Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is known for its Autopilot driver assistance tech. When Autopilot is enabled, it allows a Tesla vehicle to keep its lane and control speed with no driver input. Full Self Driving (FSD), a $10,000 software option, allows the vehicles to stop at stop signs and traffic lights, change lanes on the highway, and even handle interchanges.
While drivers are still fully responsible, Tesla's main confirmation of driver attentiveness was to detect torque on the steering wheel that would determine if the driver's hand was present. But now, as shared by Teslarati, Tesla is expanding its camera-based driver monitoring system to more of its vehicles.
Back in April, details of the system were leaked, but it wasn't included in any custom firmware. According to the leak, the camera is able to tell when you're using your phone, looking down, looking right and many other actions that a driver may do.
If the driver monitoring system detects phone use, it almost immediately sends an audible warning to the driver to pay attention, whether their hand is on the wheel or not.
This comes in the midst of an NHTSA investigation into Tesla vehicles running into parked emergency vehicles while the Autopilot software is active. This new monitoring system could help keep drivers attentive, while also taking some pressure off of Tesla if the footage is saved to the car and can be used to show a driver was distracted in instances of a crash.
Photo courtesy of Tesla