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Why No Tesla Dashcam Mode?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by berkeley_ecar, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. berkeley_ecar

    berkeley_ecar S 90D (fully loaded) delivered 18 Mar 2017

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    With 4-8 cameras posted around the perimeter of a Tesla that is kitted out with the optional AutoPilot and self-driving hardware, respectively, is there the possibility of getting a dashcam-like capability (for use in accidents, vandalism, meteor strikes, :) ...), with images stored on a removable SD card or USB drive or the like, with perhaps a cloud backup of the most recent minutes of video? The idea of having to purchase and install something like the Blackvue DR650 seems silly given the hardware that is already on hand. There is also an aftermarket product under development that supports installing a separately purchased Tesla rear bumper camera on the front license plate, and allowing the center console display to show video from either front or rear bumper cams, another feature that would be nice to get out of the multiple cameras present for AP/self-drive.
     
  2. gearchruncher

    gearchruncher Member

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    Elon has stated that the forward looking cameras are in black and white, or red. They are not color cameras. The side ones are likely the same. Would you be happy with B&W?
     
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  3. drklain

    drklain Member

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    Elon has previously said that the AP cameras do not provide the resolution necessary to provide dashcam-like capability (I believe he answered this in response to AP1 hardware before AP had been released but can't remember). In general, with video analytics (which is what AP software does with the cameras) what is best for them to do processing (contrast) is not necessarily what gives the best imagery for humans. Even looking at the videos Tesla has published of AP FSD tests to date (where they show what the cameras are seeing) shows the graininess typical of cameras optimized for video analytics.

    My experience is that people who install dashcams (note I have not done so) do it for one of two reasons:
    (1) they want videos they can show their friends/upload to Youtube/Vimeo/etc.
    (2) they want the system to detect accidents and provide enough detail to determine culpability/serve as evidence in a potential legal case or a damages claim.

    I don't think the present cameras meet that need compared to the HD-quality cameras that exist on the market for aftermarket installs. Even if the camera is good enough, doing what you require means taking a tap off the camera or cameras video signals and feeding it to some new hardware that does the required recording which adds additional cost to the vehicle. Every time you split a video signal, you lose some power and create a potential source of noise in the system. I'm not sure Tesla is interested in (or would be permitted to do that) in a certified vehicle control system. Keeping control systems "closed" so that they deliver reliable, consistent results is a first principal of system design for mission critical control systems (which arguably the AP system is). Of course, others may feel differently.
     
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    • Informative x 1
  4. berkeley_ecar

    berkeley_ecar S 90D (fully loaded) delivered 18 Mar 2017

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    My thanks to you both, gearcruncher and dklain, for helpful responses, especially for the technical summary from dklain. Given that it seems that the AP/Automonous driving cameras are not suited to the goals of most dashcam installers, it might at least be nice if Tesla
    installed wiring harnesses to support installation of dashcams, and perhaps even offered cams as an option. The numerous excellent installation instructions available on the TMC forums appear to require somewhat risky (or expensive) installation procedures, which sometimes partially build off of unused wiring in existing harnesses.
     
  5. Akikiki

    Akikiki A'-Lo-HA ! y'all

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    Berkeley_ecar, you don't really think that a Tesla dashcam solution the way you described it, "installed wiring harnesses" would be cheaper than running a power cord to a power source, do you? Its not so hard to find a aftermarket auto installer that will do an excellent job and you are NOT dependent on Tesla for something that is not on every car. Please consider when a part is not installed on every vehicle the overall cost of each is higher per than when everyone gets it on their. Make it an option and it will cost more than you could get from aftermarket.

    I'd agree with your point that Tesla should provide us the option, IF there was a restriction imposed on us that we can not put an aftermarket dashcam or any other item on our cars. Tesla is not telling you that you can't. Just go do it without trying to get Tesla to offer it. Simple.
     
  6. SDRick

    SDRick Member

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    I for one, would be very interested in purchasing this option from the factory. I think it would also be a nice source of additional revenue for the company. This option has been available in Corvettes, why not Tesla? Give the consumer what they want and are willing to pay for.

    I much prefer the look and functionality of a factory installed dash cam than the aftermarket. Since there is currently no factory option available, I opted for the "Tesla cam" which is a bit short on function but looks totally factory.
     

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