I probably saw news of the new Tesla blind spot camera feature when it was introduced in December 2021 and then forgot about it, or maybe it was somehow in my social media and Google News blind spot (haha) and I never noticed it at all. Well, recently, while going through my settings for something else, I noticed “Automatic Blind Spot Camera” in the Autopilot settings and enabled it. The description says, “Show side repeater camera when turn signal is engaged.”
In short, when you turn on a turn signal, a video feed of one of your cameras shows up on the bottom left corner of the screen. (Reportedly, you will soon be able to move where on the screen the blind spot camera feed shows.)
If you engage the left turn signal, you’ll get a video feed from the back left corner of the car. If you engage the right turn signal, you’ll get a video feed from the back right corner of the car. Here’s a short video from the internets showing use of the Automatic Blind Spot Camera feature:[embedded content]
I love this new(ish) feature. It provides great visibility to the areas behind my car where another car may be hiding out and asking for a horrific accident if I start changing lanes or turning without checking the blind spots adequately.
The one downside of the camera feed is that you do have to look down and away from the road for a moment to view it, so you still have to remember to use it and you do have to take your eyes off of other potential issues in front of you or on the side of you at the same time that you’re preparing to change lanes or turn. This is one case where it would truly be nice to have a little screen behind the steering wheel — like the IONIQ 5 has (though, the IONIQ 5’s camera feed seems to be notably smaller and thus not quite as useful as Tesla’s in that respect):
But, clearly, we’re not getting that screen added to a Model 3 and I have a bigger request anyway.
The blind spot that has caused me the most risk isn’t actually one of the ones in the back of the car. It’s the blind spot caused by the front-right pillar. There have been a handful of instances in which someone (in a car, on a bike, or walking) was going from right to left at just the same rate as I was moving forward such that they remained hidden behind that pillar for a few seconds, or even several seconds.
It seems impossible when you look at the pillar, but it happens. It’s like the magic of a solar eclipse and the fact that the moon is just the right size to perfectly block the much larger sun due to how much further away the sun is. A full car can fit behind the pillar as it drives along a crossroad, probably aided in its cover by the rear-view mirror.
Ideally, when I turn on my left turn signal, I’d have two blind spot camera feeds pop onto the touchscreen — one for the back left and one for the front right.
I know — this is probably too much to ask and my wish won’t be granted. But one can try.
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