Tesla cars have long been equipped with a number of cameras, both outside, where they are used by the Autopilot system, and inside, where they are currently disabled. However, it seems that the latest software update for the company’s cars activates the camera inside. It can thus be used to monitor the level of attention that the driver pays to driving when using the car in assisted driving modes such as Autopilot or Full Self-Driving.
Tesla monitors drivers through video cameras
Interestingly, Tesla chose to activate this camera and follow the drivers, as Elon Musk previously said that this method of making sure the driver is attentive is “inefficient.” It is also interesting that only certain cars, from the newer generations, integrate this camera, the older models being delivered without it. The machines that are delivered from now on will have the monitoring function activated at the factory.
There does not appear to be a method to deactivate these cameras and it is not clear whether the Autopilot system will still work on cars that have cameras installed inside if they are disabled by other unofficial methods. However, Tesla notes that what the camera records will not be transmitted outside the car.
However, this safety measure could be a step forward for Tesla, to ensure that in the future its cars will be approved for autonomous driving mode and in regions where this capability is not yet possible. For example, Europe has much stricter regulations for such functions. That’s why, at the moment, Tesla only offers the Full Self-Driving function in the beta version to US customers. At the same time, Autopilot functions also work in Europe, but most are only available on the motorway.
Simultaneously with this change in the Autopilot system, Tesla began removing laser sensors from its newer cars. The next generations of the company’s cars will be based exclusively on video cameras placed 360 degrees around the car. Elon Musk has also criticized laser autonomous driving systems in the past.
Robert J. Smith is still early into his career as tech reporter but has already had his work published in many major publications including JoyStiq and Android Authority. In regards to academics, Robert earned a degree in business from Fordham University. Robert has passion for emerging technology and covers upcoming products and breakthroughs in science and tech.