Autopilot: Tesla activates rearview mirror camera to monitor drivers

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Tesla ultimately decided to use the camera installed on the central rearview mirror to monitor drivers when Autopilot is activated.

Until then, Elon Musk had always refused to do this, but recent accidents involving the Autopilot have probably prompted him to change his mind.

Small revolution at Tesla. Indeed, the automaker finally decided to use the camera located above the rearview mirror of Model 3 and Model Y. The goal? Make sure that drivers are actually paying attention to the road when Autopilot is activated. Until then, the Tesla measured the driver's attention via sensors installed in the steering wheel.

These sensors only detect the resistance applied to the flywheel. A summary way to check if the driver has his hands on the wheel. And if the sensors do not register enough information, the car emits several audible and visual warnings. Only and as our colleagues at TheVerge remind us, it has been years since regulators and many road safety experts have called on Tesla to improve driver surveillance when Autopilot is activated, in particular through the use of a camera. .

Elon Musk Acknowledges Autopilot Isn't Ready Yet

Elon Musk had always refused, arguing that the technology was “inefficient”. Despite everything, manufacturers like General Motors and Ford have demonstrated the opposite, with their own system of Eye tracking (eye tracking) via a camera. And finally, reality caught up with the billionaire. Recent news has indeed been marked by several accidents involving Tesla and Autopilot.

Thus, two people were killed in April 2021 while in their Model S with the Autopilot engaged. On May 21, it was the turn of another Model S with Autopilot activated to crash into a police car, luckily no casualties. After these various cases, Elon Musk decided to admit that he had exaggerated the real capabilities of Autopilot.

This is why the manufacturer has chosen to backtrack on the use of this camera installed in the passenger compartment. As the owner of a Tesla Model Y revealed on Twitter, Tesla is starting to roll out this feature via a new update: “The camera in the cabin above your rearview mirror can now detect and alert the driver inattention when the Autopilot system is activated. The data from the camera does not leave the car itself, which means that the system cannot save or transmit information unless data sharing is enabled ”, the patch note reads.

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