It can take just 15 minutes for a dog to develop heat stroke in a hot car, according to Peta. Even popping out during a quick trip to the supermarket and leaving a dog in the car can prove to be lethal, especially in the high summer heat of 50°C.
That’s why electric car maker Tesla has just launched ‘Dog Mode’, a function which will allow the air conditioning to remain on while the car is locked and secured, creating a safer environment for pets.
Dog Mode will trigger an illuminated message on the car’s dashboard tablet displaying the internal temperature and letting passers-by know that the animal’s owner will be back soon.
The new technology will also alert the Tesla owner if the car’s battery drops below 20 per cent while in Dog Mode, ensuring they have time to make it back to the car before the air conditioning turns off.
The technology has to be actively enabled, here are the official instructions: "To enable Dog Mode, tap the fan icon at the bottom of the touchscreen when your car is parked. Set Keep Climate On to DOG, make adjustments within temperature limits, then leave knowing your pet will stay comfortable. Dog Mode will stay on after you leave your car. If you your battery reaches less than 20% charge, you will receive a notification on your mobile app."
CEO and founder of Tesla Elon Musk has said the new technology will be rolled out in Tesla models gradually, to ensure that it is safe and there are no situations developers may have overlooked.
Musk added that the new development is in addition to its existing Cabin Overheat Protection feature, which is triggered once the car reaches a certain temperature to ensure that any babies, young children or pets are safe.
The idea for the new Dog Mode first came from a Twitter user last year, who requested a similar function in future update roll outs.