Tesla vehicles in Europe are receiving a new over-the-air (OTA) software update that includes a feature designed to alert drivers when they are not paying attention or appear drowsy. This feature uses sensors to monitor a driver's eye movement and steering wheel inputs to assess their attentiveness. If the system detects signs of inattentiveness or drowsiness, it will issue audio and visual warnings to refocus the driver's attention on the road.
Tesla cars in Europe are now receiving a new over-the-air (OTA) software update that introduces a feature aimed at warning drivers when they exhibit signs of inattention or drowsiness. This feature relies on sensors that track a driver's eye movements and their interactions with the steering wheel to gauge their level of attentiveness. If the system detects indications of inattention or drowsiness, it will activate audio and visual alerts to prompt the driver to refocus on the task of driving.
"Please be aware that this active safety feature makes use of the cabin camera to assess driver attentiveness. It's important to note that the cabin camera does not engage in facial recognition or any form of identity verification. By default, images and videos captured by the camera stay within the vehicle and are not transmitted to any external parties, including Tesla, unless you explicitly enable data sharing. You have the flexibility to customize your data sharing preferences at any time by navigating to Controls > Software > Data Sharing > Allow Cabin Camera Analytics."
Tesla Model 3 Highland Owner’s Manual (Europe) / Full feature details below.
The Tesla software update 2023.21.600 has been introduced on a restricted basis, and as of the current moment, there are no records of any contributing users receiving this update for their Tesla vehicles, according to the Tesla software tracking website TeslaFi.com.
A European Tesla Model 3 Highland owner, who had recently acquired the vehicle, shared a screenshot of the Driver Drowsiness Warning feature. This alert was likely activated after the owner had been driving in the dark and rainy conditions for approximately 3 hours, with the Tesla system taking various factors into account.
The Driver Drowsiness Warning feature was initially developed by Tesla as a part of the Autopilot system to determine the driver's attentiveness. Now, Tesla is making this feature available as a safety enhancement for owners who haven't opted for the Autopilot Full Self-Driving package.
In 2021, a Tesla ethical hacker known as "green" shared video clips captured by a Tesla vehicle's cabin camera, offering insight into the functionality of this in-cabin camera and its positioning for monitoring the driver and passengers. This camera is expected to play a role in future applications, including its use in Robotaxis.
In earlier revelations this year, "green" shared insights into Tesla's ongoing development of a feature aimed at assessing driver attentiveness. He noted, "Tesla is planning a significant enhancement to (camera-based) driver monitoring," and added that the system would track various factors such as the frequency of recent yawns, duration and frequency of blinks, and the driver's posture to calculate their level of drowsiness. This in-development driver monitoring system is designed to provide a comprehensive assessment of the driver's alertness.