For awhile a cabin camera came installed inside Tesla Model 3 and Model Y models, and it was never quite understood if it was on and what was happening to the data. Now it appears that Tesla has officially turned on the camera to monitor the driver while Autopilot is active.
Someone on Twitter just took delivery of their Tesla Model Y Dual Motor running software 2021.4.15.11. On the release notes, there’s a section for Cabin Camera Updates.
Delivery was super smooth. Summon and lane departure avoidance disabled for now, increased follow distance, hard cap at 75, requires auto brights or kicks out of AP, cabin camera for driver monitoring.. nothing unexpected yet. pic.twitter.com/gKIkHSGNI7
— Kevin Smith (@spleck) May 27, 2021
The text reads as follows;
The cabin camera above your rearview mirror can now detect and alert driver inattentiveness while Autopilot is engaged. Camera data does not leave the car itself, which means the system cannot save or transmit information unless data sharing is enabled. To change your data settings, tap Controls > Safety & Security > Data Sharing on your car’s touch screen.
It’s interesting that Tesla claims the camera data doesn’t leave the car, but then says it’s based on data sharing preferences.
Presumably, this update will help prevent the misuse of Tesla’s Autopilot and “Full Self Driving” features, including climbing in the back seat and falling asleep.
It’s unclear how effective the camera will be. Most driver monitoring system cameras are closer to the line of sight of the driver. Does the camera get enough data to know when the driver isn’t paying attention, or is it just for egregious cheating the current driver monitoring setup?
Looking forward to seeing this tested. Based on recent @semicast_res commentary I am skeptical that the hardware is up to real DMS duty… but I guess we'll see.
— E.W. Niedermeyer (@Tweetermeyer) May 27, 2021
We’ll see how it all works in out the coming days and weeks as the software continues to roll out.