Tesla Hacker Reveals What Driver-Facing Camera Is Looking For

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Electrek: A Tesla hacker has revealed what Tesla’s driver-facing camera in Model 3 and Model Y is looking for — hinting at driver monitoring feature. When Tesla launched the Model 3, it equipped the vehicle with a standard cabin-facing camera located in the rearview mirror. At the time, the automaker said that the camera wasn’t active and it would be used in the future. CEO Elon Musk said that it would be used to prevent people from vandalizing cars when they are being driven automatically on Tesla’s upcoming self-driving robotaxi network. For almost 3 years, the camera was not used in the Model 3 and Model Y vehicles until earlier this year when Tesla activated the camera for the first time.

Now Tesla hacker ‘green’, known for revealing many features in Tesla’s software, has discovered what events the automaker is trying to detect with the driver-facing camera: BLINDED; DARK; EYES_CLOSED; EYES_DOWN; EYES_NOMINAL; EYES_UP; HEAD_DOWN; HEAD_TRUNC; LOOKING_LEFT; LOOKING_RIGHT; PHONE_USE; SUNGLASSES_EYES_LIKELY_NOMINAL; and SUNGLASSES_LIKELY_EYES_DOWN. Tesla’s only active driver monitoring feature when Autopilot is engaged is detecting if torque is being applied to the wheel. Several other driver-assist systems, like GM’s Supercruise, are using cabin-facing cameras to make sure drivers are looking at the road.

Tesla started collecting images and clips for research purposes, but only with consent from the drivers: “Help Tesla continue to develop safer vehicles by sharing camera data from your vehicle. This update will allow you to enable the built-in cabin camera above the rearview mirror. If enabled, Tesla will automatically capture images and a short video clip just prior to a collision or safety event to help engineers develop safety features and enhancements in the future. As usual, you can adjust your data sharing preferences by tapping Controls > Safety &Security > DATA Sharing > Camera Analytics.”