We strongly recommend that you use a dash cam for a number of reasons, which are highlighted in our article about dash cams here.
If you own a Tesla made after July 2017 then you can rejoice, because your car comes with a dash cam feature built in, which records video while driving from four cameras (three front facing, one rear facing) on the car.
If you want to use it, you’ll need to take the following steps:
1. To activate your Tesla’s dash cam, you’ll first need to set up a dedicated flash drive:
Insert a supported flash drive (see “what flash drive should I use” below) into one of your car's front USB sockets (the rear USB socket doesn't support dash cam)
Tap Controls > Safety & Security > FORMAT USB DEVICE to format and create the associated folders for the dash cam. (Note: Formatting the USB drive will also delete any existing clips)
2. Once formatted, your Tesla should recognise your USB flash drive and a dash cam icon will appear at the top of your touch screen. There’s no need to toggle anything on or off - everything is automatically being recorded and saved as you drive.
3. Important: Your Tesla will record for 1 hour before overwriting the old videos. There are two ways to save a recording; either press the horn or press the dash cam icon on your touch screen and the most recent ten minutes of video will be archived. The video will be saved with a timestamp and will not be overwritten.
4. To view any of your Oscar-worthy content, you’ll need to disconnect the flash drive from your Tesla and connect it to a computer. Important: Removing the flash drive without turning it off may corrupt some of your precious video files. To turn it off, press and hold the dash cam icon until it changes from red to grey, then wait about 10 seconds before removing it.
What flash drive should I use?
Your flash drive must have enough capacity, performance and the ability to handle a range of in-car temperatures and vibrations.
Flash drive type - Any flash drive formatted to the “FAT32” file system is compatible with your Tesla dash cam (including USB, microSD, SSD, etc.).
Capacity - The larger the flash drive, the more video you can store on it - we recommend that 32 GB should be the lower limit.
Write speed - Tesla states that a minimum write speed of 4 MB/s is required for the dash cam.
USB type - All USB versions (2.0, 3.0 etc.) are compatible with your Tesla.
Here are two flash drives that we recommend for use in your Tesla::
We recommend that you read your Owner’s Manual for instructions on how to use your Tesla dash cam. Disclaimer: If you’re having trouble with yours, you’ll get the best advice from a professional or the manufacturer.