Tesla Valet Mode

Since early after the Model S debuted, Tesla owners expressed their wishes of future abilites to be added to the car's OS, one of those heavily requested items was a valet mode. Having the ability to discreetly disable driving features, and hide personal information, was finally a fruition when Tesla release their 6.2 firmware software upgrade via their over-the-air-updates.

Setting Up The Valet Mode

To get to valet mode, you have to press the driver profile icon. This will display a list of profiles and the "Valet Mode" option. Since this is the first time you've enabled the valet mode, you’ll be asked to input a 4 digit PIN.

You will want to use something you can remember, as this will be the same PIN used for disabling the feature. More importantly, once you set the PIN, you will no longer be prompted to enter it again. Never fear, if you forget or want to change the PIN, you can login into Teslamotors.com (“My Tesla”) and reset the PIN.

Once valet mode is enabled, you’ll see indictaions on various parts of both screens. For safety reasons, valet mode can only be enabled or disabled while the car is in park.

What Exactly Does Valet Mode Do?

Ok great, now that we've eneabled valet mode on our Model S, what exactly did we lock, limit or prevent from occuring? One of the basic items that happens once valet mode is enabled, is the glove box and frunk lock preventing access while the car may be unlocked. The other features of the valet mode can be broken into two groups: Privacy and Performance.

Privacy

Valet mode allow Tesla to limit access to certain personal information that you may not want shared with valet's or someone using your car. When valet mode is enabled the following functions are effected:

  • Homelink access is disabled
  • Bluetooth and Wifi settings are disabled
  • The favorite saved locations like home and work addresses are hidden
  • Certain charge locations on the map where you have charged are hidden
  • The ability to edit many setting are disabled

Tesla already limits access to your calendar data and phone contacts when your bluetooth device in not in close proximity to the car. So don't leave your phone in the car when you put the car in valet mode.

Performance

Since you've probably already driven a Tesla, you know how much fun the acceleration can be when driving. So you probably don't want the valet flooring your car to see how fast it really can accelerate when they get the opportunity to get behind the wheel. This is where Tesla besides limiting access, also limits the performance of the Model S in two ways:

  • Top speed is limited to 70 MPH
  • Power and acceleration are limited to 25% (80KW)

While in valet mode, the limited top speed and power consumption can be seen on the driver’s display with the higher limits greyed out.

Have A Little Fun With Valet Mode

Website have created all kinds of screens that fit the 17" display, to alert drivers that they are driving the car in valet mode. So have gone with the more instructional route giving ther new driver instructions on how to get out of park and the car limitations. Another webiste has give the diver two similar screens, one giving the driver a little heads-up, or a little more direct and threatening warning that you have entered Tesla Valet Mode.

Overall It's A Pretty Useful Feature

The goal of Valet Mode is to provide reassurance that other drivers won’t take advantage of the car’s performance, as well as protecting personal data. It's done it's job, as driving in valet mode certainly takes the fun out of driving the car, and hopefully will lead the drier to be more more responsible. Overall Tesla did a good job, but I expect to see some updates when they roll out additioanl OS chnages in the future to address a couple areas that could be improved.

While Valet Mode sounds like something you’d only need when valet parking, you might find the concept is broader and hasd some other values.

While I mentioned this earlier, valet mode can only be enabled or disabled while the car is in park. So if you're like me, you'll probaby get frustrated when you foget to disable valet mode until you get to that first red light!

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