Tesla vehicle cameras can now be used to live stream its surroundings

jsilva

Posts: 233   +1
Staff
In brief: Tesla's new software update introduced a remote sentry mode that allows you to see your car's surroundings thanks to the multiple cameras installed around the vehicle. Although useful, not everyone will be able to try it, as only Tesla premium connectivity subscribers can benefit from the new feature.

Tesla's sentry mode has been around for over two years, informing owners about possible threats to their cars. Now, the system is receiving the 2021.36.8 software update, which includes a new option called "Sentry Mode Live Camera Access." With this new feature, Tesla owners can use their vehicle's cameras to see what's happening nearby through Tesla's mobile app. Moreover, it will also allow you to talk through the speaker, as stated by Elon Musk.

To enable or disable the "Sentry Mode Live Camera Access," open the app, go to the "Controls" panel, and select "Safety & Security." You'll require an active premium connectivity subscription (priced at $10/month) to use the new feature. For now, it only works on the iOS app. It's unclear if the Android app will receive it.

"You can now remotely view your car's surroundings when parked to confirm the safety of your environment before returning to your car," reads the description of the new feature. "Live Camera is end-to-end encrypted and cannot be accessed by Tesla."

If you buy a new Tesla, you should also be able to try the new feature, as all new cars include a free period of premium connectivity. However, it's worth mentioning that while owners of new Model 3 and Model Y vehicles get a 30-day trial period, new Model S and Model X cars come with a one-year trial period. If you've purchased your car privately, regardless of which model, you'll still get a 30-day premium connectivity trial, but only if it doesn't have an active subscription already.

Other features that come with Tesla's premium connectivity subscription include satellite-view maps with live traffic visualization, in-car music and video streaming, Tesla Caraoke, internet browser, and OTA software updates through Wi-Fi and cellular.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 1,305   +2,554
If you could just access the hardware I bet you could do it with just a rasberry pie hidden inside a tumbler mug or something. But of course you probably don't get any access to your car if Musk doesn't sanctions it because well now they get to normalize subscriptions for your cars.

So more f*cking bills to pay, always more bills.
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 567   +913
Separately, the car's external speaker lets you choose what sound you want it to make when you honk the horn or are driving up to 19 miles an hour. You can upload your own sounds, but honking includes things like farting, a goat screaming, the Toss a Coin song, and La Cucaracha song. While driving you can play your current music, coconuts clacking (like a horse galloping), rainforest sounds and generic music.
 

elementalSG

Posts: 218   +360
I can't wait for a TV show (like Brooklyn 99) to use the feature where you can talk through the speaker while viewing the surroundings.

"Halt! I see you are stealing my car through my iPhone! Cease and desist now! Or I will...physically walk over to my car and stop you!"
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 567   +913
Violation of privacy much?
Maybe in Europe or China that would be a government concern. Otherwise considering your car is your property, I don't think it's an issue. You can already use the cameras as a dashcam, and dashcams would share any same privacy concerns except being accessed remotely. And regarding nefarious actors having access to the camera, there's this:
Live Camera is end-to-end encrypted and cannot be accessed by Tesla.
There's one real potential risk, which is some owners choose to hand over an API key to third party apps to use those services based on their Tesla's data. For instance, TeslaFi lets you log data or TezLab which is an alternative to the Tesla app but giving you analytics. I wonder if Tesla will do anything different on the technical side with the Live Camera. Perhaps additional authentication?
 

brucek

Posts: 939   +1,359
If "premium connectivity" is paying for the actual wireless connectivity, I get it. If it's just an extra charge to use hardware you already bought, I'd be offended.

Assuming the car is parked on a public street, I'm not sure how much expectation of privacy there ever was in the legal sense. Although in a practical real sense a random passerby having the same view for a couple seconds as they went about their day is ultimately something very different from the whole world having perpetual access via indexed search criteria , which is something laws and expectations are going to have to catch up to at some point.