Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla’s cabin-facing camera in the Model 3 is still inactive and that it is “meant for use in upcoming robotaxi”.
However, the CEO seems to be open to other fun ways to use the camera.
When Tesla launched the Model 3, it equipped the vehicle with a standard cabin-facing camera located in the rearview mirror.
It has been over 2 years since Tesla brought the vehicle to production and this camera, which is included in every Model 3, has remained dormant.
Tesla has yet to implement a feature using this camera, but a software update once referred to the camera being linked to Autopilot and ‘Tesla Network’, which is supposed to be an upcoming fleet of robotaxis operated by Tesla.
There has been speculation that Tesla could use the camera to monitor driver attention when using Autopilot – hence the reference to Autopilot in the software – and monitor passengers in a shared fleet of self-driving cars in order to discourage vandalizing the cars – hence the reference to ‘Tesla Network’.
However, Musk confirmed today that the camera is still inactive and that Tesla meant it for its upcoming ‘robotaxi’ fleet:
Internal camera isn’t used yet (meant for robotaxi), but that’s a good idea
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 23, 2019
The CEO also seems open to the idea of using the camera for other things, like to let drivers and passengers record themselves when using the new Caraoke feature released in V10.
The automaker has been looking into other uses for the cabin-facing camera.
Earlier this year, we also reported on Tesla applying for a patent called ‘Personalization System and Method for a Vehicle based on Spatial Locations of Occupants’ Body Portions’:
“The following described implementations may be found in the disclosed personalization system and method for a vehicle based on spatial locations of body portions of occupants in the vehicle. Exemplary aspects of the disclosure may include a personalization system that may include an image-capture device and circuitry in an in-vehicle electronic device. The disclosed personalization system, for example, the in-vehicle electronic device, increases improves an overall in-vehicle comfort and entertainment experience for the vehicle occupants. The personalization system provides an advanced, intelligent, and an automatic personalization of in-vehicle systems in real-time or near-real time for enhanced and consistent in-vehicle comfort and entertainment experience, both before and during a drive.”
In short, they plan to use a camera to recognize occupants and automatically apply specific settings personalized to them.
It could be another use for the cabin-facing camera, which has been installed in every Model 3 produced to date and yet has remained inactive.
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