Tesla electric vehicles will now have a special mode that keeps your beloved pooches safe and cool in those times when there is no other option but to leave them with the car – yes, it’s called Dog Mode.
While owners of archaic internal combustion engine vehicles resort to measures like leaving the boot open with Rex lovingly leashed to back seat, or under the shade with windows open, drivers of Tesla electric cars will instead now be able to keep the car locked and secure, with the air con on and an illuminated sign on the dash tablet that says, “My owner will be back soon”.
The dash also displays the temperature inside the cabin so that passers by can be assured that the captive pooch is comfortable – it is understood by The Driven that the mode will also work for cats, bunnies and even budgies.
(Ed: This is useful. We heard recently of a BMW EV owner who only just intervened in time before police broke open his car windows to “save” the pet dog. He now has a hand-written sign sticky-taped to the window).
But what if the battery runs out? Never fear, if the battery drops below 20%, a notification is sent to the Tesla owner’s mobile app (so best not to stray too far, but we’re sure responsible dog owners would never do that anyway!).
The new feature is going to be rolled out slowly to ensure there are no situations that the carmaker may have overlooked, and then it will be available starting from next week, CEO and founder Musk said.
It will start out slow to make sure there are no corner case issues and then, if that looks good, speed up next week. We def need to add a “Request Latest Update” feature!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 14, 2019
It’s already been pointed out that the font may need to be bigger, which Musk immediately took on board.
Dog Mode is just one of many features that the EV pioneer has introduced into its’ proprietary software.
Musk also pointed out yesterday, a feature called Cabin Overheat Protection has been available for a while that comes on when the cabin becomes too hot; according to testers of the feature it pulls about 1km of range per hour that it is in action (although we think the default cutoff temperature of 40 degrees centigrade may be a little to high for our liking).
This is in addition to existing Cabin Overheat Protection, which come on automatically at high temps to ensure any babies or pets in the car are safe
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 14, 2019
In addition to the release of Dog Mode, Tesla are also introducing a new “Sentry Mode”, the carmaker announced yesterday.
As the carmaker stated on its website blog:
“Sentry Mode adds a unique layer of protection to Tesla vehicles by continuously monitoring the environment around a car when it’s left unattended. When enabled, Sentry Mode enters a “Standby” state, like many home alarm systems, which uses the car’s external cameras to detect potential threats.
If a minimal threat is detected, such as someone leaning on a car, Sentry Mode switches to an “Alert” state and displays a message on the touchscreen warning that its cameras are recording.
If a more severe threat is detected, such as someone breaking a window, Sentry Mode switches to an “Alarm” state, which activates the car alarm, increases the brightness of the center display, and plays music at maximum volume from the car’s audio system.”
In addition to playing very loud music (we assume the driver can choose – Metallica anyone?), the “Alarm” state will also alert the owner via the Tesla smartphone app, and the owner will be able to download a video of the incident via USB starting from 10 minutes prior to the incident.
We have to say we love Tesla’s various modes (otherwise known as “easter eggs” because they are often hidden surprises) – although one is, shall we say, a little on the nose.
Other wise known as “Emissions Testing Mode”, Tesla’s fart mode was released just before Christmas 2018 and bascially, well, does what it says (warning, may be NSFW!).
Far kinder to the senses and released at the same time is “Romance Mode”, which allows the driver to park and light up a romantic wood fire video, complete with crackling noises and even should you like, a little Barry White.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.