Hundreds of animals die every year during the summer months from the heat of exhaustion from being cruelly locked in a vehicle, according to the American Veterinary Association. After seeing an animal in heat distress, people will call the police and even break into vehicles in an attempt to save the animal's life. Tesla has come up with a proposed solution for drivers to let people know that their animal is OK inside a parked car with a feature that the company calls "dog mode."
As per AutoWeek, "This feature uses the automatic sensors to maintain a comfortable temperature for pets inside the vehicle when you have to run errands, such as inside a grocery store, while also displaying a message in the giant letters to passers-by who might be concerned about pets left in the car. The message will tell anyone looking inside the car that the owner will return soon and display the interior temperature. This feature can be activated via the climate control menu, simply by pressing a button labeled "Dog" within the Keep Climate On option. "
It's a terrible idea. Here's why.
Such a feature would encourage people to leave pets (and heaven forbid, children) unattended in vehicles for lengthy amounts of time. Especially in extreme weather conditions.
I love the fact that the Tesla sensor will keep the car's temperature cool or warm enough to keep drivers, passengers, and pets comfortable. What's not so great is flashing a message that the dog is OK and the owner will be right back. Because we know technology is always flawless, right?
Introducing Dog Mode: Set the cabin temperature to keep your dog comfortable while letting passersby know they do not need to worry pic.twitter.com/xFU6MGZT53
̵1; Tesla (@Tesla) February 14, 2019
People need to be vigilant about animals and children left in cars. Pet owners need to have a good sense of reason to leave their pets at home, if they go wherever where pets are not allowed and when weather is extreme. Period.
I think tech is the answer to the continuing issue of animals and babies being left in hot vehicles. What I would love to see in addition to automatic climate-regulating sensors: notification sent to a vehicle's owner and then authorities when car interior temperature becomes dangerous and when sensible being is detected in that car.
Because if I see A dog in signs of heatstroke, I do not give a whit about a message that says to the effect, "The dog is OK, everything is fine, do not worry." The tech that saves children and pets from heatstroke has to Without a question, Tesla is trying to do the right thing with her new feature in "Dog Mode" in its Model 3. But it has the potential to breed more irresponsibility in pet owners.
Samara Lynn a technology journalist, cover ing the industry for a decade. Her work appears in The Wirecutter, Tom's Hardware, PC Mag, and other online outlets. She's the author of "Windows Server 2012: Up and Running" and has previously worked in the IT industry. She is currently the digital manager at Black Enterprise