Tesla to use in-car cameras to monitor drivers using Autopilot: report

Tesla will be using in-car cameras to monitor drivers using Autopilot after many reports of people being able to trick the vehicle into going into Autopilot while the driver was not at the wheel.

The software update will be in Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y cars. The company said the “cabin camera above the rearview mirror can now detect and alert driver inattentiveness while Autopilot is engaged,” Tech Crunch reported.

There have been many people posting about how they tricked the Tesla vehicle to drive even while there was no driver, as the company only used sensors in the wheel to determine if a driver was there, according to Tech Crunch.


Consumer Reports tested the issue in April and showed by adding a weighted chain to the steering wheel a person could trick the car into driving on its own without a person in the driver’s seat.

“Consumer Reports has been calling for camera-based driver monitoring systems for automation systems like Tesla’s AutoPilot for years,” Jake Fisher, the company’s senior director of auto testing, told TechCrunch. “Tesla’s current system of sensing torque on the wheel cannot tell if the driver is looking at the road. If the new system proves effective, it could help prevent distraction and be a major improvement for safety — potentially saving lives. We hope that other cars are updated soon, and are looking forward to evaluating them.”

There was an incident last week in Wisconsin in which a police officer found a Tesla going more than 80 miles per hour while the driver was asleep.

It is not clear how the camera system will monitor drivers and if the new camera system will allow drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel.

The in-car camera monitoring is part of a closed-loop system for data so video captured in the car or information about the drive does not leave the car unless the driver enables data sharing, according to the outlet.

The Hill has reached out to Tesla for comment.

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