Autopilot is one of Tesla Inc's TSLA best-known features in its electric cars. The standard feature will keep your lane, and modulate speed based on drivers around you. An optional $10,000 upgrade, called Full Self Driving or FSD, will take it to the next level allowing the car to complete all maneuvers on the highway, stop at traffic lights and stop signs, and even drive itself in a parking lot.
While these features are active, the human inside the robot is still fully responsible.
For now, Tesla monitors drivers by feeling the torque of their hand on the steering wheel. But it seems Tesla may be cooking up a more advanced driver monitoring system using its in-car driver-facing cameras. These cameras are present on all Model 3 and Y, and all refreshed Model S and X.
Well-known Tesla hacker Green on Twitter shared a video showing this camera in action. While it's not currently being used, Green is usually able to find and share features hidden in the code before their official release.
Multiple videos show the camera guessing whether the driver is looking forward, down, left, right, or using a phone. The camera seems scarily accurate, quickly labeling almost all tasks the person is doing.
Interesting that "phone use" for Tesla means "driver is holding a phone in front of them" not "driver is talking on a phone that's pressed to their ear". pic.twitter.com/7Dumsx3Kmq— green (@greentheonly) April 7, 2021
One of the most important scenarios that the camera picks up quickly is phone use. Any time the driver has a phone in their hand, the camera instantly recognizes what's happening, labeling the video feed "Phone use: 100%" This will be important as Tesla's current FSD and FSD Beta are not yet fully autonomous, and drivers need to be ready to take over at all times. If the camera detects a driver is not paying attention, it can sound a notification to make sure the driver pays attention. It will also hold people responsible in the event of an accident.
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