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Tesla Sentry Mode live camera on mobile also has a talkback-to-vandal feature (video)


Tesla released a new car safety & security feature earlier this week that enables Tesla owners to remotely view what’s happening around their vehicles in real-time using their mobile phones. This feature is called Sentry Mode Live Camera Access (read release notes & requirements).

Aside from being able to watch around the car from a remote location, there is one more interesting feature that Tesla has added to this update. While you have opened the live camera view of your parked Tesla car, you can talk back to the people in the vehicle’s surroundings.

The Tesla vehicle will change your voice, amplify and output it via an external speaker installed under the car. Teslas built since January 2019 have this speaker installed as part of the pedestrian warning system, a requirement by the NHTSA.

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Video: The location of the external speaker in a Tesla Model 3 for pedestrian noise and sounds.

In the last year’s holiday software update package, Tesla introduced the Boombox feature using this external speak. Boombox lets Tesla owners add custom horn and pedestrian warning sounds to the vehicle.

A Tesla Model X owner demonstrated the talkback via mobile phone feature in a short Twitter video.


Tesla owners will now be able to warn potential vandals more explicitly by giving them verbal warnings from a remote location. This will further decrease the Tesla vandalism cases that have plagued these premium cars in the near past.

The spread of awareness about Tesla Sentry Mode came through the coverage of some vandalism cases by the mainstream media. Knowing that the car is recording any potential act of vandalism via multiple cameras has lowered the number of cases.

One of these was the famous Bay area case where two vandals keyed a Tesla Model 3 multiple times not knowing the car was recording them. Later on, these guys had to hand themselves over to the police as the videos went viral and aired on national television.

In the following short video, another Tesla owner has demonstrated the whole process on the phone and in-car settings to enable and view the Sentry Mode live camera feed plus using the talkback function.

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Requires: Tesla mobile app 42.1 or later, In-car software update: 2021.36.8 or later.

By Iqtidar Ali

Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii