Tesla Kicks off Use Of In-Car Camera For Autopilot…
Tesla has started the use of an in-car camera in Model 3 and Model Y to help make sure people pay attention to the road while using Autopilot, the company advanced driver assistance system.
Tesla is starting to use the camera above the rear-view mirror in the Model 3 and Model Y to help make sure people pay attention to the road while using Autopilot, the company’s advanced driver assistance system.
The camera will be above the rear-view mirror in Model 3 and Model Y against the former method where Tesla’s cars measure driver attention through torque sensors in the steering wheel that look for resistance — a crude way of ensuring drivers keep their hands on the wheel. If it doesn’t register enough feedback, the car performs a series of escalating visual and audible warnings.
The modification came after regulators and safety experts spent years begging Tesla to add better driver monitoring to its cars.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk also admitted that crashes involving Autopilot stem from complacency. But he previously rejected his own engineers’ calls to add more robust driver monitoring to the company’s cars.
Musk said at the time that the tech was “ineffective.” Companies like General Motors and Ford currently sell cars with camera-based eye-tracking systems that are meant to make sure drivers pay attention while using hands-free driving features.
A Twitter user who says they just took delivery of a new Model Y posted an image Thursday that shows software release notes describing the new safety feature:
How’d delivery go?
Are you missing AEB/FCW or anything?
Did they give you a special sauce software version for delivery?
— Brian Krause (@bak112233) May 27, 2021
The cabin camera above the rearview mirror detects and alerts driver inattentiveness while Autopilot is engaged. The car itself does not transmit information unless data sharing is enabled.
The addition of camera-based driver monitoring feature also follows a fresh wave of scrutiny on Autopilot, which rose up after a pair of fatal crashes where it initially appeared the driver assistance system may have been involved — though, in one case, officials walked back the claim that Autopilot was active, and in the other, an early report from the National Transportation Safety Board made it seem unlikely that the system was in use.
There have also been a number of recently documented cases of social media users posting videos that show them fooling Autopilot into thinking someone is still in the driver’s seat.