Tesla is known for their tech-focused approach to making electric cars in California. The EV maker continues to push the envelope, from dense batteries to breakneck acceleration and everything in between. But there’s one aspect that needs discussion: blind spot systems.
Tesla cars do not have blind spot assist lights on the side mirrors. Instead, they use a different but practical approach to cover the blind spot in Teslas. Here’s how they work.
About Blind Spot Monitoring Systems in Tesla Cars
- Tesla’s blind spot monitoring system uses hypersonic sensors located throughout the car.
- The sensors are located around the periphery of the car. There are repeater cameras positioned throughout the Tesla.
- These systems provide Tesla cars with a 360-degree view of the car. This view is displayed on the screen.
- Here’s where the blind spot monitoring system differs from other cars: there is no light or insignia on the mirrors.
- Traditionally, cars use these lights on the mirror to indicate another vehicle at the blind spot.
- Instead, Tesla’s blind monitoring system provides all the alerts on the left side of the center screen.
- Here’s how the center screen alerts you about objects in your blind spot.
- As you drive your Tesla, the center screen displays your position relative to the surroundings as a cool animation.
- Usually, the animation is zoomed in when there are no objects around the car’s blind spots.
- As another vehicle approaches the Tesla’s blind spot, the Tesla animation expands the view.
- The disadvantage of using this system is that you’ll have to keep an eye on the animation. This means moving your eyes away from the road for a few seconds. This could be a risky maneuver, especially for motorists who are still learning to drive.
- This used to be the only blind spot warning mechanism in Teslas until a recent update. In the latest update, Tesla added a “Blind Spot Collision Warning Chime” feature.
- If another car comes exceptionally close to your Tesla, you will hear an audibly loud beep. Note that the beep does not activate when an object enters your blind spot.
- It only beeps when you change lanes, or someone enters your space and comes dangerously close to your car.
Using Actual Cameras to See Your Blind Spot
You can also use the actual cameras of the Tesla to view its blind spots. The blind spots are displayed by a wide-angle rearview camera and the rear view repeating cameras.
The wide-angle rearview camera should suffice for the most part. Besides, vehicles will be displayed on the wide-angle camera before appearing on the rearview repeating cameras.
The repeating cameras are not as effective as the wide-angle camera when it comes to identifying objects in your blind spot.
They are, however, good at showing you objects parallel to your Tesla. But that is redundant because those objects or vehicles will appear on your side mirror anyway.
Think of the repeating cameras as a nice-to-have feature instead of a must-have feature.
Pro tip: If you have adjusted your mirrors perfectly, you probably won’t need to use the cameras to see your blind spots. Before you get it right, this can take quite a bit of trial and error. However, it’s a great skill to learn.
Here’s how you can activate the blind spot camera:
- Go into Controls > Autopilot > Toggle Automatic Blind Spot Camera
Don’t forget to toggle on “Blind Spot Collision Warning Chime” right below “Automatic Blind Spot Camera.”
Caution: It can be risky and unsafe to look down at the screen while changing lanes or parking the car. Moving your eyes away from the road while driving is not recommended.
Check out: Can You Get a Tesla Without a Sunroof? [7 Reasons]
Importance of Cleaning the Cameras and Sensors
- Tesla’s blind spot monitoring system will not work accurately if its sensors and cameras are unclean.
- To ensure accurate performance, you must keep these components clear of moisture, blockage, and dirt.
- Cleaning your Tesla’s cameras and mirrors is relatively easy. Use a soft cloth to wipe any dirt from the cameras and sensors. You may wet the cloth with warm water.
- Make a habit of cleaning the sensors and cameras regularly.
- Note: Do not use chemical-based cleaners or abrasives. They will damage the surface of your cameras and sensors. Also, don’t direct high-pressure water on the car’s exterior. Finally, don’t use a sharp object to clean the ultrasonic sensors because this could damage the surface.
- Take your Tesla to authorized service centers for cleaning and repairing the Autopilot components.
- The exact placement of the cameras and sensors depends on your Tesla’s model. Consult the manual to learn where the Autopilot components are located.
- It is also possible for condensation to accumulate inside the camera. This usually happens when the Tesla is exposed to extreme cold or rain.
- The touchscreen may indicate that the camera is blocked. This could disable or disrupt autopilot functions, including blind spot monitoring.
- For this reason, you should rely on the car’s side mirrors to change lanes and track your blind spots.
- Condensation can be cleared by preconditioning the cabin. Set climate controls to a warm temperature and direct the front air vents toward the door pillars.
- This should prevent moisture.
How to Adjust Tesla Mirrors to Avoid Blind Spots (without using cameras)
Tesla appears to provide a fool-proof blindspot warning system. But the system heavily relies on cameras and sensors that may fail because of external factors.
But we recommend drivers learn how to navigate the old-fashioned way: using mirrors to gain situational awareness.
The side mirrors can negate the car’s blind spot when positioned correctly. This also eliminates the need to look over your shoulder when changing lanes.
It also eliminates the need for an aftermarket blind spot warning kit – if you don’t trust Tesla’s autopilot system. This section explores how you can decrease your blind spots.
Driver Side Mirror (Left)
Lean your forehead until it touches the window glass. Now adjust the mirror until you can barely make out the side panel of your Tesla.
When you sit up straight, you should not be able to see your Tesla. Besides, why would you ever want to see your car in the mirror? It’s not going to sneak up on you as you drive!
Also read: The Definitive Comparison Between BMW i3 and Tesla Model 3
Non-Driver Side Mirror (Right)
Now lean your face to the right until it is aligned with the Tesla’s center. The center position is right between the two front seats at normal height.
From there, adjust the right side mirror so you can barely see the Tesla.
- For this one, sit as you usually do without leaning on either side. Don’t assume a position you wouldn’t take when driving your Tesla in normal conditions.
- Also, when adjusting the mirror, consider that you may be slouching some days and sitting upright on others. Adjust the mirror for that particular position.
- You should be able to see as much of the back window as possible from the center mirror.
- This should be it. You will now have decreased your blind spot significantly. You won’t have to worry about someone unexpectedly appearing out of your blind spot like a wild Pokémon.
- Pro tip: Constantly scan your mirrors when driving the car. Don’t be in the habit of only using the mirrors when you are changing lanes or passing someone.
- Adjusting the mirrors to decrease your blind spots and constantly monitoring them will increase your traffic awareness.
- It may be recommended to look over your shoulders when you change lanes. The mirrors may reduce your blind spots, but they may not completely get rid of them.
- This is especially true at higher speeds. It is possible for smaller vehicles, such as bikes, to unexpectedly appear out of nowhere.
- You will have to watch out for these vehicles when changing lanes. They are notorious for appearing in the blindspot of cars.
Why You Should Not Rely on Tesla Autopilot
Tesla’s autopilot feature provides a 3D view of your position relative to your surroundings. This is an excellent way of avoiding accidents.
However, all Tesla cars feature standard safety features that ensure you can avoid accidents without engaging Autopilot.
Besides, we don’t recommend relying solely on Autopilot to avoid accidents. This is because autopilot components, including the sensors and cameras, may become inaccurate over time.
Autopilot components can accumulate moisture and dirt and even get damaged. There have been reports, including news articles, outlining the dangers of relying on Tesla’s autopilot system.
The Autopilot isn’t always accurate and may not detect crashes until it’s too late. Even Tesla warns that autopilot components should not be depended on for driving the car.
Several external factors can reduce the performance and accuracy of autopilot components. In other words, it is the driver’s responsibility to drive safely.
Any accidents and injuries resulting from faulty autopilot components are the driver’s responsibility. Using Autopilot does not shift liability away from the driver.
Experts are worried that autopilot components can lull drivers into a false sense of security. As the technology malfunctions, the drivers may not be ready to take control in the nick of time.
It doesn’t help that Tesla markets Autopilot as the holy grail of safe driving. This can lead drivers to driver complacency.
Some fatal crashes have been attributed to Tesla’s Autopilot. This is because drivers were not prepared to take control of their cars quickly enough.
Tesla says that the autopilot feature, including Full Self-Driving features, is intended for a fully attentive driver. This means you must have your hands on the wheel and be prepared to take complete control at any moment.
All Tesla cars include standard safety features such as:
- Lane Departure Avoidance
- Fortified battery pack
- Low center of gravity
- Rigid passenger compartment
- Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance
- Automatic Emergency Braking
- Occupant Restraint System
Make sure to learn how to use these systems to navigate traffic, especially on highways.
Click to know: How Many Amp Hours is a Tesla Electric Car’s Battery?
Aftermarket Blindspot Warning Systems
Does the thought of blindspot scare you? It’s probably best to buy a blind spot detection system for your Tesla.
Aftermarket blindspot monitors are usually added to older cars not equipped with this technology. But, no law stops you from adding them to your Tesla.
You’re looking for a blindspot indicator on your Tesla’s side mirrors. You don’t need additional sensors because your Tesla has got you covered.
Indicators come in various forms, including LED lights that alarm you when someone enters your blind spot.
Most aftermarket blind spot systems are universal. This means you can use them regardless of your Tesla’s model.
There are dozens of aftermarket blind spot warning systems available. Make sure you do your research before adding them to your Tesla.
Some of the top brands for blind spot detection systems include:
The reliability of the blind spot monitoring system depends on the device. False trigger rates and accurate levels depend on the make and model of the device.
Even the most reliable systems are no substitute for using your mirrors. This is why we recommend practicing safe driving habits, alongside using blindspot warning systems.
It may take a few weeks to get used to the new system as you let your brain and eyes adapt to the new perspectives.
Tesla has equipped its cars with many advanced safety features, including blind spot detection systems.
The system may be different from other cars, but it has proven to work. But we always recommend learning how to adjust the mirrors to practice safe driving.
If you have questions about using Tesla’s blind spot systems, contact certified service centers for information.
Finally, your Tesla’s autopilot components will accumulate dirt, dust, and compensation. Make sure to have them serviced by a professional regularly.
Clean the sensors and cameras after every rain and if the Tesla is parked outside in the extreme cold.
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My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.