Rivian pulls their driver-facing camera from production because it doesn’t see the driver’s face

Rivian has announced it is removing the driver-facing camera from the R1T and R1S. The camera was being used for driver-monitoring when the Driver+ driver-assist technologies were enabled, but as it turns out the camera can’t actually see the driver’s face to know if they’re paying attention.

The automaker actually didn’t announce it was removing the camera from production, instead including in the release notes of the recent 2023.22.00 software update that it was disabling the camera in existing vehicles. According to the release notes turning off the camera “does not impact the safety or functionality” of the R1T and R1S.

However Rivian has also added a new support page to their website to explain the rationale behind their decision to deactivate the camera, revealing that R1 vehicles built from the summer onwards will not include a driver-facing camera. As for the reason, Rivian says it is because “the existing camera position and viewing angle do not meet our performance requirements,” while at the same time reiterating that it won’t affect the safety or functionality of Driver+, saying it will use “other cameras, sensors and software embedded throughout the R1T and R1S.” (via autoevolution)

According to some Rivian owners on Reddit, that explanation doesn’t tell the whole truth as the camera was only able to see the lower half of the driver’s seat, missing out on the key angle a driver-facing camera should capture, the driver’s face.

On its website Rivian does say it is “exploring higher performance camera hardware and new cabin placements for future models,” but no timelines for when the new cameras or placements might enter production.

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