Tesla’s Autopilot system has been subject to heavy criticism this year, and you’ve probably seen the YouTube and TikTok videos of people abusing it. However, it looks like the latest update to autopilot is finally using the in-car camera for driver monitoring.
According to an update changelog found on Twitter, the in-car camera mounted above the rearview mirror will “detect and alert driver inattentiveness while Autopilot is engaged.” Essentially giving the vehicle another way to ensure someone is watching the road.
Until today, Tesla cabin cameras have mainly been used for recording emergency braking events, and “autopilot” detected driver attentiveness by measuring for steering wheel squeezes at set time intervals.
This update brings Tesla up to par with other manufacturers who take advantage of cabin cameras to monitor drivers while any hands-free driving or other assisted modes are in use. We don’t know if Tesla plans to use this over steering wheel torque or combine the two for safer driving.
Remember that vehicles like the Model S and Model X built before 2021 do not have these cameras, so obviously, driver monitoring will not be possible.