Every year, countless dogs are killed after being left in hot vehicles during the summer.
While some people mistakenly believe cracking the windows will keep their pets safe, the NHTSA has previously noted the temperature inside a vehicle can climb as much as 20° F in as little as ten minutes. Even with outside temperatures in the mid-60’s, the temperature inside a vehicle can rise above 110° F.
Thankfully, a handful of automakers have been following Tesla’s lead as they introduced a Dog mode in 2019. The latest is Rivian, which recently pushed out a software update that includes a Pet Comfort mode.
The pet-friendly feature is easy to activate as owners simply press the paw icon on the main climate control display and this will enable them to set a temperature of between 68 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Even if you forget to set a temperature, Pet Comfort mode will default to 72° F.
That isn’t all Pet Comfort mode does as it deactivates the cabin movement sensor, while also giving owners notifications if the cabin temperature gets too hot or the vehicle’s range becomes “critically low.” The latter is important as Pet Comfort mode will continue operating until the battery is completely depleted or the driver turns it off.
In order to prevent police and would-be Good Samaritans from mistakenly breaking a window to ‘save’ your pet, the infotainment system will display the current in-vehicle temperature as well as a message saying “My pet is safe and comfy.”
Rivian said Pet Comfort mode has been “one of the most customer-requested features” and shows how “software updates can continually improve not just the R1 driving experience, but numerous safety and convenience features as well.” The company also noted the feature should only be used with pets as parents should never leave their children in an unattended vehicle.