A popular talking point against Tesla’s Autopilot system is the lack of a driver monitoring system (DMS). That is no longer the case as the automaker has officially added one using the vehicle’s interior cabin camera.
The change was first noticed by Kevin Smith, an owner who picked up his Model Y yesterday. According to the release notes of his 2021.4.15.11 software that came with the car, the cabin camera “can now detect and alert driver inattentiveness while Autopilot is engaged.”
UPDATE: This feature is also now active in Canada. A Drive Tesla reader tells us it is also on his newly delivered Model Y, also with software version 2021.4.15.11.
According the Smith, the existing steering wheel nags still occur with the same frequency as they did before, even with DMS active. The nags will hopefully disappear after Tesla has enough data to be confident in their DMS.
This particular software version (2021.4.15.11) has not been publicly released, and is currently only included on new vehicle deliveries. We should start seeing the feature deployed to existing owners soon, possibly with the release of vision only Autopilot in the next few weeks.
The introduction of a DMS has been hinted at over the past several months. Tesla hacker @greentheonly had found evidence the automaker was developing the system by discovering snippets of code that looked for certain driver behaviours and actions. Some of these included:
- Phone Use
- Driver Eyes Down
- Sunglasses Eyes Likely Down
- Driver Head Down
- Driver Eyes Closed
- and more
The cabin camera has been active in vehicles in the US since last year, however it has yet to be turned on in Canada. If you have taken delivery of a new Model Y with the 2021.4.15.11 software version, let us know if you also have this new feature.