Vehicle Safety and Security Features

From their design and physical structure to their strong security, Tesla vehicles are developed with the highest standards of safety in every respect.

Your Tesla vehicle has several enhanced security features that you can activate. To enable any of these features, go to ‘Controls’ > ‘Safety & Security’ on your vehicle’s touchscreen.

Cabin Camera

The cabin camera is located above the rear-view mirror in the following vehicles:

  • Model S (produced in 2021 or later)
  • Model 3
  • Model X (produced in 2021 or later)
  • Model Y

Cabin camera-based features are currently only available for Model 3 and Model Y vehicles equipped with Tesla Vision. For these eligible vehicles, the cabin camera can determine driver inattentiveness and provide you with audible alerts to remind you to keep your eyes on the road when Autopilot is engaged. To protect your privacy, images and video from the cabin camera do not leave the vehicle itself and are not transmitted to anyone, including us, unless you enable data sharing.

If you choose to enable data sharing, in the occurrence of a serious safety risk or a safety event like a collision, the vehicle can share images and short video clips with us to help develop future safety features and software enhancements, such as collision avoidance.

To adjust your data sharing preferences, tap ‘Controls’ > ‘Software’ > ‘Data Sharing’ > 'Allow Cabin Camera Analytics.’

The cabin camera images you share with us are not linked to your VIN and will be used to continuously improve the intelligence of features that rely on cabin camera. You may change your data sharing settings at any time.

Security Alarm

Your alarm will sound and external lights will flash if a locked trunk or door is opened without a valid entry key.

To enable the security alarm on your touchscreen, tap ‘Controls’ > ‘Safety & Security’ > ‘Security Alarm.’ Your vehicle will enable the alarm one minute after you exit, the doors will lock and a recognized key will no longer be detected in or near the vehicle.

To stop your vehicle alarm, unlock the doors using your key fob, key card or the Tesla app.

PIN to Drive

PIN to Drive allows you to set a secure four-digit verification that must be entered before your vehicle is driven.

To activate PIN to Drive on your vehicle touchscreen, tap ‘Controls’ > ‘Safety & Security’ > ‘PIN to Drive.’ You will be prompted to create your four-digit verification.

If you forget your PIN or want to disable PIN to Drive, go back to the setting on your touchscreen. Tap the link to enter your Tesla login credentials and follow the on-screen prompts.

Sentry Mode

Sentry Mode is a feature that allows you to monitor suspicious activities around your Tesla vehicle when it’s parked and locked in specified locations. When suspicious motion is detected, your vehicle will react depending on the severity of the threat.

If a significant threat is detected, the cameras on your vehicle will begin recording, and the alarm system will activate. You will receive an alert from the Tesla app notifying you that an incident has occurred.

To enable Sentry Mode on your vehicle touchscreen, tap ‘Controls’ > ‘Safety & Security’ > ‘Sentry Mode.’ You can also enable Sentry Mode via Voice Command or the Tesla app. Unless at a Supercharger, Sentry Mode will remain active until the vehicle is at or below 20% battery. The Tesla app will notify you if Sentry Mode is disabled due to low battery.

Note: It is your sole responsibility to consult and comply with all local regulations and property restrictions regarding the use of cameras.

With Live Camera, remotely view your vehicle’s surroundings when it’s parked to confirm the safety of the environment before you return to your vehicle. You can also honk your horn, flash your lights and talk through the vehicle’s speaker if you have one equipped. Live Camera is end-to-end encrypted and cannot be accessed by us. This feature is available on iOS and Android devices with the Tesla app version 4.2.1 or higher and requires Premium Connectivity. Live Camera is not available on Model S and Model X vehicles produced 2012-2020.

To enable or disable Live Camera access, follow these steps:

  • On Model S and Model X, tap ‘Controls’ > ‘Safety’ > ‘View Live Camera via Mobile App’ on your vehicle’s touchscreen.
  • On Model 3 and Model Y, tap ‘Controls’ > ‘Safety & Security’ > ‘View Live Camera via Mobile App’ on your vehicle's touchscreen.

To access Live Camera from the Tesla app, tap ‘Security’ > ‘Sentry Mode’ > ‘View live camera.’

Sentry Mode is designed to add another layer of protection to your vehicle, but it will not prevent all possible threats.

Note: Dog Mode and Sentry Mode cannot be active at the same time.

Note: Sentry Mode will not record if your dashcam is not properly installed and equipped with a USB drive. To install your dashcam, follow these steps.

For more information on Sentry Mode, refer to your owner's manual.

Require Manual Entry

All Tesla vehicles have the option to automatically unlock as you approach the vehicle with the key.

On Model S or Model X, enabling passive entry will automatically unlock your vehicle doors as you approach the vehicle while carrying a key fob. On Model 3 and Model Y, an authenticated phone key will use its Bluetooth signal to unlock your vehicle doors as you approach the vehicle.

For manual entry, disable passive entry and require a key for entry.

Intrusion Sensors

Our security system and Sentry Mode come standard on every new Tesla vehicle; these systems can detect and alert you of suspicious activity around your vehicle. For added layers of protection, all new Tesla vehicles come with intrusion sensing hardware; for some vehicle trims, these systems will be activated with future over-the-air updates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cabin Camera

Is Tesla able to see inside my vehicle using cabin camera?

No. Cabin camera features are processed directly on the vehicle itself. Image and video data from the cabin camera only leaves your vehicle if data sharing is enabled and a safety event occurs. Otherwise, this data is not saved to onboard memory and is not transmitted to anyone, including us.

Will the cabin camera feature still work if someone else is driving?

Yes. Cabin camera does not perform facial recognition or any other method of identifying or verifying identity.

Is the cabin camera capable of capturing images of passengers?

Yes. The entire cabin is captured. It is the driver’s responsibility to inform passengers that cabin camera data sharing is turned on. The cabin camera’s on/off setting do not change with different driver profiles.

Sentry Mode

Are the Sentry Mode recordings captured by my vehicle shared with Tesla?

No. To protect your privacy, Sentry Mode recordings are not transmitted to us. For 2018 and newer model year vehicles (with software version 2020.48.5 or newer), recordings are saved to onboard memory and can be viewed directly from the vehicle’s touchscreen. Sentry Mode can also operate in a similar manner without a USB drive installed, with the ability to send an alert to your phone if a threat is detected—however, recordings of the event will not be available.

Dashcam

How do I install my dashcam properly?

The dashcam requires the use of a properly formatted USB flash drive to store and retrieve footage. Once a properly formatted USB flash drive has been inserted into one of your vehicle’s front USB ports, a dashcam icon appears at the top of the touchscreen.

To format a flash drive, simply insert it into a front USB port and tap ‘Safety & Security’ > ‘FORMAT USB DEVICE.’ This formats the USB flash drive as exFAT and creates a TeslaCam folder. For instructions on how to format a flash drive from a personal computer, refer to your owner’s manual.

Note: Choosing ‘FORMAT USB DEVICE’ formats the drive, erasing all existing content. The USB flash drive must be formatted as exFAT, FAT 32 (for Windows), MS-DOS FAT (for Mac), ext3 or ext4. NTFS is not supported. The USB flash drive must also have a base-level folder named TeslaCam.

Are the Dashcam recordings captured by my vehicle shared with Tesla?

No. Dashcam is a feature available if you have a properly configured USB drive that is inserted into one of the front USB ports. All recorded video is stored locally to your USB drive and not transmitted to us.