Tesla's Sentry Mode camera-based security system and the TeslaCam standard built-in dashcam are fantastic features for many reasons. We've shared a multitude of videos with you showing these features exposing who's at fault in accidents, as well as identifying criminal activities.
Let's face it, a Tesla car is like a moving surveillance system, and it's basically unmarked. Sure, if people know the Tesla has the technology, they might think twice about their behavior if a Tesla vehicle is nearby. However, Teslas parked all over the world are recording footage, and some could be highly confidential.
This topic came up as news broke that China's military has banned Tesla vehicles from bases. Think about it, Tesla could send cars in anywhere as spies. Once Tesla Full Self-Driving and Summon Mode become more advanced, the use of these cars in critical surveillance could grow.
Clearly, Tesla and CEO Elon Musk thought about this when they first released these camera-based features. In a virtual discussion on a major Chinese forum, Musk addressed the issue. He explained:
"There's a very strong incentive for us to be very confidential with any information. If Tesla used cars to spy in China or anywhere, we will get shut down."
Reportedly, Reuters learned from sources that the Chinese military had banned Tesla's vehicles due to concerns about the cameras. This all happened as U.S. and Chinese diplomats were meeting in Alaska. Musk made it clear he hopes for more trust between the U.S. and China.
We often encourage other automakers to adopt features like Sentry Mode and TeslaCam. We've also pointed out that safety organizations could suggest or eventually even require such useful features. However, this developing story suggests that perhaps there's a reason other companies haven't gone down this road.
Will Tesla's standard camera-based systems come under more scrutiny? Will governments put a limit on such features? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.