May we suggest Rivian McRivianface?
Rivian has announced a new over-the-air (OTA) software update that will enable the Gear Guard security camera system to record and save videos while the car is on the move. Previously, Gear Guard only looked after the vehicle while the driver was away, but now it effectively turns the R1T electric pickup truck and the R1S electric SUV into 7,000-pound dash cams.
Once the OTA update is completed, Rivian owners can open the Gear Guard menu, where they'll see four options: Incidents, Motion Cam, Alarm, and the new Drive Cam.
Drive Cam and Incidents work together, using the onboard cameras to record video of everything the car sees while moving. Drive Cam will record an entire journey if you want, which is nice if you want to show off an off-road excursion. Incidents will record only in certain circumstances, like hard braking or, in a worst-case scenario, a crash.
The way these features record is different, too. Drive Cam records directly to an external drive connected via one of the USB-C sockets. You can record until the drive is full, but a nifty feature allows you to film short highlights too. If something interesting happens, tap a "Save Clip" button, and Gear Guard will record a two-minute video. You can watch this clip on the center display (when stationary) or download it to watch on another device.
The Incidents feature doesn't require an external device because it continuously records and deletes footage. It doesn't need human interference because it uses the car's dynamic sensors to trigger a recording. For example, activating the ABS when braking hard to avoid a collision will trigger a recording. In this case, it will record 15 seconds before the incident and another one minute and 45 seconds post-incident.
These videos are saved directly to the car's onboard hard drive.
Rivian is also using this opportunity to make some minor software tweaks as part of the upgrade package. Live Chat 24 is now available 24/7 via the mobile app, and you can use other apps while it's open.
The Charge Limit Slider will let the owner set the maximum charge value so they don't pay for more electricity than they need. If your week's commute can be done with 70% battery, that's as high as the battery will charge. Owners can now also schedule the time of the charge and the amperage. These new battery features will likely extend the vehicle's battery life.
Rivian claims the Driver + cameras can operate under a wider range of conditions, even when it's raining or there are smudges on the windshield. A new Service Mode can be activated by the people working on your car, blocking certain actions from the mobile app. The technicians don't need you to mess with the climate control while they're busy working on the car, for example.
Finally, you can now give your vehicle an official name. While you probably already have a name for your electric truck (Sparky, perhaps), Rivian now allows customers to use up to 32 characters to officially name the car via the center screen or mobile app. You can even use emojis, though we wouldn't recommend it. The previously mentioned service technicians will likely judge you for naming your car Sparky McSparkles with a unicorn emoji.
Since Rivian chose such boring names for its models, you might as well lean into the latter feature. We'd paint a Rivian in Red Canyon and call it Persephone. Some websites suggest "Firestarter" is a good name for an adventure SUV, but we'd avoid it for obvious reasons, even though the myth of EV fires has been greatly exaggerated.
This latest upgrade comes less than two months after Rivian made the last batch of OTA improvements. Unfortunately, Rivian continues to argue against offering Apple CarPlay.
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