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Tesla will now monitor drivers via in-car cameras to make sure they’re paying attention when Autopilot is on

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Tesla cars will now monitor drivers who use Autopilot through in-car cameras, TechCrunch reports

Tesla will activate the cameras, located above the rearview mirror, in Model 3 and Y cars to check that drivers are paying attention to the road while using Autopilot driver assist, it said in a message to drivers.

Until now, Tesla cars relied on steering-wheel sensors that detected whether drivers were holding on, but many drivers have shared their tricks to fool the sensors and go hands-free. 

“The cabin camera above your rearview mirror can now detect and alert driver inattentiveness while Autopilot is engaged. Camera data does not leave the car itself, which means the system cannot save or transmit information unless data sharing is enabled,” Tesla said in a release note to its drivers, which was shared by one Tesla owner on Twitter. 

Another Twitter user shared a photo of the same update for their vehicle. 

Last year, Tesla activated its cabin-facing cameras installed in its Model 3 and Y vehicles in a software update. The camera, if approved by the driver, would “help engineers develop safety features and enhancements in the future,” Tesla said in its release notes at the time. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk had previously rejected using cameras and infrared sensors to track drivers’ eye movements, saying that eye-tracking functions were ineffective. 

Tesla has faced criticism over the safety of its self-driving features. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened at least 27 investigations into Tesla car crashes, and Autopilot was involved in at least three fatal crashes since 2016, Reuters reported

Tesla did not immediately respond for comment. 

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