Car Safety and Security Features

Tesla cars are developed with the highest standards of safety in every respect, ranging from their design and physical structure, to their security.

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



Cabin Camera

Model 3 and Model Y are equipped with a Cabin Camera that is located above the rear-view mirror and turned off by default. If you enable the Cabin Camera, a short video clip will be captured and shared with Tesla following a safety event such as a collision or an advanced emergency braking (AEB) event. This short video clip is intended to capture the few seconds before a safety event and does not include any footage from the safety event itself. These clips will be used to help Tesla engineers develop safety features and software enhancements, such as collision avoidance updates and more. Cabin Camera images will not be associated with your VIN or any other identifying information. To enable or disable data sharing, tap ‘Controls’ > ‘Safety & Security’ > ‘Data Sharing’ on your car’s touchscreen. You may change this setting at any time.

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Security Alarm

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

You can enable the Security Alarm on your touchscreen through ‘Controls’ > ‘Safety & Security’ > ‘Security Alarm’. Your car will enable the alarm one minute after you exit, the doors lock and a recognized key is no longer detected in or near the car.

Your alarm can be stopped by pressing any button on your key fob. The Model 3 alarm can be stopped by pressing any button on the Tesla app, or by tapping your Key Card against the card reader. This is located below the Autopilot camera on the driver’s side door pillar.

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PIN to Drive

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

The feature can be activated on your touchscreen through ‘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.

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Sentry Mode

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

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

To enable Sentry Mode, go to ‘Controls’ > ‘Safety & Security’ > ‘Sentry Mode’. Sentry Mode can also be enabled 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. Your Tesla app will notify you if Sentry Mode is disabled due to low battery.

Sentry Mode is designed to add another layer of protection to your car, but it will not prevent against 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.

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Require Manual Entry

All Tesla cars have the option to automatically unlock as you approach the car with the key.

On Model S or Model X, enabling Passive Entry will automatically unlock your car doors as you approach the car while carrying a key fob. On Model 3, an authenticated Phone Key will use its Bluetooth signal to unlock your car doors as you approach the car.

For manual entry, disable Passive Entry and require a key for entry.

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Intrusion Sensors

While the standard security system comes fitted on every Tesla, the Enhanced Antitheft System provides an additional layer of protection against certain break-in scenarios for your Model S or Model X.

This system adds intrusion sensors to your car inside the rearview mirror and is available on the Tesla online store as an accessory. When the sensor is used, it will intermittently pulse ultrasonic waves throughout the cabin and will trigger the alarm if the signal is disturbed by either an intrusion or significant movement within the car.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Cabin Camera always on? Can I turn it off?
The Cabin Camera is disabled by default. To enable or disable data sharing, tap ‘Controls’ > ‘Safety & Security’ > ‘Data Sharing’ on your car’s touchscreen. You may change this setting at any time.

Are the images captured associated with my identity or VIN?
To protect your privacy, Cabin Camera images will not be associated with your VIN or any other identifying information.

Is Cabin Camera capable of capturing images of passengers?
Yes. The entire cabin is captured. It is the driver’s responsibility to inform passengers that the Cabin Camera is turned on. The Cabin Camera’s on/off setting does not change with different Driver Profiles.

Will I have access to images captured by the Cabin Camera?
No. You will not be able to view the images captured by the Cabin Camera as it’s not associated with your VIN and is intended for analysis to continue to improve vehicle safety.

Which Tesla vehicles have the Cabin Camera functionality?
Model 3 and Model Y are equipped with the Cabin Camera.

How do I install my Dashcam properly?
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 select ‘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.

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