What's the best brand of car to buy for dog lovers? The answer may come as a surprise. It's Tesla.
On Wednesday Tesla announced it had begun rolling out a new Dog Mode to all its vehicles via the latest over-the-air software update.
Your move, Subaru.
Introducing Dog Mode: set a cabin temperature to keep your dog comfortable while letting passersby know they don't need to worry pic.twitter.com/xFU6MGZT53— Tesla (@Tesla) February 14, 2019
Dog Mode allows owners to set a temperature in the vehicle's cabin while the car is "off" to keep man's best friend comfortable. Dog Mode uses the car's battery pack to run the climate control system and displays a wagging dog and text on the large touchscreen saying the owner will be back soon and that car's climate control system is running to keep the pet comfortable.
Tesla spokesman Richard Otto told Motor Authority Dog Mode can run until the car's battery pack reaches a 20 percent state of charge, at which point the owner will receive a notification via the mobile app.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk fielded a few concerns on Twitter, including concern the text on the screen is too small. Musk said it will be updated but didn't elaborate.
Musk said the software rollout will be slow to ensure "there are no corner case issues" and it will speed up next week eventually reaching all Model S, Model S, and Model 3s.
The automaker also announced a new Sentry Mode, which acts like a sophisticated dash cam. When activated, the car continuously monitors its environment with its external cameras while left unattended.
If a minimal threat is detected, such as someone leaning on the car, the system will go into Alert mode and display a warning on the touchscreen that the car's cameras are recording. Onlookers may or may not see that warning.
Should a more severe threat be detected, such as window breakage, the system will go into Alarm mode and activate the car's alarm system. In addition, the center display screen will increase its brightness and music will play through the sound system at maximum volume.
Owners receive alerts via the Tesla mobile app when Alarm mode is triggered, and video of the event, along with the previous 10 minutes, is downloaded to a USB drive in the car.
Annoyingly, Sentry Mode must be enabled each and every time a driver wants to use the feature by going three levels deep into the menu system.
Tesla said the new security measure began rolling out via an over-the-air software update as of Wednesday to Model 3s in the U.S. first, and Model Ss and Model Xs that were built after August 2017 (which means they have Autopilot 2 hardware with the B-pillar- and fender-mounted cameras).