Its nearly been a year since Elon Musk tweeted about the using the built in Tesla Autopilot camera's to have "dashcam" functionality on 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 the vehicle.
However, it was always 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.
With Tesla OS v9 now rolling out in the USA (and the UK soon), the Dashcam function is now included in this update. But, will it replace third party dash cameras?
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 cameras introduced onto Model S to further improve its goal of full autonomous driving.
A further update to the AutoPilot hardware to v2.5 was introduced around August 2017. It is only with this hardware update will the Tesla single "dashcam" functionality be available.
The Tesla Model S X and 3 have fixed focal lense cameras 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 coloured image 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 Tesla Dashcam function on AP2.5 and higher is being introduced on the single front facing camera and this camera alone has a fixed focal point. In order for this to be used to record video you need to use a separate USB memory stick in your Tesla so the video can be recorded directly to the memory.
You can see the Tesla camera in action on this clip, courtesy of the Tesla Model 3 Owners Club:
It is understood at this time that the video available is the last single hour of driving and although the image is colour, the resolution is 1280 x 960 (in comparison to 1920 x 1080 for 1080p Dash cameras).
In order for you to view what is on the USB stick you will need to remove this and connect it up to a pc/mac.
More importantly the single camera will not monitor or record an impact to your vehicle whilst it is parked up nor does it record audio.
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.
Due to the recording quality of the Blackvue 900s and Goluk cameras we continue to install these into new Tesla's vehicles.
The great features of the Goluk camera's are below and due to their modular compact design, we can fulfil any requirement with regards to multiple camera installations. Their wide FOV is designed to protect the immediate surroundings of your vehicle.
We look forward to comparing the Tesla v9 dashcam footage against the Blackvue and Goluk camera's when V9 is released in the UK.
24/7 CCTV around car with 2 video streams recording at the same time per camera
24/7 CCTV around your home/car location
Protection from other dangerous drivers
Protection from crash for cash schemes
Up to 15% discount on car insurance
High definition clear recordings
Ultra Wide 152 degrees Field of View on both cameras
Number plate recognition on review
Automatic separate "incident" recordings
Separate wireless "action" button for additional recording
Parking Motion Recording whilst vehicle is off
Parking G-Sensor Recording whilst vehicle is off
Local wifi hotspot with excellent fast Android / iphone app to download footage
Instant access to footage downloadable to Phone within seconds
MicroSD card upgradeable
View footage on Pc/Mac with removable microSD memory
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