Tesla update activates the in-car camera for driver monitoring

Posted on

Several years after Elon Musk said Tesla rejected eye tracking as a method of measuring driver attention because it is “ineffective,” owners of new Tesla’s are receiving vehicles with the feature active. According to the comments in the 2021.4.15.11 update, the cab camera mounted above the rearview mirror will “detect and warn the driver’s inattention while the autopilot is engaged”.

This puts Tesla in line with other manufacturers who use cabin cameras to monitor attentiveness while the assistants are engaged, rather than relying solely on the torque from the steering wheel. Some drivers choose to try to trick Tesla’s existing systems, causing reports of cars on the road without anyone behind the wheel. It doesn’t replace a steering torque for monitoring just yet, but we’ll see if that changes.

Tesla hacker Greentheonly has been monitoring Tesla’s progress in developing the software that looks at drivers, showing in some demonstration videos which early versions of the system can recognize. A few other videos posted on social media in recent weeks show drivers starting to receive deliveries of the reworked Model S and Model X with a “yoke” handlebars and other changes, so more tweaks will be out soon .