No, it's not a built-in flame thrower.
Over the past couple of years, there have been a series of unfortunate incidents involving people deliberately damaging parked Teslas. These are acts of vandalism, plain and simple. Tesla CEO Elon Musk was soon made aware of these troubling occurrences and Sentry Mode was soon born.
This system, designed to protect against vehicle break-ins and theft, utilizes Tesla's external cameras to continuously monitor the environment around the car when it's left unattended. If it detects a threat, like someone leaning up against the car, the cameras will automatically begin recording. That vandal will be caught red-handed. And now we're hearing Sentry Mode will soon receive a very useful upgrade: intruder alert.
The idea came during the latest Tesla Owners Online Podcast by Tesla Raj, a Tesla owner and YouTuber. Elon Musk must have been watching because he replied on Twitter with a one-word confirmation: "Ok".
At a so-far unannounced date, Sentry Mode will receive an over-the-air software update that will allow the in-cabin camera in the Tesla Model 3 to also function as an interior monitor. There's already a very small camera above the rearview mirror. The update will enable it to record video and audio if the system detects a break-in. But why was this tiny camera there in the first place? What does it already do? Not much at the moment, but Tesla originally installed it for when it begins competing against Uber and Lyft with its shared autonomy fleet.
Uber and Lyft drivers already outfit their vehicles with a camera that can monitor what's happening in the rear seat as a way to protect themselves in case anything bad happens. The only problem is those cameras can easily be detached and stolen. Tesla's solution was to integrate a small camera above the rearview mirror that's not so easy to quickly rip out, if it's even noticed at all.
Combined with Sentry Mode monitoring the car's exterior, this upcoming added layer of security will cause thieves and anyone with bad intentions to think twice.