Tesla activates its camera-based driver monitoring system

Credit: Andy Slye/YouTube

Tesla has activated its vehicles’ camera-based driver monitoring system. The presence of the new feature was shared by Tesla owners who recently took delivery of his Model Y.

As shared by new Tesla owner Kevin Smith, his vehicle was equipped with the company’s pure vision Autopilot system. This meant that some features such as Smart Summon and Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance were temporarily disabled, and Autosteer was limited strictly to 75 mph. The minimum following distance was longer as well.

Apart from this, the newly-delivered Model Y also had its camera-based driver monitoring system enabled. An image of the feature as displayed in the newly-delivered Model Y provided details about how the feature worked. Following is Tesla’s description of its driver monitoring system.

Cabin Camera Updates

The cabin camera above your rearview mirror can now detect and alert driver inattentiveness while Autopilot is engaged. Camera data does not leave the car itself, which means the system cannot save or transmit information unless data sharing is enabled. To change your data settings, tap Controls > Safety & Security > Data Sharing on your car’s touchscreen.

Tesla’s active driver monitoring system has received some optimistic comments from Autopilot critics. Among these is Consumer Reports Director of Auto Testing Jake Fisher, who noted that the new feature will not only prevent Autopilot abuse; it can also save lives by preventing distraction. Fisher added that he is looking forward to evaluating Tesla’s driver monitoring system.

The Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, as well as the refresh Model S and Model X, are equipped with an interior camera. However, the use of the interior camera has been very limited, at least prior to the recent update. The cameras remained inactive for a long time until last year when Tesla asked owners if they would allow the company to take videos and images from the sensor to help develop safety features and enhancements.

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Maria Merano: Veteran writer and editor, who believes harmony between tech and nature is achievable. We just need to learn to compromise.
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