Video recordings are not helping to identify the car license plate

Video recordings are not helping to identify the car license plate

Somebody hit my M3 and ran away last week and the poor video quality did not help much to find out the License plate. Video quality should be improved and recording capability should be added to the back camera. Poor video quality is making me pay for the collision deductible.

Lonestar10_1999 | 19. Juli 2019

High res video requires fast processing to accommodate high bandwidth. If this type of hardware would become standard, then the cost would be passed on to the customers in the form of higher prices.

Perhaps Tesla could offer an upgraded video package as an option.

Joshan | 19. Juli 2019

if only they had some new hardware coming soon that allowed higher resolution from the cameras. Man if only they had something coming like that. They could call if HW3 or something, right? Man if only...

jluiswn | 19. Juli 2019

Quality of videos are actually pretty good. Lack of rear camera video could've helped you in your case.

lbowroom | 19. Juli 2019

Tesla added this as a nice feature to the car that it didn't originally have. The video hardware is there for AP and FSD to process, not to capture 4K video landscapes.

lbowroom | 19. Juli 2019

"Poor video quality is making me pay for the collision deductible"

The video shows that someone hit you regardless of whether it captured the license plate. What if the car didn't have one? Is that Tesla's fault too? | 19. Juli 2019

I've been a strong crusader for using a 4K (2160p) dashcam. If a 8K was available, I'd get one. The Tesla cameras and related hardware is likely limited to 720p. While free (and integrated) is nice, it's use is limited.

I got broken into last week and caught the car and the license plate of the thief. Due to the narrow angle of the Tesla camera, the car wouldn't even be visible. Even with 4K video and the car's license plate only 7 feet from my dashcam, the license is hard to make out.

Here's some resolution tests I did at 1080p (better than Tesla) to 2160p:

I also show the dashcam video from the breakin here and a crop of just the license plate (not blown up, actual resolution) here:

Anyway, it's cool that Tesla has a free built in dashcam for HW2.5 cars, but it is limited. Do not expect a lot out of it.

lbowroom | 19. Juli 2019

That's probably a better way to word how I feel about it.

praveen1108 | 19. Juli 2019

I did file a complaint with police and they didn't do anything about this.whats the difference in having a tesla and any other car. If the video quality helps in showing the license plate of the vehicle then the availability of these cameras make sense.I have the video and can see the car but of no use. I agree that these videos are helpful but if they can improve the video quality and add recording capability to the back camera then it makes a complete sense in having these.this could have avoided me paying for the collision because of somebody's mistake.I hope you guys understands this.Otherwise i love my M3.

Joshan | 19. Juli 2019

ya if only they would do that. Damn I wish they had some new hardware in the pipeline that will allow for less compression on images. I just wish they had something coming. Personally I would probably call it HW3 /shrug.

Lonestar10_1999 | 19. Juli 2019

@Joshan the HW3 upgrade enhances the video processing and throughput but the existing video imagers and other FSD sensors do not get upgraded. It stands to reason that the low res image captured with the current HW2.5 hardware would not improve upon upgrading to HW3.

Joshan | 19. Juli 2019

They said something about less compression and loss I read somewhere.

leo33 | 19. Juli 2019

@Joshan Yeah, would be nice. Anyone know if the usb controller is on the same board as the NN chips? USB2 bandwidth might be one of the bottlenecks for saving multiple data streams to the thumb drives. Dashcam and sentry only save three streams currently, but aren''t there are something like 7 or 8 cameras?

syclone | 21. Juli 2019

I did some fooling around with photoshop and I can't be sure, but it could be 56567 New York

apodbdrs | 21. Juli 2019

The video shows a good picture of what the driver and car look like, plus if found his car now has damage to the rear passenger side. There was no damage until he hit your car, good evidence. Post a short video of the driver and car on in the surrounding communities and also provide it to the local TV. Someone may be able to identify and help get the jerk!

apodbdrs | 21. Juli 2019

Try taking the video or picture of the guy to the HB freight store, maybe someone can identify him, if he is a regular. They should have his info on file. It would have been good to have done it just after it happened, one of the cashier's might have remembered him and the police could have followed up. Good luck in getting the guy.

Note: I bought a short cable on amazon for my cell phone so I can view the USB quickly and don't need to go home and view the video on my computer.

kevin_rf | 21. Juli 2019

Worth also asking if the store has video cameras on the parking lot. Stores will often turn over the video. At work, if we get dinged all we have to do is go down to security with a time, date, and parking location. It has helped several cow workers, being a giant parking lot in a series of old mill buildings.

Looking at your video, because the person's trunk was open, you never got a good angle on the individuals plate. Don't think a true rear facing camera would have helped here.

I'm assuming you have sent the video to your insurance.

praveen1108 | 21. Juli 2019

I have posted the video on Next door yesterday and the guy he himself responded back and he was trying to give some excuses for not stopping and checking the car and for not leaving the note. Thank you guys for all your suggestions but I am still looking forward to more better quality videos and recording capability for the back camera. Hope will get it in the guys have safe drive..

gmr6415 | 21. Juli 2019

The cameras on the currently manufactured Teslas were not originally designed for dash cam or sentry mode. It's a nice feature that Tesla added after the fact. Camera resolution can be enhanced to some extent digitally, but the issue is really in the camera hardware. Most likely, since sentry mode has become so widely used, Tesla will use higher resolution cameras in the future.

From dumping some M3 dash cam video into Apple's Compressor application, which provides all of the specifications of the video, the M3 video is determined to be 960 H (1280 x 960, Progressive, Square, 35.971 fps), which has become very common in CCTV systems. In my CCTV camera system, the video from my 960H is much clearer than what is coming from the dash cam. I don't know if this is a hardware limitation or if it's all in the software.

derotam | 22. Juli 2019

praveen1108, I hope since the person contacted you, you are now getting it resolved with him?

vmulla | 22. Juli 2019

I expect the image to get better. Why? Because of previous experience with my car in this specific area.

Anyone who had an early VIN car will tell you that looong ago Tesla's rear view camera image was bad. It suffered from bad exposure/contrasts, pink steaks. For months there were many posts about Tesla shipping such a bad camera with the car.
And an update later things just looked great - it wasn't the camera at all. It was just that Tesla put a solution out first, tuned it with better software later.

To the OP, sorry that you couldn't use the video like you hoped. Some video is better than no video.

@Joshan, HW3 or not, I expect more improvements to the TeslaCam because it's quite important for EMs vision for car insurance. But as these features get more complex HW3 would help.

Joho.keith | 22. Juli 2019

Perhaps the lens was just dirty. My car was hit in the rear while parked and the video very clearly showed the license plate of the car as it ran off. Allstate was impressed by the clarity of the video.

82bert | 22. Juli 2019

That was brutal to watch. People are morons and assholes. Glad his conscience got the better of him. No fault of Tesla. | 22. Juli 2019

I've found resolution is so important. I currently use a 4k dashcam, and will likely switch to 8K when it becomes available. Here's some resolution tests I made from 1080P, 1440P and 2160P (4k): These are also all wide angle dashcams to capture more of what is going on. Tesla is using the narrow front camera at 720P so it doesn't look too bad, but it also means it doesn't see as much.

Even with 4K, I had a hard time reading a license plate only 7 feet away, from a thief's car that broke my window. You can see it here: (3rd picture down), where I cropped the 4K image so you can read the plate.

As others point out, I don't see how Tesla can improve the resolution, short of replacing the cameras. Still the free price and convenience of having dashcams built it is really nice and makes up for not being an ideal dashcam.

praveen1108 | 22. Juli 2019

derotam, yes. i am in contact with him and going to the tesla service today.will keep you all posted how it goes...

Joshan | 22. Juli 2019

Glad the camera did end up helping catch the person in the end. Even without the plates!