Problems with TeslaCam due to improper USB driving

The scope of discussion on the Tesla forum a few months ago covered the problems faced by drivers, about their storage media used in TeslaCam and the Sentry mode in their cars. TeslaCam is a dashboard that runs continuously while driving. Sentry Mode is a new feature. In addition to other functions, once the vehicle approaches the vehicle, it will use the vehicle’s camera to record the surrounding environment.

The scope of discussion on the Tesla forum a few months ago covered the problems faced by drivers, about their storage media used in TeslaCam and the Sentry mode in their cars. TeslaCam is a dashboard that runs continuously while driving. Sentry Mode is a new feature. In addition to other functions, once the vehicle approaches the vehicle, it will use the vehicle’s camera to record the surrounding environment.

However, the point is to emphasize that this USB problem is not unique to TeslaCam, but usually dash cams and car drivers need to spend money to buy another USB disk drive to store their large amounts of written data.

Problems with TeslaCam due to improper USB driving

These two functions can store large amounts of data on a USB drive or SD card (via a USB adapter), which can be plugged into the USB port of the vehicle’s center console. Before going further, it is important to reiterate that the problem people encounter is not Telsa, but the drive that Telsa buys to manage and support the data needs of the car.

Merely buying the cheapest USB memory stick may not bring a satisfactory user experience, and may not be enough to meet the data demand generated by TeslaCam and Sentry-Mode. Those who buy consumer drives may or may not ignore the warranty statements from different solution providers, which usually state the following:

“The guarantee provided does not extend to any continuous recording devices and other write-intensive devices that use the product, such as security cameras, dashboard cameras, black boxes or IP cameras.”

The problem is clear at a glance. Basic consumer drives do not support workloads generated by driving recorders such as TeslaCam; continuous storage of 2GB or more data per hour while driving. They will wear out and fail quickly. Let’s see why:

USB drives and SD cards store data in NAND flash memory. Current consumer flash memory technology is inherently unreliable. What might you think? Obviously you can buy different types of USB including any SLC, MLC, TLC and QLC flash memory, and SLC is the most reliable? Yes, it is true. There are different types of flash memory: SLC technology is the most reliable and provides the most write cycles. The generation represents the number of times data can be written. Followed by MLC and TLC, followed by QLC, which is the least reliable and provides the least number of write cycles. Consumer drives currently contain the most unreliable NAND flash technology, TLC and QLC. However, flash memory technology is only part of the drive.

In fact, the flash controller takes full advantage of the difference-a component located between the host interface (USB in this case) and the flash memory. The controller is very complex and designed to manage unique workloads. An example of this is the way the controller manages sequential sequential write pressure. What many people don’t realize is that there are major differences between consumer drives with basic controllers and industrial application drives with better controllers that can withstand these write-intensive use cases generated by dashcams. They are very different, and depending on the device you choose, you can see the year-to-year difference in the performance and reliability of the drive.

But your drive is basically new?

Many complaints on the Tesla forum mention that USB drives or SD cards (with USB adapters) were destroyed within the first week-the continuous use described in the first part may destroy them. The reason is that the power to the USB port of the center console was immediately cut off the moment the vehicle was turned off. If TeslaCam runs until the vehicle is turned off, it is almost certain that the data is written to the USB drive when the power is turned off for the second time.

Problems with TeslaCam due to improper USB driving

Most flash memory controllers are very sensitive to this situation, so the file system in the memory is often damaged. At the next power-on, the drive can no longer be used. The consumer flash memory controller is not designed to protect in-flight data in this situation. It is this controller that ultimately determines whether your storage device will fail and be damaged due to a sudden power failure, or effectively manage data and overcome obstacles.

Flash memory controllers designed by companies like Hyperstone pay much attention to durability and power failure robustness, which has been deeply embedded in the design process. During writing, reading and erasing, a sudden power failure may affect the storage system. The industrial controller can ensure that the smallest amount of data is lost, and the device will not be damaged in the event of a sudden power failure.

Ultimately, there are different types of storage devices for different workloads and use cases. Driving recorders are notorious for their write-intensive requirements that cause drive wear and tear, and the sudden power failure of the USB port in the center console poses a challenge to most storage devices. Be smart about the difference between consumer drives and industrial drives, and invest in a reliable and durable storage device.

Sandro-Diego Wölfle, Product Manager

Sandro-Diego Wölfle is responsible for product life-cycle management, ie the activities from product proposal, development, launch, mass production until the end of life. Having worked as senior hardware design engineer before, he has a deep understanding of Hyperstone's technology. He holds a Master in Electronics and Information Technology from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany and a Master in Business and Leadership from the Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen, Germany.

Problems with TeslaCam due to improper USB driving

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