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Tesla to improve its new dashcam feature with more Autopilot cameras and parking mode

With the launch of the version 9 software update, Tesla is introducing its new dashcam feature, but as we reported, it has quite a few limitations compared to an average aftermarket dashcam.

Now Elon Musk says that Tesla will improve on it with more Autopilot cameras and parking mode.

Under the first version of the feature, Tesla owners need a USB flash drive with “as much available storage as possible”, and it needs to be formatted in FAT32. The drive needs a manually created folder called “TeslaCam” and be plugged into one of the front USB ports.

Once it is plugged in, the vehicle should recognize it and a dashcam icon appears in the status bar at the top of your touchscreen.

At that point, the dashcam automatically begins recording and you can control the dashcam by pressing the icon. When the feature is in use, it records for an hour before overwriting the old videos.

The drive can archive the most recent ten minutes of video by tapping the dashcam icon while recording. Those videos will be saved with a timestamp and will not be overwritten.

On Friday, the automaker also released some footage of their new dashcam feature:

The recorded footage is limited to Autopilot’s narrow forward facing camera and in order to watch the videos, drivers need to unplug the flash drive and plug into a computer.

All those things make the feature somewhat limited, but now CEO Elon Musk has mentioned some improvements Tesla is working on including downloading footage through the app:

He also mentioned that there will eventually be a parking mode that will utilize more cameras:

Unfortunately, there’s no timeline on the release of those improvements and Tesla is still gradually releasing the first iteration of the version 9 firmware update.

Electrek’s Take

I find it hard to complain about Tesla’s dashcam feature because they are literally trying to release through software updates a product that usually cost $100 to $250 and requires installation.

As for as we know, we have never seen another automaker do that.

But we have to acknowledge the current limitations simply can’t replace dashcams with wider fields of view and full coverage like a front and rear Blackvue with wifi or a front and cabin Vantrue.

Now that Musk says that they are working on some significant improvements coming, it creates a weird situation where owners have to decide between installing a full dashcam or wait for those improvements.

I’m still undecided. Let us know what your plan is in the comment section?

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