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Rivian shows off the R1T’s Gear Guard security features

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Like an outdoorsy, more friendly version of Sentry Mode

Rivian’s Gear Guard features keep watch over your truck and stuff.
Photo by Mitchell Clark / The Verge

Rivian has come out with a video about the Gear Guard system for the R1T, which shows off the electric pickup’s ability to record video if people get too close and to send a notification to an owner’s phone if there’s an event significant enough to set off the car alarm. As Rivian’s UX designer explains in the video, Gear Guard isn’t one specific feature, but rather a suite of systems that can work together — the video monitoring system is part of Gear Guard, but so is the cable which you can use to lock bikes, kayaks, and more to the truck.

In the video, which you can watch below, Rivian employees explain the R1T’s video monitoring system, which uses five of the built-in cameras to record a 360-degree view if it detects that someone is less than a foot away from the truck. Those videos are then kept in the truck’s internal storage, where you can play them back at a later date to see who was messing around with your truck and what they were doing.

According to the R1T owner’s guide, automatically recorded videos are deleted after “several days,” but you can star individual clips to keep them around or back them up onto a USB-C drive. The manual also details what situations will lead to the truck’s alarm going off and you getting a notification from the Rivian app; they include the truck being tilted, the door being opened, or something moving in the cabin.

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

When I got to play around with the R1T last year, I was able to watch some videos the system had recorded — they seemed to be decent enough quality for a security system.

Like with Tesla’s Sentry Mode, the R1T will try to let people know they’re being recorded by displaying something on the infotainment screen. But unlike Tesla, which displays an ominous red eye, Rivian’s gone for something a bit more friendly — a Sasquatch or Yeti-looking creature wearing a puffy vest and headband, armed with what looks like a film camera. One person in the video calls it “fun” and “playful,” while another says that it shows how 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 ADT, which shows a construction worker scaring off a would-be thief and has shots of police cars.

While I think the video focuses a bit too much on the cute factor of the Gear Guard mascot, it does seem like a reasonable acknowledgment that not everyone getting close to the truck is trying to steal something. Some people just really like checking out cool new electric vehicles.

The R1T lets anyone getting too close knowing that it’s watching.
Image: Rivian

Rivian also uses the video to show off its proprietary Gear Guard cable, which can be used to lock up bikes or other equipment on the truck’s roof rack or in its bed. The cable plugs into a port in the bed, which locks it into place when you lock the doors.

While most trucks have attachment points that let you replicate this with a standard bike lock, having an integrated system is more convenient (which could prevent people from employing the “just throw it in the bed and hope for the best” method that I’ve been very guilty of in the past). If the Gear Guard video system is activated, it should also record anyone who’s touching your locked-down items — one of the cameras has a view of the bed.

It’s cool to get an in-depth look at these features and how they were designed. In an email, Rivian spokesperson Bill Utaegbulam told The Verge that the Gear Guard video and alarm features come standard with all of the current R1T packages (including the $67,500 base Explore model). Currently on Rivian’s website, Gear Guard is listed as a feature for the Launch and Adventure packages, though Utaegbulam was unable to confirm whether the cable came standard with all models.

Correction February 24th: A previous version of this article cited a Rivian spokesperson who said that Gear Guard was only available on higher-end trims of the R1T, and that it currently couldn’t be added to the lowest end model. They have since said that this was incorrect, and that the video and alarm features are available on all R1T models.