Tesla will add improved navigation search results
By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
In 2020, at a resort in San Antonio, a Model S owner had his car damaged by a valet who wanted to test Cheetah mode. The ride didn’t end well for this valet who crashed the car into a concrete wall, which was captured on the car’s dash cam.
Many luxury car manufacturers have invented ways to prevent a valet from damaging the car or accessing personal data. Some automakers introduced valet keys that could limit top speed, reduce acceleration, and lock the glove box. Although these features improved the security and privacy of the car, physical keys were impractical as they could be stolen or lost. Valet keys have been obsolete since Chevrolet introduced Virtual Valet mode in 2014.
Tesla has also implemented its own Valet mode which enhances the security and privacy features of the valet key. Tesla’s Valet Mode is a feature that prevents valets from driving recklessly and gaining access to the owner’s personal information. Tesla introduced the feature in 2015 as part of an over-the-air software update.
Everything valet mode does
When valet mode is enabled, Tesla’s operating system limits some car functionality. Valet mode will limit the car’s top speed to 70 mph, reduce throttle by approximately 50%, and disable use of Autopilot.
In addition to these security features, security and privacy features include automatic glove box and trunk locks. Valet mode also keeps user information private by blocking certain personal information from appearing on the display screen. This keeps information such as addresses, contacts, and schedules completely private. Valet mode also disables Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and navigation features.
Valet Mode Restrictions
Valet Mode restricts the following features:
- Speed limited to 70 mph
- Acceleration limited to “Chill”
- The front trunk and the glove box lock, the trunk remains accessible
- Voice commands are disabled
- Navigation is disabled so as not to allow access to recent destinations, favorites or home and work addresses
- Autopilot/FSD is disabled
- The Allow mobile access setting cannot be changed
- HomeLink (if equipped) is not available
- Driver profiles are not available
- The touchscreen will not show the list of keys that can access the car
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are disabled and you cannot view or add a new device
- Sentry Mode options cannot be changed (if Sentry Mode is enabled, it cannot be disabled)
- Smart Summon is disabled
- The calendar is not available
- The Upgrades section in Controls > Upgrades is disabled
Some other features are inaccessible when Valet Mode is enabled. The most obvious is the Ludicrous mode, which allows the driver to access the full acceleration power of the Tesla.
This mode is only available for certain performance models. Smart Summon is also inaccessible in Valet mode. However, if your Tesla is parked in valet mode, you can disable valet mode from the mobile app and perform the smart summon to your car.
Although Tesla limits many features when the vehicle is in valet mode to protect your privacy and your vehicle, it does not limit charging capability.
This can be useful when visiting a valet parking service with on-site chargers. The valet can plug in your Tesla to charge it while it’s parked.
Although the speed limit for Valet Mode is 70 mph by default, you can customize it to your preference using “Speed Limit Mode”. Speed limit can be set in security settings by activating speed limit mode and creating a 4-digit pin code.
By activating speed limit mode, you can set a personalized maximum speed that cannot be changed without your PIN code. You can set the maximum speed in the car or in the Safety section of the Tesla app.
How to activate valet mode
Valet mode can be activated from inside the vehicle and via the mobile app. To activate from the car, tap your profile name on the display screen. A drop-down menu will appear, select the last tab labeled “Valet Mode”. you will be prompted to enter a four-digit PIN the first time you activate Valet mode. Once the PIN code has been entered, the screen will show that Valet mode has been activated. You can also use the mobile app to turn valet mode on and off, assuming the vehicle is parked, by clicking on “Security” and then “Valet Mode”.
PIN to drive
If you are using PIN to Drive, an additional security feature that requires you to enter a valid PIN to start the car, this feature is disabled when the car is in valet mode. Once you start Valet mode, you will be prompted to enter your pin code to drive. This code will be saved and will not require the valet driver to enter a PIN to start the car.
Valet mode can also be useful when letting a teenager drive to prevent them from speeding up or using features that could be dangerous for a new driver, such as using the car’s full throttle or using of the autopilot. None of Tesla’s safety features are disabled in valet mode.
If you prefer, you can simply enable Speed Limit mode so they can still access navigation, music, and other features.
Teslas are fun cars to drive and some people might be tempted to test out the car’s instant torque, quick acceleration and incredible Autopilot capabilities, but these features should be used with permission.
Since Teslas are capable of high speed and quick acceleration, Valet Mode is a recommended feature to use. The better a car performs, the greater the risk of an accident when left in the hands of a valet.
Tesla owners can rest easy knowing Valet Mode can prevent speeding and reckless driving and protect their privacy when someone else is behind the wheel.