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

Cabin camera is located above the rear-view mirror and is equipped in the following vehicles:

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

Cabin camera based features are currently only available for Model 3 and 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 do not leave the vehicle itself and are not transmitted to anyone, including Tesla, 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, it allows the vehicle to share images and short video clips with Tesla to help us further develop future safety features and software enhancements such as collision avoidance updates.

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

The cabin camera images you share with Tesla 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.

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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.

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

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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.

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 car’s surroundings when it’s parked to confirm the safety of the environment before you return to your car. You can also honk, flash and talk through the car’s speaker (if equipped). Live Camera is end-to-end encrypted and cannot be accessed by Tesla. This feature is available on iOS and Android devices with 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,

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

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 Tesla.

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 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 does 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 Tesla. 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 you an alert to your phone if a threat is detected— however, recordings of the event will not be available.


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.

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 Tesla.

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