Tesla owners can feel less bad about leaving their pooch in their car.
On Wednesday, the carmaker rolled out “dog mode” through a software update, a feature which keeps the air-conditioning running and tells passersby that your pet is OK through the centre screen.
When in “dog mode,” the car’s centre screen will display the cabin temperature, as well as a message informing people that “my owner will be back soon.”
The idea comes from a Twitter user last year, who asked Elon Musk if he could implement the feature in future cars. It’s pretty neat, we have to say.
Here are Tesla’s instructions on how to enable “dog mode,” as per its release notes.
To enable Dog Mode, tap the fan icon at the bottom of the touchscreen when your car is parked. Set Keep Climate On to DOG, make adjustments within temperature limits, then leave knowing your pet will stay comfortable. Dog Mode will stay on after you leave your car. If you your battery reaches less than 20% charge, you will receive a notification on your mobile app.
It’s worth noting some jurisdictions have laws regarding leaving pets unattended in vehicles, so be wary of potentially breaking them.
Tesla has also rolled out a new security feature called “sentry mode.” When switched on, the car enters a standby mode, in which it continually monitors its nearby surroundings with external cameras.
If a minimal threat is discovered, like someone leaning on the car, it switches to an “alert mode.” That activates the centre screen, which shows a message warning that the car’s cameras are recording.
When something more serious occurs, like a broken window, the alarm activates, the centre screen goes brighter, and the car’s audio system plays at maximum volume.
Owners are notified through the Tesla mobile app, and a video recording can be obtained if a formatted USB drive is plugged in before sentry mode is activated.
You’ll need to enable the feature each time you want to use it by going to Controls > Safety & Security > Sentry Mode on your centre screen.
Again, very cool.