Elon Musk has tweeted a number of times during 2017 regarding Tesla camera's that are built into the Tesla Model S and Model X. This would be a good start for vehicles to be able to double up the use of existing built-in cameras for potential surveillance purposes around your vehicle.
However, it is questionable on how good the built-in cameras will be for surveillance or Dashcam use alone considering their prime objective is to enhance the cars driving aids.
We take a look at some key points on different camera types in this blog update.
The Tesla model S originally came with no camera and then in September 2014 it had a single front facing camera equipped by Mobileye. Ultrasonic sensors and a radar was also used to allow Model S to detect road signs, lane markings, obstacles, and other vehicles. November 2016 saw 7 more camera's introduced onto Model S to further improve its goal of full autonomous driving.
The Tesla Model S has fixed focal lense camera's and in order for the car to analyse data from the different camera locations to aid its autopilot functions, they have to be set at a specific focal length as oppose to full wide angle. You will also notice that the images are monochrome. This makes it easier for the Tesla to analyse images. Narrow Field Of View (FOV) cameras focuses on smaller surroundings in specific areas and this dictates the amount of data to analyse in each camera (a wide angle camera would result in a LOT of information to process) which in turn is converted to data and fed over the cars CANBUS. Also in order to keep the data size down to a manageable size, the resolution of the video is downsized to 320x240 B&W.
The front facing camera needs to analyse vehicles or objects in the travel path of Model S and this could be 50 to 100 yards in front. If you take a look at the following images courtesy of Jason Hughes you will see what the Tesla see's and stores. Jason is a "Tesla Hacker"also known as wk057 on Twitter. pic.twitter.com/HdUgVjJ6c3
The Goluk T-Series dashcam range are designed as a high bitrate action cam. What this means is when the data from the 1080p resolution image is stored to the memory card, it records at 12 Megabits per second and this is to enable a better quality detailed picture. At this resolution and rate you have a much better detailed video than that of another dashcam with a lower bitrate.
The phone application and backup support from Goluk is exceptional.
Below are some pictures taken from the Goluk cameras.
It would be a great addition if Tesla started to share footage from its built in vehicle camera's, but, would this replace the ever evolving Goluk Dashcam?