Tesla’s New Model 3 Sentry Mode Explained


The Tesla Model 3 is considered on the best buys for the money by CNET and Consumer Reports, due largely to the increased and improved field of vision that it boasts. Tesla recently unveiled a new bell-and-whistle feature for the Tesla 3- Sentry Mode. Let’s look into some of the improvements that Sentry Mode imparts to you and your family.

Tesla’s New Model 3 Sentry Mode sounds complex, but it’s actually fairly simple to use. Owners will have to turn on Sentry Mode manually, though it is straightforward when following the provided manual. Battery charge below 20% automatically powers down Sentry Mode to save on mileage and other functions.

Still, Sentry Mode is a great way to deter and thwart would-be car thieves. They’ll likely not mess with another Tesla 3 after seeing its Sentry Mode, your Tesla’s digital guardian, in action. If you’re interested in a full explanation of Tesla’s new Model 3 Sentry Mode, keep reading.

What is Tesla’s New Model 3 Sentry Mode?

According to Tesla, Sentry Mode is a feature that leaves a virtual watchdog over your car. This can alert you to break-ins, tampering, and grand theft auto.

By allowing you the peace of mind to be able to check in on your car periodically, you won’t have to sweat vandals and thieves going unpunished.

When suspicious characters or any other threat comes within the Sentry Mode’s range, it begins recording nearby activity while also notifying the owner of a potential problem.

Here are some of the features the new sentry system comes equipped with:

  • Automatic recording of suspicious activity: Say someone sidles up to your Model 3, takes out a long tool, and tries to jimmy open a door. They will immediately be met with the unblinking eyes of Tesla’s camera array. This makes them much easier to apprehend by the authorities.
  • Alarms go off when cameras are recording: Not only do a battery of cameras capture would-be carjackers, a series of alarms notifies those nearby of the break-in attempt. This is hugely helpful in dissuading theft.
  • You’ll receive a notification of the threat: Through your Tesla app, a message will be sent notifying you of a potential problem or if the Sentry System powers off due to low battery (less than 20%)

Again, keep in mind that Dog and Sentry modes cannot be active simultaneously and that Sentry Mode doesn’t protect against all threats to your vehicle. Sentry mode also requires a properly installed dashcam, so be sure to follow the provided instructions carefully during its installation.

Tesla’s Sentry System also has other safety functionalities that can be utilized depending on the driver’s needs:

  • Cabin Camera: Both Models 3 and Y have cabin cameras that can be set up to provide an interior view of the vehicle. Short clips will be shared with Tesla during accidents and other potentially hazardous situations. Cabin Camera images are not associated with any VIN or the occupants’ personally identifiable information. Data sharing can also be turned off to help alleviate such concerns as well.
  • Security Alarms: Opening a door or hatch will trigger the light-and-sound alarms that Tesla’s employ to dissuade would-be thieves- highjackers and other vagabonds. Arming this system can be done via touchscreen, and disarming a Model 3 can be done either by app or by pressing the key card to a lock.
  • PIN to Start: This innovation lets you replace the standard car key with a 4-digit pin that must be entered before the Model 3 can be driven. This can be deactivated, and support for lost or forgotten PINs are available. When active, it reduces theft and joyride risk significantly.
  • Intrusion Sensors: The Model 3 has a series of intrusion sensors that alert the owner of unauthorized or criminal entry into the vehicle, which Models S and X lack. The added security is a big selling point for many Tesla buyers, who value themselves and their loved ones getting around in one piece.
  • Requires Manual Entry: While all other Teslas unlock when your key fob is within a close enough distance, only the Model 3 requires a Bluetooth signal from your phone to automatically unlock its doors.

Frequently Asked Sentry Mode Questions

Even though Sentry Mode is fairly straightforward to use, and the ideals behind it are simple, there are still a few common questions revolving around Tesla’s Model 3 Sentry Mode. Up next we’ll answer a few of the most pressing questions.

What are the Common Safety Concerns with Sentry Mode?

  • Are cabin cameras always on? No, Cabin Cameras are only activated in the event of a collision or hard braking procedure. They are not programmed to collect personal data on any drivers or passengers- not even VINs.
  • Are pictures associated with my identity? As stated above, Tesla’s Cabin Cameras do not intentionally collect biometric data. As such, Tesla has no motive to sell or otherwise compromise drivers’ personal information.
  • Will I have access to photos collected in this way? No, these files are obtained by and legal property of Tesla Inc., though VINs and other identifiable information is not stored or used in any way, Tesla assures its customer base.
  • What are any images used for? Any videos or images collected by the Cabin Cameras are used solely to improve driver and passenger safety, so you can rest assured they won’t be used for any immoral or unethical data collection.
  • Which vehicles have Cabin Cameras in them? Both the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y can be equipped with safety-promoting Cabin Cameras for those who want an added layer of security for their luxury vehicle. These can be turned on or off manually as well to ass to your peace of mind.

Barring some salacious expose, Tesla appears to be highly committed to ensuring the safety of its customers’ private, identifiable information.

Can You Use Sentry Mode Without a USB?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to use Sentry Mode unless you have a USB drive.  Without a USB drive to store the video and picture data, you basically have an expensive alarm system. Be sure to have a drive with plenty of space installed into your Model 3.

When Sentry Mode is Active is it Always Recording?

In short, yes. Active Sentry Mode means the Tesla cameras are always recording. This could be good, or not so good, depending on how you look at it. However, the footage that’s captured from the recordings isn’t permanently stored. In fact, anything before or during a potential or perceived threat is saved for just a few min

How to Set Sentry Mode on a Tesla Model 3

To set your car’s Sentry Mode, follow these simple steps:

  1. Locate and open the Tesla control settings
  2. Select “Safety and Security”
  3. Activate Sentry Mode

It’s that simple! Safety mode can also be activated by the Tesla app. Car security doesn’t get much easier than that.

In Short

Tesla’s new Sentry Feature can go a long way toward securing your luxury vehicle. It’s a great choice for those who don’t want their car to be chop shop fodder or taken for joy rides by savvy hijackers.

Despite some of the potentially unnecessary bells and whistles, the Tesla Model 3 makes for a very family-friendly luxury car. It commands a hefty price tag, putting it well out of reach for many, many people. Those who can swing the expense, though, will enjoy a safe, luxurious ride from one of the most cutting-edge car companies.

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Greg

Hi, I'm Greg. My daily driver is a Tesla Model 3 Performance. I've learned a ton about Teslas from hands-on experience and this is the site where I share everything I've learned.

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