Roadie Review – Can it Fix Tesla Sentry Mode?


– This past year, Tesla released to all those with a capable car. The ability for it to have its unique and wildly awesome security
system called Sentry mode. Now this is kind of unheard
of where there are multiple cameras always recording
and as a person approaches the vehicle it turns on
and to an alarm state and if something happens it
starts playing classical music all while recording all of
the cameras around the vehicle for you and you know potentially
to pass onto the police later to use. But getting that footage
and understanding it in be even just being
able to browse through it and make sense of it has been
quite a challenge until now. Today I want to talk about
this little thing called the roadie, which simplifies
that entire process. Let’s free the data. (upbeat music) In February of 2019 Tesla
launched Sentry mode and they did so because of
all the thefts that occur and break-ins to cars. They
cited a federal stat which says that there is an estimated
one motor vehicle theft or attempted theft every 40.8
seconds in the United States as of 2017 and that doesn’t
include the vast number of car break-ins that happened nationwide. According to TESL, the way
it works is century mode adds a unique layer of
protection to Tesla vehicles by continuously monitoring
the environment around the car when it’s left unattended. When enabled sentry mode enters what they calls standby mode. This is like many home alarm
systems in which the users car and external cameras are there
to detect potential threats. If a minimal threat is detected,
it goes into an alert state and displays a message on the touchscreen which warns that the cameras are on and that it is recording. If it is a more severe threat
is such as someone breaking a window sensor mode
switches to an alarm state, in which case it activates the car alarm, increases the brightness
of the center display and plays this awesome music (upbeat music) Now Sentry mode can be enabled
for those vehicles equipped with hardware two. This is the one that has all
the cameras surrounding it. There’s three up front, two
on the sides, one in the back. And with that, you just
go into security settings under safety and security
and turn sentry mode on. And if you want a deeper dive
into this, my buddy Alex did a really great video testing.
It’s showing its capabilities, throwing a ball at his car. It’s a really well done video. I’ll put a link in the
description down below to go check that if you want to go deeper into exactly what sentry
mode is capable of. Now the biggest problem
here has been trying to view the footage and you would
know that you need to view the footage if you were in an accident or if your window is smashed. But what about if someone keyed your car? Just scuffed the bumper. This is where it becomes a challenge and Sentry mode has a notorious issue of reporting false positives. A false, it was where it
says there was an event and it will report this on the screen, but really it was just someone
walking by or a car even. Now in my own experience,
I will park on a busy road and in San Diego in a
somewhat urban environment and come back an hour later
to see dozens, if not 30 plus events being reported by
sentry mode all for basically no reason, nothing actually happened. It just vibrated it or someone walked by, whatever the case may be. And so in those situations, someone could have scuffed the
bumper or slightly keyed it intentionally, unintentionally,
whatever it is, and you just drive off
because there’s just too much information, right? It’s too much noise, not enough signal. Well that’s where this
little guy is aiming to help because it simplifies the
process of accessing that footage and seeing if something really occurred. And you may think, well yeah,
it just pulled the USB drive out and plug it into your
computer and you’re good to go. But the truth is is that there are four cameras
recording at all times. So imagine that if you have
36 events reported while you were in somewhere grabbing a sandwich and you come back and you
want to check that footage, there are four cameras recording here. So 36 times four is 144 video clips. That’s why you can’t
just take the USB out, pop it in your computer
and see the answer. It’s much more involved than that. Now, Tesla did do a software
update later in 2019 that tried to better organize
things by putting sentry mode clips in a separate
one from your dash cam, but still 36 events, four
cameras, 144 video files, nothing actually occurred. And that’s where I think
a lot of people will just, just let it go. They don’t
even bother because you know, while it is cool that this
feature exists, unless something major happens to your car,
you’re probably not gonna go look at the footage. So the way roadie works
is it’s really simple. It’s actually just a very
little simple circuit board and I’ll kind of pop it off here. You can kind of see that basically
it replaces the USB drive that you used to have inside
of your car with this, And basically, tricks in it
to thinking it’s the USB drive and then itself has a wireless network that you can connect to. And that’s really kind of the cool thing. It also can connect over
Bluetooth and it can connect to your home wifi network. So in order to set it
up, what you do is you pop it in your car, you
take the little USB cable, it comes with, this is a micro USB cable, which I’m not a huge fan of. You pop this, you know,
the, the full size USBA side into your car. I happen
to have a little USB adapter, little USB hub that I use
because they only gave you two ports and you need more than that. You pop that in one in there
and then the other end into the roadie and , and you’re good to go. Bob’s your uncle. Now there’s a QR code on the back. So when you set it up in
your phone, you scan that and it’ll connect to it. This direct connection is
then how you can view footage. Now the interface in the
app is decent for now, it’s very early stages and I think it’s just
one guy working on this. So for what he’s been
able to do, tremendous job but it definitely could use
some work and I imagine we’ll have future software updates
to the app which is available on iOS and Android. So you know, it’s, it’s
available, it’s out there for you. And so when you connect directly to it, my experience was it was really buggy, it didn’t really work. The footage was just too big,
I think for it to actually download and I couldn’t really
even view the footage at all using this method. So the next step, the next
way to do it that I recommend and that it supports is for the roadie to connect
to your mobile hotspot. So what you do is you go into your phone, you turn on your mobile
hotspot, whether that’s Android or iOS, and then you have the roadie. You go into the roadie app and
set it up to connect to it. Now I will say that in doing so, it doesn’t pop open a
dropdown of wifi networks. It sees, it’s just not very intuitive. It’s very kind of manual
and hands on at this point. So you have to manually
type in all of those things and hope they match. And then once you get
that done, it connects and now it’s usable. Now
through your phone’s hotspot, the roadie can send the footage
in a, in a way that’s usable that you can actually
kind of scrub through and see what’s happening. And it’s really good. It
has all the cameras there and you can just browse through the clips and I think it’s very well done. The third way to use the
roadie is to have it connect to a wifi network. So if you’re at home, your home
wifi network, put your phone on that same wifi network,
open the roadie app, and you’re good to go. You
should be able to browse things. This in my experience was
the fastest where I was able to transfer the footage the quickest. And I was able to scrub
through it in a much more reasonable way. Like I said, so the, the
original kind of just Bluetooth connection did not work barely at all. I could not even get it to
function. And then the second way where it connected to my
phone’s hotspot worked good and the one at the home
network worked the best. So I think it’s very
early days for roadie. It’s buggy at this point,
but it’s pretty awesome. And at this point it
makes sentry mode usable where all those false positives,
you might actually take an extra two minutes to scan.
Literally you pop open your mobile hotspot, you open the roadie app and you can scan through
it in just a few minutes. So that is where I think this is valuable. So currently it’s sold out and there’s two versions
of 64 gig and 128 gig. With the different prices
I’ll put on the screen here, they kind of fluctuate a
little bit, so you know, check it out, at the link down below. But the question for
you I think is whether or not it’s worth it. So
for me, I’m a tinkerer. I’m a DIY kind of person. Yeah, I think this is super
cool. In fact, I was actually working on one, hold on. I was legit working on
one of my own things. This is a Jetson Nano which
is very similar to the roadie. You can see that the Jetson
Nano has a massive heat sink, a bunch of different ports
including an ethernet port. So this is a, a much
more powerful computer. You can just kind of see
the size comparison here. But I was actually working on software for the Jetson Nano to do this. And the, you know, the thing
that I would want in the roadie that it doesn’t have is the next step, which is what I was really
trying to put together here is some sort of , image
recognition where it would actually scan the images and then
determine if there was something in there. Now that is
a lot more challenging than it sounds because you need
a massive training dataset. And of course you can use
something like Google’s video ML, which is what I was testing with and it works. But then
you need a big connection. Actually have a, a, a little
LTE module here that I was going to connect these
two guys with to do that. But you know, all in, I think
the roadie is really cool if you’re a tinker, if you like DIY stuff, I definitely would get one. If you are somebody that,
you know, you think 200 bucks to spend or 100 bucks or whatever it is, when you watch this video is a lot, then maybe not because I
don’t think it’s fully baked in terms of just ease of use yet. It is cool how it’s just a couple steps. Like it’s, it’s as kind of
seamless as it could be, but I just ran into so
many little API issues and things that I think if
you were a regular consumer and not somebody that’s
kind of a, a tech head that likes the tinkering of
things, you know, you’re afraid of Linux and things like that, then it’s probably not for you yet. But my guess is that down the road the roadie is going to get,
you know, a significant upgrade and , probably be something
that’s kind of indispensable and everyone that has has a Tesla. So that’s it for this one. Guys, if you enjoy reviews
of products like these, then please let me know
a really interesting, cool products that you have. If you’re somebody that
makes one check out the about section for my email where
you can send it over. Because as Tesla evolves,
I want to be there to help really kind of give an
objective view of these things. Roadie didn’t send this to me,
they didn’t pay me anything. I bought it myself. And yeah, I mean that,
that’s what this is. So, so let me know of any cool
products that you guys wanna see reviewed here on the channel. And always don’t forget when you’re free, the data, your model follow. I’ll see you guys back
here in the next year. (upbeat music) Thanks for watching the video.
I hope you guys enjoyed it. And if you want to dive deeper
and connect with me on a daily basis and even maybe do
some of the research behind some of these videos, consider joining us at patreon.com/teslanomics
and I hope to see you there.

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