Update for backup camera to include guidelines

Update for backup camera to include guidelines

Is there a plan to have the backup camera display guidelines when putting the car in reverse? I have other vehicles (older) that have this feature and it is extremely helpful when backup into a parking spot, etc.


michael1800 | July 19, 2013 then add backup camera. There's a lot of info on this and none of it has changed. The volkerize is a 'search Tesla forums' gateway. Very helpful.

Bob W | July 19, 2013

This is a well known requirement, having received more votes in the Prioritized Software Enhancement List than any other suggestion.

A Tesla Product Marketing rep. responded to me via email:

"Guide lines for the rear view camera is a difficult problem due to hardware, but we are aware of the request. I will share your comments [about it being a top user request] once more with engineering."

(From this thread.)

earlyretirement | July 19, 2013

Not to change the subject but how come they can make an EV and send a rocket to space but they can't put a search function on a website??? I was just curious about that.

cloroxbb | July 19, 2013

Probably because it is not a priority. There is pretty much ZERO presence from Tesla here.

I would rather they focus on the business. The Tesla forum should be pretty far down the list of "needs."

I would rather the software guys focus on updates for the car, rather than updating the forum on the website.

That may just be me though.

dirkhh | July 19, 2013

Have you noticed that every single thread here in no time goes off topic?

Anonymous | July 19, 2013


cloroxbb | July 19, 2013

Back to on topic:

I wonder how we ever survived the last 100 years of driving without having backup cameral lines (or a backup camera), oh yeah, we looked behind us.

elguapo | July 19, 2013

On topic: I think this is not near the top of their list as it really isn't a deal dealer by itself. They're probably focused almost entirely on getting the sleep mode back and other refinements to existing functions.

cybrown | July 19, 2013

I hope elguapo is right. I don't have my Model S yet, but backup guidelines are nowhere near as important to me as the other posters here. I'd much rather have decreased vampire drain. It amazes me how many forum posters don't seem to be able to drive without a slew of sensors to tell them where things are. I've been driving <$25k cars my whole life without all these fancy sensors and I've never had a problem parking, checking my blind spots, or backing up. I hope Tesla focuses on truly important things instead of luxury extras.

shamrockceo | July 19, 2013

I hope they focus on both...

jbunn | July 19, 2013

In order to implement guidelines, the front wheel needs a sensor to determine it's angle, which is likely why the Rep said it's a hardware issue.

Perhaps next year we'll start seeing more sensors, adaptive cruise, etc. Course, that's going to make the 2012/2013's less attractive when new bells and whistles come out.

JAFIC | July 20, 2013

It will come. Once International model rolls out +6 months, it should be out for US/Canada. Right now, I guess they are having issues with most of asia having drivers' on the right. takes some engineering to do.

Disclaimer : Above statment is purely speculative.

danej | July 20, 2013


Guide lines which flex as you turn need a turn angle sensor (ala Toyota Sienna), but for fixed lines (Ford F-150), it's just a screen overlay. But that overlay must be a problem for them.

The guide lines are a nice help, but really I'd prefer the aural "sixth sense" that park-distance sensors provide. On the BMW and other cars, they're location specific, so you can "sense" with your ears that you are backing toward something on the left rear. In cars with good park distance beepers as well as a camera, I find the sensors far more useful than the camera - guide lines or not.


JAFIC | July 21, 2013

@dane, are you refering to the "radar" sensors that beeps more frequent when it gets near something ?

jefflieb | July 23, 2013

If I'm going to move on from my 10th BMW to "feel good" about driving an EV, don't take away the stuff the helps me protect my investment and not hitting other things around me, although I can drive and don't usually hit stuff it removes the anxiety from my experience.

pebell | July 23, 2013

@jafic, the frequency indicates the distance, but in addition to that, BMW uses the different speakers in the car to let the beeps come from the part of the car that is closest to the obstacle (i.e. "left rear")

@jefflieb, +1. Interestingly, when the PDC sensors became available on the European model, I asked my lease company to upgrade my existing order to include this option. Even though the option itself costs 550 Euros, the monthly lease price for my car went down a bit instead of up! That must be due to their statistics, indicating that cars this size with parking sensors accumulate less damage over the term of the lease contract than cars without them.

Brian H | July 23, 2013

Are you leasing from Athlon? How soon do they promise an MS for you?

RZitrin1 | July 23, 2013

I actually had camera guidelines as #1 on my Prioritized Software list, but I'm at the point after nine months with the car where I know how close I am because I'm used to what the camera is showing me.

I think that over time, this will be less important as we learn how to use the camera, which is excellent.

BTW, without an expensive add-on, BMWs (my wife has a 2012 3-series convertible) do not have cameras, just sounds. I much prefer a good resolution camera, like the Tesla's.

dstiavnicky | July 23, 2013

If they do put them, I hope they allow us to turn them off. I would never use them. Ever.
And sometimes I like to drive with the camera on...

weeandthewads | July 23, 2013

Based on Product marketing's response, It's not going to happen!

bbryant | July 23, 2013

Until Tesla provides a remedy I think I will set out some markers
in the driveway to guage the range of the camera lens. If I can get some feel for where the image reports in relation to the fenders and rear edge of the body I can produce a graphic that might help others.

This IS a problem as I have come dangerously close several times backing into a charge stall. The rear tilt mirrors are about the only other tool to avoid damage.

Now you might think SpaceX would help since they have a rather unusual parking feature on Dragon! Why not S?

Bob W | July 23, 2013

@bbryant wrote:

"If I can get some feel for where the image reports in relation to the fenders and rear edge of the body I can produce a graphic that might help others."

The rear bumper should already be quite visible at the very bottom edge of the backup camera display. I didn't notice it at first, but once I did, the backup camera became much more useful to me.

It's pretty easy to tell when something is only inches away from your rear bumper. Try backing up very slowly, with your garage door closed. Stop when you think you are 6" away. Then go look to see how well you did.

I haven't backed into anything yet, but I did scrape my rims on a curb, and my nose did bump into a cabinet while parking inside a friend's garage for the first time. I really wish the car had cameras on all 4 sides!

jbunn | July 23, 2013


I prefer the audio sonar sensors as well.

It's as you note another sense to use while driving Watch the mirrors, but if you miss something, you also hear it. My wife had that, and I really liked it.

pebell | July 24, 2013

@BrianH: Yes I am leasing from Athlon. I had someone from their "Special Vehicles" division on the phone the other day when I changed my interior color from black to tan, and I think she said that the SIGs were due by the end of August, if I am not mistaken. Myself, I am "General Production", I believe they were thinking mid September for those.

Sorry for not having paid better attention to those dates - the time when I will get my own MS is depending more on the expiration of my current lease contract than on the arrival of the MS itself.

Are there perhaps other members here that lease from Athlon with a more accurate delivery date? There are 180 MS on order by Athlon, so I would think so :)

jat | July 24, 2013

Actually, I think the hardware issue he is referring to is the ability to overlay graphics on top of the video. Unless the CPU decodes the video into RAM and composites it to the screen with the rest of the graphics (which takes a lot of CPU), the typical approach is to use genlock in hardware. To overlay graphics on top of the video, the genlock hardware needs to be able to have an alpha map showing where the overlaid video should be shown, rather than just a rectangular region.

So, I think it isn't something that can just be added with a software update.

kdeckster | July 24, 2013

@jat, I believe iPhone uses the GPU to composite the tap-to-focus rect with camera bits.

kdeckster | July 24, 2013

Also, I think we know we’re not getting gridlines anyway, right? At least for the first release with parking sensors. The European MS had some pretty cool UI for parking sensors, but look at the “backing up” UI; they came up with something clever that’s not gridlines.

pebell | July 24, 2013

@kdecker: I thought I had searched high and low for information on the UI for the parking sensors on the European MS, but haven't found anything solid. Did I miss something?

shamrockceo | July 24, 2013

@kdecker - Link to a picture, please?

Alex K | July 24, 2013

shamrockceo | JULY 24, 2013: @kdecker - Link to a picture, please?

There is a discussion at regarding V5.5 with pictures of the parking sensors UI

Here are some smaller pictures from that thread (go to the thread for more info):

pebell | July 24, 2013

@shamrockceo: Cool! Can't believe I missed that! Thanks for posting!

2-Star | July 25, 2013

I sure wish I had parking sensors on my MS right NOW! Anyone think they could be retrofitted?

Brian H | July 25, 2013

Use to search the phrase. Some owners have 3rd party installations.

yoohootesla | July 25, 2013

Thanks for the pictures. I think it would be very helpful to have some way of determining exactly how far away an object is ... rather than making an educated guess. FYI my 6 year old Mercedes SUV has sensors in the rear bumper that are great. They not only beep when I get close to an object, they also indicate how many feet away I am with an uninterrupted sound when I get within 2 feet of an object. Although I appreciate the "3D" camera, I miss the sensors. Oh well, perhaps I'll get used to not having them....