Tesla has launched one of the most anticipated features lately, Sentry Mode Live Camera Access, as part of update 2021.36.8 that has started to roll out on October 27.
As its name suggests, this feature enables Tesla owners to remotely view their vehicles’ cameras when Sentry Mode is activated. This could prove useful when an owner gets an alert from Sentry Mode and wants to check the car's surroundings for any dangers before heading over to the vehicle. Here’s what Tesla's release notes say.
“You can now remotely view your car's surroundings when parked to confirm the safety of your environment before returning to your car. Live Camera is end-to-end encrypted and cannot be accessed by Tesla. To enable or disable, tap Controls > Safety & Security.
Note: This feature requires iOS mobile app version 4.2.1 or higher, and Premium Connectivity.”
So what do we learn from this? First of all, that Sentry Mode Live Camera Access requires Tesla’s Premium Connectivity package, which costs $10 a month per car in the United States. The car also needs to have HW 2.5 or higher and MCU 2. Another takeaway is the fact that the Sentry Mode Live video stream is end-to-end encrypted and cannot be accessed by Tesla.
To view Sentry Mode Live, users need to have the latest Tesla mobile app installed—version 4.2.1 on iOS available in the App Store. It’s not clear when the latest version of the app will become available to Android users.
Tesla doesn’t mention limits on video streaming length, but according to leaks in the Tesla app seen by NotaTeslaApp, there will be daily limitations in the future.
Besides Sentry Mode Live, Tesla is likely to introduce additional features related to remote camera viewing in future updates. According to the same leaks, owners will be able to view previously recorded Sentry Mode and Dashcam clips on their phones, and even save videos viewed through Sentry Mode Live.
In addition, on Tesla vehicles equipped with a Pedestrian Warning System, owners will be able to talk through the car’s outside speaker using their mobile phones. Actually, this feature has been confirmed by Elon Musk on Twitter earlier today, although it's not clear whether it's already functional or it will be in the future.