On December 24, we reported a discrepancy between what Consumer Reports wrote about Tesla’s Driver Surveillance Camera and what Tesla said on its website. While the consumer organization said the Model S has this system, Tesla has advised (and still does) that only the Model 3 and Y feature it. Jake Fisher reached out to us to show that Tesla updates their cars faster than taking care of their website.
The senior manager of CR’s automatic test center sent us an image of the Model S digital owner’s manual. In it, Tesla informs this:
Model S is equipped with a cab camera located above the mirror (-).
The cab camera can determine driver inattention and provide you with audible alerts to remind you to keep your eyes on the road when autopilot is engaged. By default, camera images and videos do not leave the vehicle itself and are not transmitted to anyone, including Tesla, unless you enable data sharing.
Despite what the VE The manufacturer’s website still says the driver watch feature is exclusive to Model 3 and Model Y, Tesla’s website is out of date. It’s unclear which update gave the electric sedan that ability, but the point is that it can try to avoid distracted driving – at least in theory.
CR really tested FSD in a vehicle that could check whether the driver is paying attention to the road or not. What the consumer organization realized was that hiding the internal camera did not disengage FSD: it continued to function as if nothing had happened. Concretely, it is as if the camera did not exist or did not have this function, as Tesla still says.
More than an issue with the driver monitoring system – which also failed to reduce driver distraction in CR’s Model Y – this episode shows A V experts are right to urge US authorities to take action on FSD.
Besides the erratic behavior beta software exhibits on public roads in the hands of regular drivers, knowing that it stays active even when drivers are not careful is a major issue. Many Tesla owners believe FSD makes their cars self-sufficient and continue to try to prove it in YouTube videos with risky attitudes like sleeping or playing video games.
Now dispelled from all doubt, CR’s warning is just another drop in a sea of demands for the proper application of autonomous vehicle test procedures. NHTSA seems to be taking them more seriously lately – and it should. A business that updates its cars faster than updating its customers’ information requires tighter guidance.