Tesla is going to use Autopilot side cameras on its vehicles to show blind spots on the screen when the driver is signaling a turn or lane change.
Last month, Tesla introduced a new software update with a new feature to involve the side cameras in the backup camera system.
Tesla writes in the release notes:
You can now view video streams coming from your side repeater cameras for added visibility around the vehicle. When the backup camera is visible, simply swipe to display the repeater camera video feeds.
The “repeater cameras” are mounted on the sides of the cars and basically offer a view of the blind spots.
It looks something like that when using the feature:
Since releasing the feature last month, several owners have been asking for new features using the side repeater cameras.
Now, CEO Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla plans to implement one of those features — full-screen side cameras when indicating a turn:
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 9, 2020
It sounds like Tesla will push an update to automatically make the side repeater camera fullscreen whenever the driver signals a turn or lane change.
Previously, Tesla was already using the side cameras to detect if anyone was in the blind spot, and it would show any object in the Autopilot Driving Visualization. However, many drivers prefer to confirm with their own eyes.
It could also serve as a precursor to Tesla eventually introduce vehicles using side cameras instead of side mirrors.
Several other automakers have started releasing vehicles with side cameras, like Audi and Honda, since European regulators have made the use of side cameras feeding screens inside vehicles legal.
Tesla has been looking into the possibility to implement such a system — which improves efficiency and range — since 2013, but it put the idea on hold because it’s not year legal in the US.
There’s currently an effort to change the regulation in the US, which would likely trigger Tesla to make the move.
The automaker’s last few vehicle prototypes, like the Cybertruck and next-gen Roadster, didn’t feature any side mirrors.
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