Tesla is now actively rolling out the OTA update 2020.12.5 to owners. Users across the world are now reporting the update is reaching their vehicle. The biggest new feature in this release is definitely the Dashcam Viewer which allows you to review Dashcam footage, right within the car.
This is a fairly logical extension of Dashcam and Sentry mode recordings, as the previous workflow of removing the storage device, connecting to your laptop and transferring the files, was clunky at best.
The new app allows users to simply tap on the touchscreen to switch cameras for each event to switch to that camera, meaning all timecodes are automatically synced between the 4 cameras.
Here’s an examples of the Dashcam Viewer in action.
Each event captured by Dashcam is organised into date/time order and to review the footage of a saved clip,
This leads us to think about the possible further improvements that could be made to Tesla’s Dashcam feature. It’s weird how Tesla’s do more than any other car on the road and instead of being happy, it just fuels more ideas and raises expectations of what’s possible, even further.
Dashcam idea #1 – Rename events
Not all events are created equal, some, like in the event of damage to your vehicle, will be more important to you. It’d be great to be able to tap and hold to rename the file, making it easy to find later. be easy
Dashcam idea #2 – Share events to social
Let’s face it, when you see weird and wacky things out on the road, you’ll want to share it online. Telsa has the connectivity necessary to enable a share to social feature. This would dramatically speed up the workflow for owners. Tesla could even suggest a #TeslaDashCam hashtag for use in the post, much like Xbox or PlayStation shares.
Dashcam idea #3 – Automatic download on WiFi
There’s a number of Raspberry Pi and Arduino projects on GitHub that enable users to have the dashcam footage automatically downloaded when you pull into the garage. Once the car connects to WiFi, it’d be great to have the option to automatically download the footage to a network location.
Dashcam idea #4 – Merge clips / video editor
In my experience, telling a story from Dashcam footage, typically requires 2-3 clips and selected camera angles. Being able to review footage in the car is one thing, but being able to quickly edit and create a highlight reel would be incredibly desirable. This export should also be shareable online.
Dashcam idea #5 – Sort / filter based on location
Events should contain geolocation information (or at least have the option to enable it). This could then enable you to filter the recordings based on the locations. Doing this would dramatically reduce the number of clips you’re working with. To really expand on this, Tesla could leverage your list of favourite or recent locations in the navigation system.
Dashcam idea #6 – Prevent overwrite
If you have an event that is significant, say an accident / insurance claim, then you should be able to market those clips as ‘never delete’. This means when your drive fills and Dashcam overwrites files, you’d feel confident these clips can’t be removed.
Dashcam idea #7 – Dashcam Overlays
Footage from the car’s cameras is great in its raw form, but there’s an opportunity to enhance it with overlays. Take TrackMode V2 for example. Another use for the footage recorded is to make a clip of highlights from a track session. This could include overlays of the track layout, current speed, throttle, break, steering inputs and even temperature, weather and of course date/time stamps.
I think back to editing saved clips on the Xbox of racing titles like Forza, you could add lower3rds and effects to the videos to make them more exciting, lay in some music and now you’re talking.
Dashcam idea #8 – Download to secondary drive
It’d be great to allow the downloading of Dashcam clips to a USB drive connected to one of the other USB ports. For those of us leveraging accessories like the Jeda USB Hub, accessing the drive is possible, but not something you want to remove daily.
I’d love to be able to connect a thumb to a rear USB port, or my phone via Bluetooth and selectively transfer clips from Dashcam viewer.
If you have additional ideas, we’d love to see them, just drop them in the comments.
It seems Tesla owners have already worked out how to hack the viewer to play footage. By formatting SavedClips, you can watch the videos back in the Dashcam Viewer.