To ensure that drivers of autonomous vehicles are in their seat and watching the road, EV company Tesla Motors has reportedly activated a facial recognition feature in its Model 3 and Model Y vehicles.
According to a recent report from FOX News, the two models of the popular company have had biometric capable cameras near their rearview mirrors since they began production in 2017 and 2019, respectively.
In April of 2019, company founder Elon Musk responded to a Twitter comment about the cameras saying it was to monitor for potential vandalism.
“It’s there for when we start competing with Uber/Lyft & people allow their car to earn money for them as part of the Tesla shared autonomy fleet,” Musk wrote. “In case someone messes up your car, you can check the video.”
Despite Musk’s comments, Tesla has faced criticism following a number of reports of drivers riding in passenger seats — both in the front and rear seats of the vehicle — with nobody behind the wheel. While Tesla’s vehicles feature both Autopilot and Full Self-Driving modes, they require the driver to keep at least one hand on the wheel at all times.
The use of facial recognition technology — its unauthorized use in particular — has been an increasingly controversial topic over the past few years, with a number of high-profile privacy issues forcing it into the spotlight every few months.
In Tesla’s case, in order to assuage privacy concerns over its use, the company messaged vehicle owners notifying them of the update and saying that the biometric data collected by the camera “does not leave the car itself, which means the system cannot save or transmit information unless data sharing is enabled.”
Source: FOX News