Tesla app update adds widgets, Powerwall features, hints at remote live view from Autopilot cameras

Tesla has released a new mobile app update with a few new small features, but it also shows that the automaker has made some progress toward delivering a remote live view from Autopilot cameras on your car.

The new update, v4.2, introduces new bigger widgets to iOS and some new Powerwall features

  • Improvements to larger iOS widget to include quick controls
  • Solar and Powerwall supports Tesla-maintained utility rate plans. Utility rate plans now support seasons, multiple peak periods, and buy & sell energy prices
  • Powerwall’s Time-Based Control mode supports the updated rate plans to more accurately use energy from Powerwall when power is expensive and charge from other sources when power is at its cheapest

But the most interesting part of the update is actually in the backend.

The code shows that Tesla is working on enabling a live camera view from your car’s Autopilot cameras through the mobile app:

Some of the code suggests that Tesla is working to give access to the feed from four cameras out of the eight cameras around the vehicle – one on each side:

The new feature would build on Tesla’s existing Sentry Mode system.

Sentry Mode is an integrated surveillance system inside Tesla’s vehicles using the Autopilot cameras around the car, and it 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 online pressure.

In other cases, video evidence helped police identify and find the vandals.

The feature 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.

TeslaCam helped several Tesla owners with insurance claims by proving that they weren’t at fault in some accidents captured by the integrated dashcam system.

In order to activate the TeslaCam and Sentry Mode features, owners have to plug a storage device, thumb drive, or SSD inside their Tesla and activate the features in the settings.

Originally, owners had to take that storage device and connect it to a computer in order to view the footage.

Last year, Tesla released a new in-car Sentry mode viewer — facilitating the review of the footage for owners.

After the live view, it is likely that owners will also eventually get to review Sentry Mode events from the app

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