With the latest over-the-air update, Tesla has rolled out a couple of very useful features, some we're surprised took automakers until 2019 to develop.
These features use the various existing sensors and cameras in Tesla cars to offer new safety and convenience options that owners should find pretty useful.
The first is Dog Mode: This feature uses automatic sensors to maintain a comfortable temperature for pets inside the vehicle when you have to run errands, such as inside a grocery store, while also displaying a message in giant letters to passers-by who might become concerned for pets left in the car.
The message will tell anyone looking inside the car that the owner will return soon and display interior temperature. This feature can be activated via the climate control menu, simply by pressing a button labeled "Dog" within the Keep Climate On option.
Back in 2016, Tesla already offered a Cabin Overheat Protection feature -- a more basic version of automatic climate control for when the car is turned off. Dog Mode is the upgrade, offering more user-adjustable settings.
Of course, this system is not a replacement for common sense or local laws, especially when it comes to leaving children in the car.
The second feature is Sentry Mode: This will activate exterior cameras if it detects people near the vehicle and will display a message on the central screen notifying anyone who might be looking inside the vehicle that the car is using cameras to record them.
In case someone actually breaks a window, the alarm will activate, and the car will also blare music at the maximum volume setting. Drivers will need to manually activate Sentry mode each time before leaving the car and plug in a USB drive on to which the car will upload the video.
We have a feeling we know which one of these two updates will be more useful on a daily basis for those who own pets -- and frankly just about all major automakers could benefit from a Dog Mode.