Tesla has revealed a new feature that will track a driver’s blinks and yawns and alert them to pull over and rest if they’re drowsy.
It’s unclear when it will be rolled out in Australia. It hasn’t appeared in any release notes for over-the-air software updates.
It’s activated when the vehicle is travelling over 65km/h and for a minimum of 10 minutes with Autopilot not engaged.
The camera software will now monitor “facial characteristics as well as driving behaviour to determine patterns indicative of drowsiness”.
Tesla says when driver drowsiness is detected, an alert will display on the touchscreen “in the cards area”. There’s also an audible alert.
The feature will automatically turn off when the vehicle speed drops below 60km/h.
Drivers can disable the feature through the vehicle settings by navigating to Controls > Safety > Driver Drowsiness Warning. If drivers wish to switch off the feature it will only be disabled for that current drive cycle and will reactivate when the vehicle is next turned on.
Looks like Tesla is planning a big boost to (camera based) driver monitoring.— green (@greentheonly) May 13, 2023
They are now tracking additional things like how many yawns the driver had recently, how many blinks and how long they were, leaning. All this is to calculate how drowsy the driver is.
Tesla’s vehicles already had the ability to monitor drivers’ attention via the interior camera, but only if Autopilot or Full-Self Driving was engaged.
This latest enhancement was first reported by known Tesla hacker Green on X (formerly known as Twitter) in May 2023.
Other manufactures already have driver fatigue detection, including Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volvo, Ford and Subaru just to name a few.