Tesla Dog Mode: What It Does and How It Works

By Nuno Cristovao

The inside of a car can get extremely hot in summer months. It doesn’t take much before the temperature inside of a vehicle becomes dangerous. For you, your loved ones or your little furry friends.

Tesla's Dog Mode screen
Tesla's Dog Mode screen
Not a Tesla App

Sometimes you may find yourself in a situation where you have a pet with you, but you need to run to a store. Even with your windows cracked, it’s a bad idea to leave your pet in the car on warmer or cold days.

Introducing Dog Mode

Tesla solves this problem with Dog Mode. Since Teslas are electric, there’s no engine that needs to run, meaning you can run any system in the car without needing the car to remain on. This includes the heater and air conditioner.

Dog Mode allows you to set the temperature in the car, just like you’d set it at home, and the car will keep the interior of the vehicle at that temperature until you return. It doesn’t matter whether the cabin needs to be heated or cooled, the car will control the HVAC to keep the vehicle at the selected temperature.

Letting Others Know Your Pet is Safe

Since leaving your pet alone in a vehicle isn’t normally a good idea and people may not be familiar with Tesla’s Dog Mode, Tesla also displays a message on the screen.

Tesla does a great job at letting bystanders know that your pet is safe inside of the car. Once Dog Mode is activated, a message will display on the car’s large center screen letting people know your pet is safe.

Tesla's animarted Dog Mode screen shows bystanders your dog is safe

The screen will show a cute picture of a dog and display a message that states, “My driver will be back soon.” It will furthermore let them know to not worry, and that the heater or AC is on and it will display the current temperature inside of the car.

What Happens If the Battery Gets Low

The car will only let you activate Dog Mode if your charge level is above 20%. This is to be sure that there’s enough of a charge to keep your pet cool or warm and a buffer for you to get home.

If you have enabled Dog Mode and the battery reaches 20%, Tesla will send you a notification on your phone letting you know that the battery is getting low and that you should return to your car.

Dog Mode will remain on as long as possible until the car runs out of battery.

How Long Can You Leave Dog Mode On

The heater or air conditioner is getting power directly from your car’s battery. Besides driving, climate control is one of the largest draws of power. The amount of power actually consumed, or the amount of time your car can remain in Dog Mode is entirely dependent on the outdoor temperature and how much energy the car needs to use to keep the cabin at the selected temperature.

A rough estimate is that your car will use about 4 miles of range per hour in which the climate system is on. This will differ based on whether you’re using the heater or AC, your Tesla model and the outside temperature.

Which Models have Dog Mode

Dog Mode is a standard feature available in Tesla Model Y, Model 3, Model S and Model X. You do not need to have Tesla’s Premium Connectivity in order to receive notifications from your Tesla or to control your Tesla from the Tesla app.

How to Turn On Dog Mode

To activate Dog Mode you’ll need to be inside of the vehicle. Tap on the fan icon along the bottom navigation bar and you should see the HVAC screen come up. Toward the top right corner, you’ll see different modes, such as On, Dog and Camp.

How to turn on Tesla's Dog Mode

Touching Dog Mode will activate it as soon as you leave the car. Just set your temperature and you’re all set.

How to Turn Off Dog Mode

Once you get back in the car and start driving, Dog Mode will automatically turn off. If you come back for just a minute and leave again, Dog Mode will remain on.

Dog Mode is a fantastic feature and shows a clear benefit of electric cars, where you don’t need to have the engine on in order to power the HVAC system. Please use it with caution and don’t leave your dog or pet unattended for long periods of time.

Also be sure to check out our in-depth look at Camp Mode if you haven't already.

For a comparison of how Dog Mode compares to Camp Mode and Keep Climate On, check out our article on the feature comparison between the three climate modes.

How Tesla's FSD Beta Has Expanded Over Time

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla reveals how many miles have been driven on FSD Beta as of January 2023
Tesla reveals how many miles have been driven on FSD Beta as of January 2023
Tesla

Tesla's Full Self Driving (FSD) technology took a giant leap forward in distributing FSD Beta to 400,000 customers in North America. It is a significant milestone for the development of autonomous driving and highlights Tesla's commitment to bringing this cutting-edge technology to the masses. A new version, v11.3 could roll out any day.

Number of Testers Over Time

Tesla made FSD Beta public a little more than two years ago, around October 2020. It was initially only made available to less than a handful of testers, but that pool grew to about 1,000 users later that year.

Since then Tesla has gradually increased the number of testers. The ramp from the initial 1,000 testers took some time, but by October 2021 Tesla had opened it up further through its Safety Score program. By January 2022, it was available to about 60,000 owners.

In March of 2022, Tesla expanded FSD Beta to Canada, gradually adding additional testers, and eventually increasing the number of testers across the U.S. and Canada to 160,000 in September.

Tesla announced this December that the number of testers had grown to 285,000 and recently said this January that it's now accessible to 400,000 Tesla owners.

FSD Beta Expansion and Milestones

Date Milestone
October, 2020 Opened to select testers
Late 2020 ~ 1,000 added
October 2021 Start of expansion through Safety Score
January 2022 Available to 60,000 testers
March 2022 Expansion to Canada
July 2022 Available to 160,000 testers
December 2022 Available to 285,000 testers
January 2023 Access given to 400,000 owners

Faster Feedback

The deployment of FSD Beta to such a large number of customers will provide an unprecedented level of testing and feedback, allowing Tesla to refine the technology and bring it to an even higher level of reliability and safety. Furthermore, with over 90 million miles driven on FSD outside of highways, the published data shows a clear improvement in safety statistics, demonstrating the potential for autonomous driving to revolutionize the way we travel.

This increased testing level will help improve the technology even further, as the system can learn from a broader range of driving scenarios and road conditions.

FSD Will Make the Roads Safer

The safety benefits of Full Self Driving technology will be a major selling point for Tesla and one of the primary reasons for its rapid growth. Using cameras and other advanced technologies, FSD can monitor the road and make real-time adjustments to ensure the vehicle operates safely and efficiently. As a result, this technology reduces the likelihood of accidents and provides passengers with a safer, more comfortable driving experience.

Overall, making FSD Beta available to 400,000 customers represents a major step forward for Tesla and the entire autonomous driving industry. It's now available to all customers who have purchased or subscribed to FSD in the U.S. and Canada. The next big expansion is expected to be in Europe sometime this year.

With its focus on safety and reliability, Tesla is leading the way toward a future where driving is fully autonomous, and accidents are a thing of the past. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more impressive advances in the coming years, bringing us closer to a world where autonomous vehicles are a common sight on our roads.

Tesla Accessory, Ctrl-Bar Adds Physical Buttons to the Model Y and Model 3

By Kevin Armstrong
The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
Ctrl-Bar

Tesla's minimalistic interior design is both loved and hated. Much loathing is due to the lack of physical buttons drivers are so used to having at their fingertips to control heat, music and everything else in the cabin. The sleek look is attractive, but for some it can fall short in easy accessibility while driving.

That's where a new product comes into play: Ctrl-Bar. Created by Øyvind Husby of Oslo, Norway, Ctrl-Bar has nearly 300 backers on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo and has beat its target funding goal by more than 280 percent. The objective is to provide a tactile, programmable solution to Tesla's minimalistic interior design.

How It Works

Ctrl-Bar is a device that attaches securely to the bottom of the Model 3 and Model Y screen and offers a quick-access, tactile response that physical buttons can only achieve. The premium black glass finish blends seamlessly with the screen bezel, providing a smooth look. It connects to a smartphone using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and gets power from a hidden USB cable connected to the rear center console USB port. The app runs in the background, capturing only the data needed to run the services and prioritizing privacy. In addition, the Ctrl-Bar screen shows real-time changes, so there is no latency when changing temperatures or other functions. After less than a second, the device will send the command to your vehicle.

Ctrl-Bar Video

The Scrolls, Buttons and Extras

The Ctrl-Bar has two scroll wheels with tactile indents to control the cabin temperature, one for the driver and the passenger. In addition, four push buttons are in the middle of the wheels to provide easy access to programmable shortcuts, such as seat heaters, defrost mode, dog mode, and more. All changes made on the Ctrl-Bar are reflected on the center screen, offering a unified experience.

In addition to controlling essential functions, Ctrl-Bar also provides ambient LED lighting. The device has a series of powerful LEDs that illuminate the center console and front footwells. Users can scroll through assorted color and brightness options to find the perfect lighting for their drive. For an additional subscription, Ctrl-Bar offers speed trap warnings. The device checks for nearby fixed speed traps and visually alerts the driver when they are approaching. If the driver exceeds the speed limit, Ctrl-Bar will give an audible warning reminding them to slow down.

The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
Ctrl-Bar

Creative Company with a Track Record

Greenmission, the company behind Ctrl-Bar, has successfully launched a premium wireless charger for the Tesla Model S/X. With trusted manufacturers and software developers on board, the main obstacles to getting Ctrl-Bar into the hands of Tesla owners are developing the phone app, establishing a reliable connection, avoiding supplier issues and delays, and managing costs. Despite these challenges, Greenmission is confident they can bring Ctrl-Bar to market and provide a much-needed solution to the lack of physical buttons in Tesla vehicles.

Ctrl-Bar is an interesting device that adds some physical buttons for owners who want or need them. It matches well with the interior of the vehicle and still provides a sleek look. However, it will require your phone to have a cellular connection to successfully send commands to the vehicle, since it relies on Tesla's APIs.

Tesla drivers are always looking for ways to improve their experience, and new features will be made available through Over-The-Air updates. Furthermore, users' feedback and suggestions will be considered and worked on in future updates.

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Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Tesla News

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2023.2.10.

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

Subscribe

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.