Ho to Use Dashcam on Model 3

About Dashcam

NOTE: Dashcam is a BETA feature.

In addition to supporting Autopilot features, the
cameras can record and store video footage of the
surrounding roadway on a USB flash drive. This can be
convenient in situations where you want a video
recording of a particular incident, such as a collision. You
can pause, resume, or save video recordings directly
from your vehicle’s touchscreen.

NOTE: Dashcam only works when Model 3 is powered
on. Dashcam does not record video when your vehicle
is powered off.

Using Dashcam

Dashcam requires the use of a properly formatted USB
flash drive to store and retrieve footage. Once a properly
formatted USB flash drive has been inserted into one of
your vehicle’s front USB ports, a Dashcam icon appears
at the top of the touchscreen.
Touch the Dashcam icon to control Dashcam:

RECORDING: Touch the Dashcam icon, when Dashcam is
paused, to start recording video on the flash drive.
(red dot is displayed in the camera icon)

PAUSED: Press and hold the Dashcam icon, when
recording, to pause recording (icon is grayed out).
Ensure that Dashcam is paused before removing the
flash drive to avoid losing camera footage.

SAVED: green checkmark is displayed in the camera icon.

NOTE: Dashcam automatically begins recording when
you insert a properly configured USB flash drive into one
of the front USB ports.

Retrieving Footage

If equipped, you can review Dashcam and Sentry Mode
video recordings on your vehicle’s touchscreen when
Model 3 is in Park. Touch the Dashcam icon on the
touchscreen’s status bar and select Launch Viewer. Each
video, organized by location and timestamp, provides a
thumbnail of all video clips. For additional filtering,
touch the Dashcam or Sentry tabs. Touch a thumbnail to
view the corresponding video footage from each
camera. Pause, rewind, fast forward, and delete video
footage as needed.

You can retrieve video footage from the USB flash drive
by removing the flash drive from the USB port and using
a personal computer or other device to access the files.
Navigate to the TeslaCam folder.

The TeslaCam folder contains three sub-folders:

Recent Clips: The footage in Recent Clips
continuously loops in 60-minute cycles whenever the
cameras are activated. Therefore, footage is
overwritten every hour unless you save it. When an
event is recorded, one video is recorded for each of
the front, rear, left, and right cameras.
Saved Clips: Contains all recordings that you have
manually saved using Dashcam.
Sentry Clips: Contains the last 10 minutes of footage
from all Sentry Mode events that have triggered an
Alert or Alarm state. The footage from each event is
labelled with a unique timestamp.

NOTE: As the USB flash drive runs out of available
space, the oldest footage in Sentry Clips is deleted to
make room for new footage. Once deleted, you are
unable to retrieve them. When the flash drive is full,
Sentry Mode and Dashcam can no longer save video
footage. To prevent the flash drive from getting full,
you must regularly move saved videos to another
device, and delete them from the flash drive.

NOTE: Dashcam recording is paused when the viewer is
NOTE: You are responsible for complying with all local
laws, regulations, and property restrictions regarding
video recordings.
NOTE: The cameras do not record audio.

USB Flash Drive Requirements for Videos and Recording

NOTE: The USB-A port located at the rear of the
glovebox is equipped with a pre-formatted flash drive,
ready to save videos when using features such as Sentry
Mode and Dashcam.

In some market regions you can purchase recommended
USB drives on Tesla’s website to store video from
your vehicle’s cameras.

Minimum USB flash drive requirements:

• A sustained write speed of at least 4 MB/s. A
sustained write speed is different from the peak write
• USB 2.0 compatible. If using a USB 3.0 flash drive, it
must be able to support USB 2.0.
• 64 GB of storage or more. Use a flash drive with as
much available storage as possible. Video footage
can occupy a large amount of space.
• Properly formatted (described below).
• A dedicated flash drive exclusively for saving Sentry
Mode recordings.

Although not a comprehensive list, Tesla has tested the
following flash drives and confirmed that they meet the
requirements for using Dashcam and Sentry Mode:

• Samsung MUF-64AB/AM FIT Plus – 200MB/s USB 3.1
Flash Drive
• Samsung MUF-64AB/AM BAR Plus
• SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Drive
• SanDisk MobileMate USB 3.0 microSD Card Reader
(also recommended: Samsung PRO Endurance
100MB/s (U1) MicroSDXC Memory Card)

Formatting a USB Flash Drive

To correctly save and retrieve video footage, Model 3
requires the USB flash drive to be formatted as exFAT,
FAT 32 (for Windows), MS-DOS FAT (for Mac), ext3, or
ext4. NTFS is currently not supported. In addition, the
USB flash drive must contain a base-level folder called
“TeslaCam” (without quotation marks).

You can format a USB flash drive from inside Model 3 or
from a personal computer.

To format a flash drive from inside Model 3, simply insert
a USB flash drive into a front USB port, and touch Safety
& Security > Format USB Device
. Doing so formats the
drive as exFAT and automatically creates a TeslaCam
folder. The USB flash drive is now ready to record and
save video footage.

CAUTION: The Format USB Device button is
available whenever a USB Flash Drive (with one or
fewer partitions) is plugged into a front USB port.
Choosing Format USB Device formats the drive,
erasing all existing content. If you have content on
a drive that you want to keep, you must move it to
a different device before using this feature.

To format a USB flash drive from a personal computer,
follow the steps below for your operating system.

For MacOS:

  1. Insert the USB flash drive into your personal
  2. Navigate to Utilities > Disk Utility (or conduct a
    Spotlight Search).
  3. Select your flash drive in the left menu.
  4. Navigate to Erase in the top menu ribbon.
  5. In the pop-up menu, select the correct format (MSDOS
    FAT) and click Erase.

NOTE: Selecting Erase removes all existing content
from your flash drive. If you have content that you
want to keep, you must move it to a different device
before erasing.

  1. Once the flash drive is successfully erased, navigate
    to Finder and select your USB flash drive from the
    left menu. The flash drive should not contain any files.
  2. Right-click in the empty space of the flash drive and
    select New Folder. A folder appears in your flash
    drive space.
  3. Right-click on the folder, select Rename, and name
    the folder to “TeslaCam” (without quotation marks).
    Click Save. This folder contains all recent and saved
    clips from Sentry Mode and Dashcam.
  4. Properly eject the USB flash drive.

For Windows:

  1. Insert the USB flash drive into your personal
  2. Navigate to File Explorer.
  3. Right-click on your USB flash drive and select
  4. In the pop-up menu, under the File System section,
    select a support format (such as exFAT, FAT 32, etc.).
    NOTE: You can also name your USB flash drive
    (under Volume Label).
  5. Check the Quick format box and click Start.
  6. Go back to File Explorer, click on your flash drive, and
    right-click to create a folder, or select New Folder in
    the top menu.
  7. Name the folder “TeslaCam” (without quotation
    marks) and click Save. This folder contains all recent
    and saved clips from Sentry Mode and Dashcam.
  8. Properly eject the USB flash drive.

Once you have formatted the USB flash drive and
created the TeslaCam folder, insert it into a USB port in
Model 3. Do not use the rear USB ports—they are for
charging only. It may take Model 3 up to 15 seconds to
recognize the flash drive. When recognized, icons for
Dashcam and Sentry Mode appear at the top of your
touchscreen (note that you may need to enable Sentry
Mode by touching Controls > Safety & Security > Sentry
). Model 3 is ready to record video.

NOTE: For saving Sentry Mode and Dashcam video
footage, Tesla recommends using the USB port located
in the glove box. Doing so increases security and
minimizes power consumption.

Save Clips on Driving Event

Once a properly formatted USB flash drive is inserted in
one of the vehicle’s front USB ports, you can choose to
save Dashcam clips while driving when you honk the
horn, automatic braking is applied or a collision is
detected by your vehicle. To enable this feature, touch
Controls > Safety & Security > Save Clip on Driving
Event > ON
to enable. The most recent ten minutes of
footage is saved.

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