A Tesla driver was recently the victim of a hit and run, but thanks to the integrated TelsaCam camera system and some help from the Maryland State Police, the owner was able to find the culprit.
As if we needed more evidence that humans are bad at navigating merging traffic lanes, a Tesla owner posted footage from the onboard camera system on Reddit that clearly shows the driver of a Ford Fusion clipping the mirror in a merge. The footage shows what appears to be a normal highway merge situation, but after a few seconds, the driver of the Ford Fusion inexplicably speeds back up and blasts past the Tesla, taking the mirror off of the Tesla in the process.
To enable the use of the TeslaCam onboard camera system, an owner simply has to insert a USB drive that has been formatted according to Tesla’s specifications and it is off to the races. The car will automagically begin recording all driving activities and will save the last minute of driving to the USB drive by default. In the event that a specific incident should be saved to the drive, the owner simply needs to tap on the camera icon on the screen to save the last minute of footage to the drive.
The incident highlights the utility of not just the one camera up front, but the array of cameras Tesla gives owners access to in their vehicles. It is a brilliant repurposing of cameras that were added to the vehicle, not for security, but to enable Tesla’s Autopilot and, eventually, Full Self-Driving capabilities.
Tesla currently gives owners access to footage from three of the vehicle’s onboard cameras and has since added a stationary security mode called Sentry Mode that actively monitors the surroundings of the vehicles for threats. If a threat is detected while in Sentry Mode, the vehicle automatically records footage from the front and two side cameras to the USB drive. In the event that the vehicle is damaged or the threat is escalated, the vehicle turns the screen white to light up the interior, sets off the alarm, and blasts classical music as a deterrent.
If you are in the market for a Tesla, find someone locally that you know (like, in real life) and use their referral code. If you don’t know anyone with a Tesla, go find someone at your local Supercharger and try not to be a creep and ask them for their referral code (they won’t mind). If that doesn’t work, ask a co-worker or a distant relative, post on Facebook or Twitter, or just hit up Google. If all that fails and it’s an odd numbered day and not too sunny out, you can use my Tesla referral link to get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging, I guess.
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