Electric vehicle maker Tesla has launched a new driver monitoring system. The software is designed to monitor the driver. The new system will use a cabin-facing camera. Tesla founder Elon Musk had earlier rejected the idea. However, he has agreed to use the cabin-facing camera for the driver monitoring system. The decision is significant as Tesla faced criticism over rising accidents. Tesla vehicles have been found involved in accidents due to its Autopilot system. The new system will ensure drivers pay attention to the road when the vehicle is in Autopilot mode. The Autopilot mode is still under development phase. Tesla releases updates regularly.
Autopilot has been blamed for the mishaps. The company says that Autopilot requires attention of drivers. It is not fully automatic in true nature. Musk wants to develop a system that drives a vehicle without human intervention. The cabin-facing camera is just above the rearview mirror inside its cars. It can detect and alert the driver when the vehicle is in Autopilot mode. Tesla said that the driver monitoring system cannot save or transmit information. Data sharing needs to be enabled manually. The company said that the cabin-facing camera will be activated in two models. The two models are — Model 3 and Model Y. Notably, Model S and Model X that are manufactured before 2021 don’t come with a cabin camera.
Tesla had in 2020 activated the camera for the first time with a software update. It had asked owners to allow the company to take photos and videos so that it can use data to develop safety features. This was, however, voluntarily. The drive monitoring system comes soon after Tesla released its new Vision system. It relies only on computer vision that uses cameras and not radar. According to NHTSA, nearly 23 crashes have been reported that involved Tesla’s Autopilot. Tesla claims that Autopilot is just a driver assistance system. It is aimed at enhancing safety and convenience. Autopilot can reduce workload as a driver when used properly. However, the system is yet to reach a level of autonomy.