Tesla is right at the forefront of technology when it comes to cars, and its latest Sentry and Dog modes for the Model 3, plus higher end Model S and falcon-winged Model X aim to increase that reputation further.
Sentry mode essentially adds a more powerful deterrent to any attempts at vandalism or car theft. When enabled, and the Tesla in question is left unattended it enters a standby mode using the external cameras to detect nearby motion.
If - for instance - someone unwittingly leans against the car, it switches up to the equivalent of Star Trek's yellow alert (actually called "Alert" state). In this mode, it displays a message on the large internal touchscreen to let the person know that the external cameras are recording.
Red alert or "Alarm" state is triggered when a more severe threat is detected. For instance, if someone breaks a window or tries to force their way into the car.
In this mode, the touchscreen gets much brighter, the car alarm sounds and it plays music at maximum volume, drawing as much attention to the scene as possible, and hopefully frightening away the perpetrator.
From the owner side, an alert pushes to the smartphone app informing of an incident whenever the car goes into "Alarm" state, with the ability to download a video of the recorded incident.
Introducing Dog Mode: set a cabin temperature to keep your dog comfortable while letting passersby know they don't need to worry pic.twitter.com/xFU6MGZT53— Tesla (@Tesla) February 14, 2019
In its latest bundle of updates, there's also added protection for your furry friends.When Dog mode is enabled, a dog-friendly cabin temperature is set, allowing you to leave your car without worrying that your companions inside are too hot or too cold.
Utilising the touchscreen again - just in case a concerned passerby notices your pets inside - a message is displayed informing any casual onlookers that the cabin is at a comfy temperature.
It's worth noting that both of these modes need to be activated manually each time you want to use them. Sentry Mode is easy to set, simply by going Controls > Safety & Security > Sentry Mode. Dog Mode similarly is a dedicated mode within the cabin settings menu.
To begin with, the new modes are rolling out on US Model 3 cars. Following those, any Model S or Model X made after August 2017 will get the updates.