It could literally save your pet's life.
It's summer and, for most pet owners, this means taking extra precautions if leaving your pooch in the car - even for brief periods of time. Ideally, pets should never be left alone in a car, but the recent death of a dog that was left in a hot car in Salt Lake City underlines that many owners are still unforgivably negligent in this regard. Modern vehicle technology has made it easier to protect your pet, though. A few years ago, Tesla introduced a new Dog Mode for cars like the Model X and Model S that keeps animals comfortable if left unattended in a car. Another EV automaker, Rivian, has now introduced its own version called Pet Comfort in response to high demand.
Available for both the R1T pickup and R1S SUV, Pet Comfort became available following a new software update from Rivian. As long as the vehicle has at least 50 miles of range left, Pet Comfort can be activated and users can set a temperature of between 68 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit that will be maintained while owners are away. The large center display will show a Gear Guard character and a message to let any concerned passersby know that the pets in the vehicle are comfortable. The center screen will also display the cabin temperature.
When Pet Comfort is activated, the cabin movement sensor is disabled, as are any other over-the-air updates. But what if the feature deactivates for any reason such as the range dropping too low? In this scenario, owners will receive notifications via the Rivian mobile app. Rivian says the feature will run until the battery is completely depleted.
Pet Comfort is just one feature that makes the Rivian R1T one of the most versatile pickups you can buy. Now that Rivian's production numbers have risen significantly, it's going to be interesting to see it do battle with the Ford F-150 Lightning on the sales charts for the rest of the year.