Tesla wants to use cameras and sensors to assign driver profiles, adjust screen display, and even adjust HVAC based on body position and temperature

Tesla is well known for pushing the boundaries of innovation in their vehicles. In a new patent filing published today, the automaker wants to implement a system where the car can detect who is entering the vehicle and adjust the settings based on their preferences.

They also want to use the cameras and sensors to track passenger position, and even body temperature, to know whether to blow hot or cold air, and in what direction.

The patent filing is titled “Context Sensitive User Interface For Enhanced Vehicle Operation”. It describes how settings like seat and mirror position will be automatically adjusted using facial recognition to know who is entering the vehicle.

“As an example, the system may use facial recognition techniques to learn vehicle passengers. Preferred settings and/or profile information for passengers may thus be learned by the system. As another example, the system may adjust mirrors, air conditioning, the steering wheel, and so on, based on detected positions of passengers.”

This wouldn’t apply only to driver, as the system would also be able to detect passengers and adjust the settings based on their pre-determined preferences.

For example, the system may obtain images of the passenger’s face using one or more cameras positioned in the vehicle or outside the vehicle (e.g., the images may be taken as the passenger enters the vehicle). The system may then use a deep learning model to encode the passenger’s face in an example face space previously learned by the model. Thus, only a limited number of images of the face may be used to uniquely identify the passenger.

At block 1206, the system receives indications of preferences of the passenger. The passenger may adjust mirrors, seat positions, air conditioning, music preferences, and so on. These preferences, or a portion thereof, may be stored by the system.

The system can also adjust the arrangement of the in-car display if it detects the passenger wants to use it.

Tesla patent icons
Image via US Patent Office

Taking it even further, in-car cameras and sensors could be used to adjust HVAC controls (speed and direction) by tracking your body position. Even your body temperature will be tracked, so if your face is warm, cool air will be aimed towards your face.

At block 1308, the system adjusts output of air based on tracking the location. As the passenger moves about in his/her seat, for example slumping down/sitting up/rotating his/her head/and so on, the system may adjust the air to focus on the location. 

When these features might be included in Tesla vehicles is unknown. The patent was filed on November 20, 2020, but only published today May 27, 2021.

Along with all this information, the patent also included a treasure trove of images showing off the Cybertruck’s user interface.

You can read the full patent here.

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