Can Teslas automatically call emergency services after a crash?

By Lennon Cihak
Teslas are already able to call emergency services in some regions
Teslas are already able to call emergency services in some regions
Tesla Haffi Iceland/YouTube

Dear Business Magnet Elon,

Like Tesla, safety is of the utmost importance for me when it comes to selecting a vehicle. Owning a Tesla has been a dream of mine since the Model 3 was announced in 2016. As you and the company made wide improvements to the vehicle and their safety, I “bit the bullet” and leased a Model 3 in January 2021.

Last month, Apple announced its new flagship lineup of devices. The most notable feature is emergency calling if a car crash is detected. The device will notify emergency services and contacts once activated, but Tesla doesn’t have such a feature available in the U.S.

It's well documented across various social media accounts that Tesla owners love their vehicles. They drive them over long distances (and some people [like myself] look for reasons to drive long distances). While Tesla’s active safety features constantly remain on and are always improving, it would be a welcomed feature for Tesla to add emergency calling once airbags are activated in the event of a car accident.

I feel strongly that this would greatly improve Tesla’s vehicle safety, as emergency services would likely be able to get to the scene much quicker with the car’s location data and immediate SOS response after airbags are discharged.

There's a lot of data Tesla could share with emergency services that could aid in an accident, such as the speed of the vehicle on impact, whether airbags were deployed, footage of the crash, vehicle location, number of occupants in the vehicle and possibly other information related to the battery to assess the risk of fire, etc.

I trust that my Model 3’s active safety features and structure will spare me and my passengers from any serious harm. However, in the event of getting in an accident that doesn’t allow me to call for help, I would appreciate the vehicle automatically doing this in an effort to get emergency services on scene as quickly as possible.

It's important to note that vehicles in Europe already have an eCall feature that lets a vehicle occupant place an emergency call with the tap of a button. Some vehicle information such as GPS coordinates and VIN are also transmitted to emergency services.

In addition, the vehicle will also place an automated call if the vehicle is involved in a crash. However, this feature is limited to vehicles in the European Union and is not available in North America and many other regions.

How Tesla's eCall Feature Works

In May of this year, I did a cross-country road trip from Los Angeles to Minnesota and back. The trip was around 6,000 miles in total. I went through multiple terrains and plenty of spots where cell service was questionable and I wasn’t at all familiar with the area. Had my vehicle been equipped with an “eCall” feature like the UK, I would’ve had an additional sense of security and safety during my trip.

I assume I’m speaking for the greater Tesla community, when I say I commend you and Tesla on everything you’ve done to build and manufacture the safest vehicles on the road. And I feel the Tesla community would strongly benefit from an SOS/eCall feature in their vehicles in North America, much like the one that is already available in Europe.

Tesla Targets Sentry Mode Vampire Drain: Upcoming Update to Slash Power Use by 40%

By Kevin Armstrong
Sentry Mode Update is Coming
Sentry Mode Update is Coming

In an exchange on X, Drew Baglino, Tesla’s Senior Vice President of Powertrain and Energy Engineering, addressed the concerns regarding the power consumption of Tesla’s Sentry Mode. Responding to a user inquiry, Baglino confirmed the company’s commitment to reducing the feature's energy use by approximately 40% through a software update expected in Q2, which begins on April 1.

This announcement follows feedback from Tesla owners regarding the 'vampire drain' experienced when using Sentry Mode, highlighting Tesla's responsive approach to customer feedback and its dedication to continuous improvement. Another X user stated that there should be a breakdown or battery usage. This information already exists, but Baglino politely responded: The energy app provides a wealth of information about where your energy goes. He also linked to our Not a Tesla App article explaining that system.

Understanding the Drain of Sentry Mode

Sentry Mode is an advanced security feature for Tesla vehicles, leveraging the car’s cameras and sensors to monitor and record surroundings for potential threats when parked. Sentry Mode has proven invaluable for vehicle security by activating various deterrents, including pulsing headlights and alarm sounds.

Despite its benefits, the feature’s energy consumption, referred to as “vampire drain,” has been a concern, with estimates suggesting a small yet consistent drain on the vehicle's battery life. By optimizing Sentry Mode's power usage, Tesla enhances the feature's efficiency and extends the usability for owners, particularly when parking for extended periods without access to charging facilities.

Battery Management: Recognizing the importance of battery preservation, Sentry Mode automatically deactivates when the battery level falls to 20%, ensuring that the vehicle remains operational for essential travel.

Activation and Customization: Owners can activate Sentry Mode via the vehicle's touchscreen or mobile app, with options to customize settings, such as disabling sounds or excluding specific locations, tailoring the security feature to individual preferences and requirements.

Tesla's forthcoming software update aims to significantly reduce Sentry Mode's power usage, making it more adaptable for various situations without impacting the car's range or battery longevity. This enhancement aligns with Tesla's commitment to continuous improvement via over-the-air updates, directly responding to customer feedback with practical solutions. Owners looking forward to this change appreciate the balance between maintaining Sentry Mode's security benefits and preserving battery life for everyday needs.

Tesla Adds 'Rose Gold' Cybertruck Wrap and Two Other New Colors

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla now offers Cybertruck wraps in five colors
Tesla now offers Cybertruck wraps in five colors

Remember when there was concern that the appeal of a Cybertruck would die down because there would be too many stainless steel beasts on the road? True story. If there was a concern, it appears to have been handled with wraps; not only Tesla’s wraps but more customized wraps are showing up on social media daily.

More Tesla Wraps

Firstly, Tesla has expanded its palette of Cybertruck wrap options, introducing three vibrant new colors. The chic Satin Rose Gold, the deep Satin Abyss Blue, and the sleek Slip Grey are joined in the lineup alongside the classic Satin Stealth Black and Satin Ceramic White. However, several Cybertruck owners are not waiting for Tesla wraps as more unique Cybertruck wraps are showing up on social media.

Priced at $6,000, while the newly introduced Satin Rose Gold and Satin Abyss Blue wraps are slightly pricier at $6,500. This differentiation in pricing reflects the unique appeal and quality of the new wrap colors.

Tesla outlines several key features and advantages of their Cybertruck color paint film, including:

  • A self-healing, urethane-based film that is significantly more durable and twice as thick as the average vinyl wrap, ensuring superior protection against scratches.

  • An environmentally friendly alternative to traditional vinyl wraps, covering all exterior stainless-steel surfaces of the Cybertruck, enhancing its aesthetic appeal and resilience.

Customized Wraps are Taking Off

Since Tesla wraps were introduced, the company has been criticized for the price point being far too high, while consumers can go to other wrap companies and get their own customized look. Even the unique wraps spotted on the Cybertruck before the delivery event are unavailable. But that is not stopping consumers.

It was after Investor Day in 2023 that Morgan Stanley's managing director, Adam Jonas, a well-known figure within the investment community and someone who has been dubbed a Tesla Bull. Jonas outlined several reasons why he believed the Cybertruck might not fulfill the grand visions held by Elon Musk and the Tesla team, describing it as potentially becoming a "financial side-show," a marker of cultural zeitgeist, and a niche product for enthusiasts.

Jonas argued that the Cybertruck, with its avant-garde design, might not align with this broader affordability mission. He believed that the unique aspects of Cybertruck would be lost and that "indescribable something," when several were on the street,

Yet, the landscape around the Cybertruck and Tesla's position within it has continued to evolve. Contrary to concerns, the burgeoning market for custom and aftermarket wraps for the Cybertruck tells a different story. This vibrant ecosystem of personalization options highlights the vehicle's position as a mode of transportation and a canvas for individual expression.

The concern that the uniqueness of the Cybertruck could diminish with its popularity overlooks the creative solutions that owners and enthusiasts have embraced. From bespoke wraps that offer myriad designs outside of Tesla's offerings to the DIY spirit that has taken hold among the Cybertruck community, it's clear that individuality remains a cornerstone of the Cybertruck experience.

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