Tesla’s Model 3 is to receive a Dog Mode software update allowing owners to leave their canine companions safely in their vehicles.
The feature was announced by Tesla chief executive Elon Musk in November via Twitter, when Model 3 owner Josh Atchley asked him via the social media platform: “Can you put a dog mode on the Tesla Model 3. Where the music plays and the ac [air-conditioning] is on, with a display on screen saying ‘I’m fine my owner will be right back’?”
Musk simply responded at the time with ‘Yes’ before announcing this week that the feature would make its way to cars via an over-the-air software update.
The vehicle already has a system called ‘cabin overheat protection’, which detects occupants in the vehicle and prevents the interior from reaching unsafe temperatures. Dog Mode is expected to be an extension of that, and although Tesla hasn’t announced the feature in detail, it’s likely to include some means of displaying a message to passers-by that the vehicle is a safe temperature and the furry occupants are well.
Dogs overheating in cars can be a major issue, especially in areas of the USA where temperatures are far hotter than they are in the UK. A vehicle parked in direct sunlight can see its interior temperature climb past 60 degrees Centigrade in extreme cases.
Musk also announced that rolling out with Dog Mode will be Sentry Mode – a theft and vandalism prevention system that uses the vehicle’s external cameras to record incidents.
The CEO said the vehicles would be able to detect a break-in or vandalism, record it, and even blast out music to deter the assailant.
“Tesla Sentry Mode will play Bach’s Toccata and Fugue during a robbery (and keep Summer safe)”, he tweeted, the latter part a reference to the cartoon Rick and Morty.
Sentry Mode will be available on all Tesla vehicles with Enhanced Autopilot – the most sophisticated version of the company’s semi-autonomous driving aids.