Tesla added a new feature called the ‘Blind Spot Camera’ in their latest software update, v11.0 (2021.44.30.11). Of course, this wasn’t the only improvement made to my Tesla Model 3, but it was one that I thought might be particularly useful.
According to TeslaScope this software update is in the process of being rolled out to the owners of Tesla vehicles.
I was able to update my car on Monday. My software update preferences are set to ‘advanced’, although I’m not sure how much a difference that makes in terms of getting access to new features sooner.
Tesla says that selecting advanced allows my Model 3 to ‘receive new software updates as soon as they become available for its configuration.’
New features and improvements in Tesla Software Update
The latest software update includes the following improvements and new features:
- Light Show
- Customizable App Launcher
- Simplified Controls
- Blind Spot Camera
- Edit Waypoints
- Boombox Megaphone
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- The Battle of Polytopia Multiplayer Support
- Cold Weather Improvements
- Automatic Seat Heaters
- Manage Dashcam Clips
- Dark Mode
- Hide Map Details
The improvements that seem the most valuable to me are the Cold Weather Improvements, Automatic Heated Seats (I live in New York, and it’s winter here…), Edit Waypoints, and the Blind Spot Camera.
About the Blind Spot Camera
As the Blind Spot Camera potentially offers increased safety to Tesla Drivers, I wanted to focus on that in this article.
You activate this feature by going to Controls, Autopilot, Automatic Blind Spot Camera.
Tesla says about the Blind Spot Camera, “You can now automatically see a live camera view of your blind spot whenever you activate the turn signal.”
Yesterday as I was driving on local roads here in Westchester I wanted to try out this new safety feature. While it seemed really useful, trying to fit it into my driving habits didn’t feel as intuitive as I would like it to be.
Normally when I drive on a highway and want to switch lanes to the right, I’d do the following:
- I would check my rearview mirror to see behind me and check for any upcoming traffic
- Check my passenger-side mirror to see who might be next to me or behind me
- Look over my righthand shoulder to check my blindspot, and
- When I see that the right lane is clear and it is safe to move over, I turn on my signal and intiate the lane change.
After many years of driving this way, it has become such a habit, that it is hard to change. And I am not sure how to fit in Tesla’s new safety feature of showing you your blind spot when you initiate your turn signal.
For me, the difference is, that I only turn on my signal when I’m actually about to make the change and I already know that it is safe to do so.
Tesla’s Blind Spot Camera only is activated after you turn on the signal.
However, I do not turn on the signal first, look at the new Tesla Blind Spot Camera footage shown in the lower lefthand corner of the screen, then still check my rearview and passenger-side view mirror, look over my shoulder, and initiate the lane change.
I guess the difference might lay in the fact that I was taught to only initiate your signal when you intend to switch lanes and already know that it is safe to do so. I was not taught to initiate your signal first as an indication of something you may want to do before checking if changing lanes is safe to do so.
To me, the graphic display of cars around you and coloring the ones that are in your blindspot red, as Tesla has done for some time now, is a more useful feature. This allows you to check for nearby vehicles before you decide to change lanes and use your signal. See photo below.
My thoughts on the Blind Spot Camera
Anyways, these are my two cents. I thought it was useful to point out this new safety feature that Tesla made available with its latest software update.
Maybe there is a different way and even better way of incorporating the Blind Spot Camera?
Using wide-angle cameras with screens in the lower corner of the a-pillars inside the vehicle would be the perfect solution, I think. Maybe until cameras are officially allowed to replace side-view mirrors, this is the next best option?
I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the Blind Spot Camera feature that Tesla made available in their latest software update. Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Honda showed us what that might look like in the video below.