Car buyer claims Tesla is turning on driver-facing cameras to make sure they focus

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A man buying his second Tesla has claimed the company has turned on cameras pointed at the driver to make sure they’re paying attention to the road, it has been reported.

Kevin Smith disclosed to CNBC that he only ordered his 2021 Model Y at the end of March. when he received it. he saw a release message on the touchscreen display telling him the cabin cameras would turn on when Autopilot is engaged.

“ The cab camera above your rearview mirror can now detect driver inattention and warn while Autopilot is on, ” reads the release note obtained by the outlet.

Camera data does not leave the vehicle itself, which means the system cannot store or transmit information unless data sharing is enabled. To change your data settings, touch Controls> Safety & Security> Share data on your car’s touchscreen. ‘

Driver cabin cameras had already been installed in earlier Tesla Model 3 and Model Y cars – but CNBC noted that Tesla claimed in manuals for the cars that they were not used for driver tracking.

Tesla reportedly uses cab cameras in its 2021 Model Y, pictured, cars to monitor drivers' awareness

Tesla reportedly uses cab cameras in its 2021 Model Y, pictured, cars to monitor drivers’ awareness

The Autopilot display is shown in a promotional photo for the 2021 Tesla Model Y

The Autopilot display is shown in a promotional photo for the 2021 Tesla Model Y

A promotional photo shows the inside of a Tesla Model Y, which reportedly has a driver-facing camera installed above the rear-view mirror

A promotional photo shows the inside of a Tesla Model Y, which reportedly has a driver-facing camera installed above the rear-view mirror

Elon Musk's Tesla company is increasingly criticized for its Autopilot features

Elon Musk’s Tesla company is increasingly criticized for its Autopilot features

DailyMail.com has contacted Tesla for confirmation and additional comments.

The manuals reveal that Tesla’s Autopilot features require drivers to occasionally touch the steering wheel as a safety feature to seemingly prove that the driver is alert to road conditions, CNBC reported.

Smith said he expected to receive his Tesla with its sensor suite, including radar, used for the Autopilot function.

However, Tesla recently announced that the company is moving from radar to its own Tesla vision – the company’s camera-based Autopilot system.

On its website, Tesla notes that – as the company switches to its Tesla Vision system – some cars may come with inactive key Autopilot features.

That move comes because Tesla is facing criticism and a number of federal investigations into car accidents across the country that may have been caused by the autopilot feature.

Beginning with deliveries in May 2021, Model 3 and Model Y vehicles built for the North American market will no longer be equipped with radar, Tesla said.

Instead, these will be the first Tesla vehicles to rely on camera imaging and neural network processing to deliver Autopilot, Full-Self Driving and certain active safety features.

The company said customers who ordered before May 2021 and will receive a car from Tesla Vision will be notified of the change prior to delivery.

Smith told CNBC that in an ‘Order Update’ on the Tesla website, he was asked if he was willing to accept the modified car at the same price as the one with the specifications he ordered.

On its website, Tesla said the Autosteer would be limited to a maximum speed of 120 km / h and a longer minimum headway. It would also disable Smart Summon, the Autonomous Parking feature and Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance – a feature designed to steer the car back into the lane if Tesla’s system detects it leaving its lane and a collision could occur.

In the coming weeks, we will begin restoring these features through a series of over-the-air software updates. All other available Autopilot and Full Self-Driving features will be active upon delivery depending on order configuration, ” Tesla said on its website.

Tesla said all cars built for markets outside of North America will continue to be equipped with radar and radar-assisted autopilot features.

The features Tesla said has been disabled have not been re-enabled, CNBC reported.

Tesla driver, 35, killed in a crash, has previously shared videos of himself driving a car without his hands on the wheel or foot on the pedal, investigators said.

Tesla driver, 35, killed in a crash, has previously shared videos of himself driving a car without his hands on the wheel or foot on the pedal, investigators said.

Steven Michael Hendrickson, 35, was killed when his Tesla Model 3 hit a toppled semi at around 2:30 a.m.

He posted numerous photos of his Tesla Model 3 on social media

Steven Michael Hendrickson, 35, was killed when his Tesla Model 3 hit a toppled semi at around 2:30 a.m. He posted numerous photos of his Tesla Model 3 on social media in 2020

The National Transportation Safety Board has called on Tesla to stop beta testing its electric cars after it was revealed that people who bought the $ 10,000 fully self-driving upgrade could test unfinished driver assistance systems in a beta program.

However, multiple videos have been revealed showing drivers sleeping and sitting in the backseat while the Autopilot feature has taken them along the way.

California highway authorities said earlier this month that a Tesla driver involved in a fatal accident may have operated the car on Autopilot, having previously shared videos of himself driving it without hands on the wheel.

Steven Michael Hendrickson, 35, was killed when his white Tesla Model 3 hit a overturned semi-truck around 2:30 a.m. on May 5.

Before his death, the married father of two posted videos on social media of himself driving the electric car without his hands on the wheel or foot on the pedal.

He posted numerous photos and videos on social media that showed his hands off the wheel in 2020

He posted numerous photos and videos on social media that showed his hands off the wheel in 2020

The CHP announced that its preliminary investigation had determined that Tesla’s Autopilot system was “ turned on ” prior to the crash on the 210 Freeway near Fontana, California – about 80 miles east of Los Angeles.

That wreckage came just weeks after a Tesla Model S hit a tree and went up in flames in Texas, resulting in the deaths of the two men inside, neither of whom would have been in the driver’s seat at the time.

The owner of that car, Dr. William Varner, and his friend Everette Talbot were murdered on April 17 in the affluent The Woodlands neighborhood of Houston.

Tesla refuted police claims, saying a deformed steering wheel suggested someone was probably in the driver’s seat.

Last month, a Tesla crashed into a tree on April 17 and burst into flames (above) in the affluent neighborhood of The Woodlands, Houston, on April 17, killing two men.

Last month, a Tesla crashed into a tree on April 17 and burst into flames (above) in the affluent neighborhood of The Woodlands, Houston, on April 17, killing two men.

The Harris County Fire Chief’s Office released a report in late April revealing more details about how the flames connected – repeating police claims that no one was in the driver’s seat.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in the immediate aftermath of the crash that data downloaded by Tesla indicates that the vehicle was not running on Autopilot, the semi-autonomous driving system.

In two crashes in Florida, 2016 and 2019, cars with Autopilot in use drove under intersecting tractors, killing the men driving the Teslas.

In a crash in Mountain View, California in 2018, an Apple engineer driving the Autopilot was killed when his Tesla hit a barrier on the highway.

After the fatal crashes in Florida and California, the NTSB advised Tesla to develop a stronger system to make sure drivers are paying close attention, and to limit Autopilot use to highways where it can work effectively.

It was not immediately clear whether the new Tesla Vision system meets the safety standards of the NTSB.

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