A Tesla Model 3 that was the victim of a hit and run while it was parked wound up being the star witness in its own case. Geoffery Fowler recently shared his story in the Washington Post. It’s a nightmare — you are busy shopping, working, or out and about and come to your parked car only to find that someone has damaged it. This happened to Fowler a couple of weeks ago.
He shared his story and pointed out that his car, a Tesla Model 3, had eight cameras pointing in every direction and it caught the culprit. The culprit, surprisingly, was a swerving city bus. “I love that my car recorded a hit-and-run on my behalf,” writes Fowler, “yet I’m scared we’re not ready for the way cameras pointed inside and outside vehicles will change the open road — just like the cameras we’re adding to doorbells are changing our neighborhoods.” He points out the dark side of this tech. Governments, companies, and parents could use this type of video as a form of control — not just evidence in a case. He writes about how it could change teenage romance and end the idea that cars are a private space where you can safely unwind and relax.
“But it’s not just the bad guys my car records. I’ve got clips of countless people’s behinds schooching by in tight parking lots,” Fowler says in his article. Tesla’s Sentry Mode activates any time something approaches the car, including his family. His concern is who can access all the video footage. Nonetheless, Fowler was happy to turn over the video files to the police. Also, many people don’t like the idea of being monitored 24/7, but this doesn’t stop them from going to Starbucks.
The good thing in Fowler’s case was that the city knew the bus had hit his car — the bus also had its own cameras. However, without Sentry Mode, he wouldn’t have known. My questions are these: Would the city have compensated the damages if Fowler didn’t have Sentry Mode? Even if they had evidence of their wrongdoing, would they have admitted if Fowler didn’t have proof?
My Thoughts On The Idea Of Cameras Everywhere
I remember my first job vividly. I worked in a casino. If you have never been to a casino, then let me advise you on something: cameras. Casinos have cameras everywhere — even in the dining areas and hallways. These cameras record everything. I had someone in security show me the zoom — they can zoom down to the carpet fibers and you can see the detail of the carpet patterns clearly. Casinos are a little special, but all places are getting more like that. We are always being watched. Almost all businesses have security cameras. Many governments have CCTV cameras that monitor the streets. Working at the casino gave me a perspective that many don’t have — the idea that we are being watched constantly. I got used to it pretty quickly, so it really doesn’t bother me. However, I am just one person and this idea of being watched could freak out others.
However, until people stop vandalizing things, hitting parked vehicles and then driving off, or doing things to harm others and their property, tools like Sentry Mode and other forms of monitoring are needed. I’d say to just delete the clips of random butts and be aware that in this age of technology, cameras are everywhere. If you’re not doing anything to harm someone, don’t worry about the cameras.
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