Consumer Reports Says Tesla Driver Monitoring fails to Keep Driver Attention On The Road

According to Consumer Reports testing, the Driver Monitoring feature on Tesla vehicles failed to keep drivers’ attention on the road.

The Driver Monitor feature uses the activated in-car cameras, otherwise called “cabin cameras”, to determine if the driver is paying attention to the road.

Tesla officially adds driver monitoring system through cabin camera update [Update]

When Autopilot is in use, the camera can detect driver inattentiveness.

During testing, Consumer Reports found:

  • Drivers could still use Autopilot if they are looking away from the road and even while using their phone
  • Even if something was obscuring the vehicle’s cabin camera, Autopilot remained active and did not prohibit the driver from using the system
  • Drivers could still use Full Self-Driving software when something was blocking the camera entirely.

The testing took place after Tesla released the software update to Autopilot users in May 2021. The software notes noted, “The cabin camera above your rearview mirror can now detect and alert driver inattentiveness while Autopilot is engaged”.

The date of the test would explain why Consumer Reports included that last bullet point, as soon after Tesla added a warning for drivers to remove a camera cover if one was detected.

Cabin camera
Credit @wholemarsblog /Twitter

So far, in Consumer Report testing of this feature, only General Motor’s Super Cruise passed testing. Blue Cruise intervened when its camera determined the driver was not looking toward the road. The company has yet to test out BlueCruise from Ford.

Tesla did not respond to Consumer Report’s request for comment.

You can read their full report here.

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