Tesla Model 3’s Sentry Mode Camera is equipped with a built-in heater to melt snow when parked

Teslas are renowned for their interesting characteristics, sometimes gimmicky, that set them apart from other cars. Things such as digital whoopee cushions on the seats, video games playable using the car’s steering wheel in the center console, and “Dog Mode,” an environment that keeps your pet comfortable when left unattended in a car. Others are not super useful, but others really are, such as the tiny heated area in front of the “Sentry Mode” camera of the windshield.

Thanks to Jon Herrity, who published a few photos of the device in action in the “Tesla Owners Online ModelS/3X/Y Cybertruck Semi Roadster” Facebook group, we know about this neat, snow-melting feature. It doesn’t melt the snow on the entire windshield, as it would actually put a pretty big strain on the battery. Instead, a square melts just a few inches out, just wide enough to get a good view of its surroundings for the Sentry Mode camera. After all, you want to make sure your camera will capture if it’s sunny or snowy outside if some unfriendly individual tries to vandalize your car.

Users on other Tesla sites, including r/teslamotors on Reddit, have previously seen this feature. It apparently uses the same form of defrosting lines that are used on Teslas and most other vehicles, but obviously the area around the camera is on a different circuit. It is also worth noting that it would also be good for such a device to get rid of condensation, which would also obstruct the view of the camera.

This device is still on all the time, according to other users, whether the driver uses Sentry Mode or not, in order to maintain “Smart Summon” a function that drives your car to wherever you might be standing, functioning properly. Yeah, maybe a simpler way to put it would be just ‘working’. It doesn’t exactly work all the time as expected.

In any case, expect features like this to begin to emerge on any vehicle with cameras and sensors built to make self-driving an eventual reality. Other cars also have small washer jets for their cameras and sensors, but there is no question that heating systems such as Tesla will soon become popular. For these systems to operate, washers and heaters would be required.

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