Rivian has started pushing a new over-the-air (OTA) software update to the all-electric R1T pickup and R1S SUV that adds several new features, including Drive Cam, which uses the vehicle’s video cameras to record footage while the EV is driving.
After updating their vehicles, Rivian owners will find the new dashcam feature inside the Gear Guard menu, alongside three other options: Incidents, Motion Cam, and Alarm. Additionally, the American EV maker has tweaked the Gear Guard character to be more interactive.
Similar to Tesla’s dashcam feature, Rivian’s Drive Cam needs an external USB drive to store all the footage. However, if the driver only wants to activate the Incidents feature, which automatically records video of certain driving events, such as collisions or hard braking, an external storage drive isn’t necessary, with the car storing the footage on the internal hard drive.
A complete explanation of how the system works is available on the car manufacturer’s official blog:
When you install a USB-C drive and turn Drive Cam on, the Gear Guard cameras can record and save video of entire trips (up to the maximum space available on your external drive). When something catches your eye, tap the Save Clip button on your center display, and Gear Guard will make a two-minute video clip. You can then watch the two-minute clip directly on your center display or download it — and all the remaining video you’ve captured — with the external drive to watch it on a computer.
When Incidents is on, Gear Guard cameras continuously record video, but no footage is saved. Incidents constantly monitors vehicle dynamics to identify incidents, and if one occurs, saves video of the event. For example, if you are cut off in traffic and have to slam on the brakes, this near-impact scenario would trigger the anti-lock braking system and, in turn, activate Incidents. The fifteen seconds of video that was recorded prior to the event would be saved, and Incidents would also save video of the following 1 minute 45 seconds. These Incidents videos are saved directly to your R1T or R1S internal hard drive; no USB-C drive is necessary.
Rivian notes that if you’re driving in an area where privacy or confidentiality is an issue, both the Drive Cam and Incidents features can be turned off from the Gear Guard screen.
Besides the new video-related additions, which were previously announced in a Q&A session with the company’s head of software development, the latest software update for the R1T and R1S comes with several other improvements:
- Live Chat: Rivian Support Service Advisors are now available through Live Chat 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the Rivian mobile app version 1.13 or later;
- Charge Limit Slider: Set a custom charging value between 50 and 100% so you can tailor your charge to your regular commute. When using paid charging stations, you won’t need to pay for more charge than you need;
- Charge Scheduling: Modify your charging schedule, and the amperage to use during a scheduled charging session, directly from the mobile app;
- Driver+ Improvements: Driver+ cameras can continue operating in a much wider range of conditions. This means that more functionality is available even when there are smudges or splashes on the windshield due to rain, or glare on the camera. In these situations, drivers must continue to monitor the road ahead;
- Name your vehicle: From your center console, go to Settings, tap About, then press Edit. From your mobile app’s vehicle tab, pull up the dashboard and scroll to Vehicle Information, then press Edit. You can choose a name up to 32 characters long, and if you enter the name from your mobile app, you can use emojis;
- Service Mode: The Service Center may activate this mode to block actions from the mobile app that may interfere while service technicians are working on your vehicle.
The full 2023.14.0 software release notes for the R1T can be found here, while the details for the R1S are available here.
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