Tesla’s driver monitoring just got more strict and robust, and it’s not just for Autopilot

Tesla's Cabin-facing camera is used to monitor driver attentiveness. (Credit: Andy Slye/YouTube)

Tesla is making its driver monitoring more strict and robust in an effort to track driver behaviors while the car is in operation, and it will even track the vehicles’ operators while it is not operating on Autopilot.

Tesla has utilized a number of strategies in an effort to end distracted driving, and one of the biggest was the introduction of the cabin-facing camera, which will capture things like drivers sleeping by tracking their eye movements. It can also tell when a driver is distracted by a phone.

All of the efforts are tracked by Tesla’s cabin-facing camera, which was installed near the rearview mirror on models several years ago. Since then, Tesla has made various improvements to its driver tracking, including stepping up the penalties for distracted driving by disabling the use of Autopilot for those who may be taking advantage of it.

Distracted driving causes accidents frequently, but when it comes to Tesla, it is a little different. Because of the company’s development of driver assistance packages like Autopilot and Full Self-Driving, when accidents occur, media articles are quick to suggest the features are responsible for the crashes. Tesla has been cleared of wrongdoing in several recent cases.

However, it appears Tesla is going to start tracking more driver behaviors, according to hacker Greentheonly.

Tesla is upgrading the driver-monitoring system by tracking how many times the driver has yawned during a trip, how many times they blinked and for how long, and driver posture, all in an effort to calculate how drowsy they might be.

The changes are also making their way to non-AP-using drivers, intending to keep an eye on those who are driving the car under their complete control.

Greentheonly said code is being added, but Tesla has not propagated anything to the UI as of yet, so the changes have not taken effect as of the writing of this article.

The delay in making the code active could have to do with several things. Green notes that Tesla may be aiming to determine the number or frequency of behaviors that would deem a driver unfit to operate a vehicle while not using Autopilot.

The upgrades, when applied, will be just one of several safety features Tesla has made in recent memory, including changes to the Automatic Emergency Braking system.

I’d love to hear from you! If you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please email me at joey@teslarati.com. You can also reach me on Twitter @KlenderJoey, or if you have news tips, you can email us at tips@teslarati.com.

Joey Klender: Joey has been a journalist covering electric mobility at TESLARATI since August 2019. In his time at TESLARATI, Joey has broken several big stories, including the first images of the Tesla Model S Plaid, the imminent release of the 4680 Model Y through EPA certification, and several expansions to the Lucid AMP-1 factory in Arizona, to name a few. His stories have been featured in several publications, including Yahoo! Finance, Fox News, CNET, and Seeking Alpha. In his spare time, Joey is playing golf, watching MMA, or cheering on any of his favorite sports teams, including the Baltimore Ravens and Orioles, Miami Heat, Washington Capitals, and Penn State Nittany Lions. You can get in touch with joey at joey@teslarati.com. He is also on Twitter @KlenderJoey.
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