Dashcam and Sentry Mode
In addition to supporting Autopilot, the exterior cameras can record and store video footage of the vehicle's surroundings on a USB flash drive. This can be convenient in situations where you want a video recording of a particular incident. If set to AUTO, Dashcam saves video recordings of collisions when driving. On the other hand, if enabled, Sentry Mode is the alarm system that monitors the environment around your vehicle when it is locked and in Park. After an incident is detected, Sentry Mode responds according to the level of threat detected.
Dashcam records footage of your vehicle's surroundings only when Model S is powered on (see Starting and Powering Off). Dashcam does not record video when your vehicle is powered off. Use Dashcam to record driving incidents, such as a collision.
Dashcam requires a properly formatted USB flash drive, inserted into a front USB port (preferably in the glovebox) in order to store and retrieve footage (see USB Drive Requirements for Recording Videos).
Enable Dashcam by going toand choose:
Auto: Dashcam automatically saves a recording to the USB flash drive in situations where Model S detects a safety event, such as a collision or airbag deployment. When Auto is selected, detection can vary and is subject to your vehicle's power, sleep, and Autopilot state.NoteSeveral factors determine whether or not Dashcam automatically saves a recording of a safety event (for example, amount of force, whether or not airbags deployed, etc.). Do not rely on Dashcam to automatically record video of all safety events.
- Manual: You must touch the Dashcam icon to save a recording of the most recent 10 minutes of driving to the USB flash drive.
- On Honk: When you press the horn, Dashcam saves a recording of the most recent 10 minutes of driving to the USB flash drive.
Once enabled, you can manually save clips by touching:
The Dashcam controls are:
To view Dashcam footage, see Viewing Video Recordings.
Using Sentry Mode
When Sentry Mode is turned on, the cameras and sensors remain powered on and ready to record suspicious activity around your vehicle when Model S is locked and in Park.
To store and retrieve Sentry Mode footage, ensure that Dashcam is on and a properly formatted USB flash drive is inserted into a front USB port (preferably in the glovebox) (see Using Dashcam).
If you want Sentry Mode to automatically turn on every time you leave your vehicle, touch. There are three additional settings for customization:
Exclude Home: Sentry Mode does not operate at the location you set as Home in your favorites list (see Home, Work, and Favorite Destinations), but operates at any other parking location.NoteTo set up your Home location, touch Navigate and hold down Home, then enter your address. Touch Save as Home.
- Exclude Work: Sentry Mode does not operate at the location you set as Work in your Favorites list, but operates at any other parking location. Set your Work location the same way you set your Home location.
Exclude Favorites: Sentry Mode does not operate at any location in your Favorites list, but activates at any other parking location.NoteTo recognize a location listed as Home, Work, or a Favorite, Model S must be parked within 32 feet (10 meters) of the saved location.
Manually turning Sentry Mode on or off using the touchscreen or the mobile app overrides your Home, Work, or Favorite exclusion preferences until the next time you drive.
Alternatively, you can use voice commands or the Tesla mobile app. To enable Sentry Mode using voice commands, say "Keep Tesla safe," "Keep my car safe," "Sentry on," or "Enable Sentry" (see Voice Commands).
Sentry Mode requires your Battery to be at least 20% charged. If the Battery falls below 20%, Sentry Mode turns off and the mobile app sends you a notification. Power consumption may increase when Sentry Mode is active.
To view Sentry Mode footage, see Viewing Video Recordings.
Standby, Alert, and Alarm States
While in Sentry Mode, Model S may shift through three states as a response to its surroundings—Standby, Alert, and Alarm:
- Standby. Model S is automatically “on standby” when you activate Sentry Mode. The cameras constantly monitor the surrounding area for possible security threats.
Alert. If Sentry Mode detects a possible threat, such as someone very close to, or leaning on, Model S, Sentry Mode switches to the Alert state, where:
- Headlights briefly flicker.
- The touchscreen displays a message indicating that cameras are recording.
- Sentry Mode saves the most recent 10 minutes of footage prior to the triggered event to the USB flash drive (if available and installed).
Alarm. For major threats, Sentry Mode:
CAUTIONSentry Mode may not activate the security alarm in all situations involving damage to the vehicle. Sentry Mode uses many factors to determine whether to activate the security alarm—all impacts may not be detected and the alarm may not activate in all situations.
- Activates the security alarm and the audio system generates a loud and unexpected sound.
- Sends an alert to the mobile app on phones that are paired to Model S to inform you that the alarm state is triggered.
- Saves the most recent 10 minutes of footage prior to the triggered event to the USB flash drive (if available and installed).
- Returns to the Standby state after 30 seconds.
Sentry Mode - View Live Camera
When Sentry Mode is enabled, you can use the mobile app to remotely view the area surrounding Model S as seen through the exterior cameras.
To enable, touch Model S touchscreen. Once enabled, ensure there are no occupants in the vehicle and all doors are closed. Then, on the Tesla mobile app, go to and touch View Live Camera to see a live video feed of your vehicle’s surroundings.on the
In addition, if Model S is equipped with a pedestrian warning speaker (see Pedestrian Warning System), you can press and hold the microphone button on the mobile app to transmit your voice through this speaker.
When View Live Camera is actively being used, Model S may periodically flash its exterior lights and display a message on the touchscreen to notify others that the area surrounding the vehicle is being viewed through the cameras.
View Live Camera is limited to approximately one hour (or 15 minutes for some regions) of cumulative usage per day.
Viewing Video Recordings
You can view recorded footage on the touchscreen when Model S is in Park. Touch the Dashcam icon located in the app launcher or the Dashcam icon on the Controls screen. Touch the menu icon in the top corner of the screen. The tabs display a list of all video clips, organized by location and timestamp. Pause, rewind, fast forward, and delete video recordings as needed. You can also navigate to to delete all dashcam and Sentry Mode footage, including recent and saved clips.
You can also view video footage by removing and inserting the USB flash drive into a computer and navigating to the TeslaCam or TeslaTrackMode (if equipped) folder.
The TeslaCam folder contains three sub-folders:
- Recent Clips: When recording, Dashcam continuously saves footage to Recent Clips in 60-minute cycles. Footage is overwritten every hour unless you manually save it. Four videos are recorded for each clip, one from each camera (front, rear, left, and right).
- Saved Clips: Contains all recordings that are saved using Dashcam.
- Sentry Clips: Contains the last 10 minutes of footage from all Sentry Mode events that triggered an Alert or Alarm state. If storage space on the USB flash drive becomes limited, the oldest Sentry Clips are deleted to provide space for new ones. Once deleted, you cannot retrieve them.
When the USB flash drive runs out of storage space, video footage can no longer be saved. To prevent the flash drive from getting full, regularly move saved videos to another device and delete them from the flash drive.