Rivian demonstrates the R1T’s Gear Guard security features

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Rivian has release a video about the Gear Guard system for some models of the R1T, showing the electric pickup’s ability to record video when people get too close and send a notification to an owner’s phone if an event is significant enough to set off the car alarm. As Rivian’s UX designer explains in the video, Gear Guard isn’t a specific function, but rather a set of systems that can work together – the video surveillance system is part of Gear Guard, but so is the cable that allows you to lock bikes, kayaks, and more about the truck.

In the video, which you can watch below, Rivian employees explain the R1T’s video surveillance system, which uses five of the onboard cameras to capture a 360-degree view when it detects someone is less than a foot from the truck . These videos are then kept on the truck’s internal storage, where you can play them back at a later time to see who was messing with your truck and what they were doing.

According to the R1T owner’s manual, Auto-recorded videos are deleted after “several days,” but you can tag individual clips to keep them or back them up to a USB-C drive. The manual also describes which situations will cause the truck’s alarm to go off and you will receive a notification from the Rivian app; This includes tipping the truck, opening the door, or anything moving in the cab.

The interface for reviewing videos the R1T has recorded when it detects motion.
Image: Rivian

When I was playing around with the R1T last year I was able to watch some videos the system had taken – they seemed to be decent quality for a security system.

As with Tesla’s Sentry mode, the R1T attempts to let people know they’re being recorded by displaying something on the infotainment screen. But unlike Tesla, the shows an ominous red eye, Rivian has opted for something friendlier – a Sasquatch or Yeti-like creature wearing a baggy vest and headband, and armed with what looks like a movie camera. One person in the video calls it “fun” and “playful,” while another says it shows Gear Guard isn’t an aggressive system. That’s a pretty stark contrast to Ford’s promotional video for its canopy Aftermarket security system with ADTwhich shows a construction worker scaring off a would-be thief and includes footage of police cars.

While I think the video focuses a little too much on the Gear Guard mascot’s cute factor, it seems like reasonable confirmation that not everyone approaching the truck is trying to steal something. Some people just like looking at cool new electric vehicles.

The R1T lets everyone know they’re looking if they get too close.
Image: Rivian

Rivian also uses the video to demonstrate its proprietary Gear Guard cable, which can be used to secure bikes or other equipment to the roof rack or truck bed. The cord plugs into a socket in the bed, which locks it in place when you lock the doors.

While most trucks have attachment points that allow you to recreate this with a standard bike lock, an integrated system is more convenient (which might discourage people from using the “just throw in bed and hope for the best” method that I have been very guilty in the past). When the Gear Guard video system is activated, it should also record anyone touching your locked items – one of the cameras has a view of the bed.

It’s cool to take a closer look at these features and their design. But it’s worth noting that they don’t necessarily come with every Rivian truck. the Product page of R1T lists Gear Guard as a feature of the Adventure gear, which starts at $73,000, and says it doesn’t come with the $67,500 Explore model. Rivian spokesman Bill Utaegbulam confirmed this in an email The edge that the system, including cabling, video surveillance and alarm, are only available with the high-end trim levels, and said that “there is currently no post-purchase upgrade offer” for the Explore model.

Update Feb 15 6:38pm ET: Added confirmation from Rivian that Gear Guard is only available on high-end R1T builds.

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