Elon Musk's long-promised and eagerly awaited "Sentry Mode" and "Dog Mode" security updates for the Tesla Model S and X are set to roll out sometime next week.
Expensive Tesla Model S and X remain favorite targets of car thieves and smash-and-grab artists. And the extensive use of keyless entry systems increases the vulnerability of cars being stolen more swiftly than ever before.
Sophisticated thieves can steal a Tesla Model S in seconds by cloning its key fob. In late 2018, a team of researchers at the KU Leuven University in Belgium revealed a technique thieves might use to defeat the encryption used in the wireless key fobs of Tesla's Model S luxury sedans.
Less than two seconds of computation using commercially available equipment uncovers the fob's cryptographic key, allowing thieves to steal the Tesla without a trace. The new Sentry Mode due out next week can help protect Tesla sedans from theft or acts of vandalism.
Musk yesterday tweeted, "Sentry Mode (and Dog Mode) roll out next week." He was responding to a tweet from a Model 3 owner who said his brother-in-law's Tesla was broken into twice over the past two months.
Musk, however, didn't state that the public won't receive both new modes next week. The first users will be members of Tesla's beta tester program.
Musk revealed that Sentry Mode will trigger loud, classical music when a Tesla detects a robbery taking place. Such a system intends to draw as much attention to the vehicle as possible, thereby discouraging would-be thieves and vandals.
It's speculated a Tesla will use the video feed from its array of cameras. This system is already being used in the built-in dashcam, which takes data from only one camera. For the new Sentry Mode, Tesla will use data from all of a car's eight video cams for a consistent, 360-degree view of the environment around it.
As its name implies, Dog Mode is about our canine friends and is a capability that makes Teslas even safer for pets. Dog Mode will essentially make the car's interior more comfortable for dogs and other animals inside. It might also include a message to passersby informing them the pet inside the car is safe. But, again, this is speculation.
But it appears Dog Mode will be an extension of Tesla's existing Cabin Overheat Protection feature that prevents temperatures inside a Tesla from exceeding predetermined threshold.
This article was first published in IBTimes US. Permission required for reproduction.