According to release notes obtained by CNBC, Tesla has begun utilizing interior cameras in some Model 3 and Model Y vehicles to ensure that drivers are paying attention to the road when utilizing driver assistance technologies. The company’s Model 3 and Model Y cars previously included driver-facing cabin cameras, but the owners’ manuals said that they were not used for driver monitoring.
Instead, Tesla’s technologies required drivers to “check-in” by touching the sensor-equipped steering wheel. According to Kevin Smith, a second-time Tesla buyer in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Tesla is now informing drivers that their cabin cameras have been turned on for driver monitoring in new vehicles without radar sensors.
- Smith claims he received his Tesla Model Y crossover for 2021 on Thursday. The mechanical upgrades come as Tesla vehicles face more regulatory scrutiny in the United States and elsewhere. Hundreds of governmental investigations are underway into the reasons for Tesla-related crashes in the United States, some of which may have included Autopilot.
- Elon Musk’s vehicle company provides driver assistance systems under the names Autopilot and Full-Self Driving, or FSD, which is a $10,000 optional upgrade. Some drivers who paid for FSD can also participate in Tesla’s FSD Beta program, which allows them to try out unfinished driver assistance features, thereby turning them into beta testers.
- Tesla’s owner instructions warn that using these devices necessitates “active supervision.” Owners, on the other hand, have consistently shown overconfidence in the systems, sharing videos and reports of sleeping at the wheel, driving without their hands on the wheel, and even driving while sitting in the passenger or rear seat.
The National Transportation Safety Board, a federal car safety watchdog, has urged Tesla to discontinue beta-testing on public roads with customers instead of professionals and to add sophisticated driver monitoring to its vehicles. It’s unclear whether Tesla’s new camera-based driver monitoring system and cars without radar comply with NTSB or other safety requirements.
- An owner’s perspective
Kevin Smith placed his order for a 2021 Model Y at the end of March, expecting to receive a vehicle with the sensor suite Tesla originally advertised, which included radar. Tesla, on the other hand, revealed in a blog post on Tuesday that radar would be removed from the vehicles and that their functionality would be reduced.
Smith was asked to affirm that he would accept the updated Model Y for the same price as the one he initially ordered in an “Order Update” on the Tesla website before his new Model Y could be delivered. According to the waiver, Tesla is migrating to Tesla Vision, its camera-based Autopilot system, and some future cars supplied starting in May 2021 will not have radar.
It also stated that some functionality may be “temporarily limited or inactive” when Vision is delivered and that Tesla will restore such features via over-the-air software updates in the “weeks ahead.”
Keep reading the Daily News Capsule for more updated news.
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