home.’

Tesla vehicles can detect that your vehicle is home if you set it in the navigation system.

On-route battery warm-up

Tesla already automatically performs battery preconditioning if you set your destination to a Supercharger station, but it now can also do it for third-party chargers.

The automaker writes in the release notes:

Your vehicle will now precondition the battery when navigating to third party charging stations in addition to Superchargers. As usual, you can find a list of nearby third-party charging locations by tapping on the lightning bolt icon on the bottom of your touchscreen.

Preconditioning the battery pack enables Tesla vehicles to achieve a higher charge rate quicker and therefore, it should result in a shorter overall charging session at the station.

Tesla cabin camera

Finally, Tesla is now finally making use of the cabin camera in Model 3 and Model Y vehicles.

When Tesla launched the Model 3, it equipped the vehicle with a standard cabin-facing camera located in the rearview mirror.

It has been almost three years since Tesla brought the vehicle to production, and this camera, which is included in every Model 3, has remained dormant.

CEO Elon Musk said that it will be used to prevent people from vandalizing cars when they are being driven automatically on Tesla’s upcoming self-driving robotaxi network.

But now it sounds like they want to start using now to gather data on a voluntary basis.

Tesla wrote in the release notes of the new 2020.24 software update:

Help Tesla continue to develop safer vehicles by sharing camera data from your vehicle. This update will allow you to enable the built-in cabin camera above the rearview mirror. If enabled, Tesla will automatically capture images and a short video clip just prior to a collision or safety event to help engineers develop safety features and enhancements in the future. As usual, you can adjust your data sharing preferences by tapping Controls > Safety &Security > DATA Sharing > Camera Analytics.

Tesla says that the images captured by the cabin-facing camera “will not be associated” with the driver “to protect your privacy.”

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