Elon Musk Reveals Release Date for Two New Tesla Software Features

They'll keep your car and dog safe.

Elon Musk announced on Thursday that Tesla drivers will soon enjoy access to two long-awaited features. Both the robbery-detecting “Sentry Mode” as well as “Dog Mode,” a special mode that allows you to leave your dog safely unattended for longer periods, will ship to all of the company’s electric cars before February is over.

The Tesla CEO tweeted that the capabilities will “roll out next week,” in response to a plea from a customer who had their EV broken into twice in two months. This means an update with the security and canine-friendly modes can be expected as early as February 11. And they’ll likely come with their own treasure trove of hidden menus and features.

Sentry Mode and Dog Mode join an array of Easter eggs hidden in Tesla cars’ touchscreen control panel. Musk has added multiple retro Atari games and a sketchpad app. He also has plans to add a more sensual “Romance Mode” before Teslas become capable of autonomous driving.

Here’s what to expect from the upcoming additions to that roster.

Tesla Sentry Mode

Few details have been revealed about exactly how Sentry Mode will work, but it could leverage a previous software release to function. Tesla’s dashcam feature launched in September 2018 along with Version 9.0 update. Users could activate their car’s forward-facing camera to capture a short video and then save them in a USB flash drive. This was meant to be able to allow drivers to be able to record incidents on the road, but it’s not a stretch to see how it could be adapted into a kind of surveillance tool.

Musk suggested that the feature could capture 360-degree footage of the area surrounding the car. He even jokingly said that it could “keep Summer safe,” a reference to science fiction cartoon Rick and Morty where a car attacks anyone one that comes near it.

Sentry Mode won’t be as savage as the car security system in Rick and Morty, but it should hopefully deter break-ins.

What Will Dog Mode Do?

Musk actually didn’t come up with this particular feature, it was suggested by Tesla owner Josh Atchley on Twitter and the CEO gave it the green light. Based on the original tweet, the feature should play music, turn on the air conditioning, and display a message on the car’s central display that the dog’s owner will be back soon.

A 2018 report from animal welfare organization RSPCA stated that 64,443 animals suffered from heat exposure in England and Wales alone, a majority of which happened in cars. Dog Mode will make it easier for Tesla owners to avoid contributing to that statistic.

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