Tag Archives: Raspberry Pi

Tesla Tinkering

Tesla Tinkering

The Tesla Model 3 has more cool features than you can throw an eclectic CEO at. From Autopilot to Emissions Testing, there is always another creative innovation guaranteed to amaze. One such fun feature is the ability to record video from the vehicle’s cameras. There are two situations where this can be done. At any time during vehicle operation, you can save the last several minutes of video by tapping the Dashcam icon. When in Sentry Mode, video recorded during detected events is automatically saved. The car doesn’t have onboard or cloud storage for recorded video. To enable the feature, you must format a USB flash drive with a FAT32 file system, add a root directory called “TeslaCam”, and plug the drive into the USB slot in the car. To access the stored video, remove the USB and plug it into a device to view or move the video files. Once the USB is full, the feature is not available until you free some of the USB storage by manually deleting files. This is great, but it begs for improvement. It would be wonderful if the video would automatically stream to a data storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox. An embedded device that emulates a USB flash drive but then connects to your WiFi and uploads your videos would do the trick. I dont know enough about USB to do this myself in the time that I have. Fortunately, it’s 2019. The open-source movement is so strong that not only has someone probably already done whatever you want to do, they probably made it available for free with detailed instructions on how to do it, and a team of volunteers now maintains and improves that project. That’s exactly the situation with Tesla’s video logging. An Open Source Solution Enter TeslaUSB, an open source project based on the Raspberry Pi Zero by GitHub user cimryan. The Raspberry Pi is a very small computer designed to run a simple Linux Operating System like Raspian. While the Raspberry Pi Zero only consumes about 0.7 W of power (much less than an incandescent light bulb), it has computing power similar to your smartphone. The TeslaUSB project takes a Raspberry Pi and turns it into a device that can be plugged into the Tesla USB port. The Tesla only sees a normal USB Flash drive and stores video on the Pi as it normally would. However, when the Pi detects your home WiFi network, it connects and moves the videos to a data storage service. This frees up its own storage space so that you never need to manually delete the videos. In fact, as long as you periodically drive your car within your home WiFi range, you don’t even need to think about it. While the open source community can sometimes lack in maintenance and documentation, its strength is that anyone can pitch in and bring new life to a project. The forums from early this year are full of users who had

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