Tesla’s Camera-Based Driver Monitoring Fails to Keep Driver Attention on the Road, Tests Show

by Adam Felts

An article in Consumer Reports discusses flaws in Tesla's new driver monitoring system, which is intended to prevent drivers from misusing Tesla's driver-assistance systems. Evaluators found that the distraction warning system often failed to activate when testers disengaged themselves from the driving task. AgeLab Research Scientist Bryan Reimer provides commentary for the story:

“'In the Tesla Model 3 we studied, it’s not quite clear how the camera-based driver monitoring system is supporting the driver,' says Bryan Reimer, a research scientist in the MIT AgeLab and associate director of the New England University Transportation Center at MIT. He also leads the AVT.

The lack of clarity can further undermine the safety benefits of a driver monitoring system, Reimer says. By contrast, GM’s Super Cruise, which delivers multiple warnings to grab a distracted driver’s attention, is designed to make clear what a driver’s responsibilities are, he says. 'It’s very easy to understand and see how Super Cruise’s driver monitoring is shaping the behavior of the operator.'"

Read the full article at Consumer Reports.

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About the Author

Photo of Adam Felts
Adam Felts

Adam Felts is a researcher and writer at the MIT AgeLab. Currently he is involved in research on the experiences of family caregivers and the future of financial advice. He also manages the AgeLab blog and newsletter. He received his Master's in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University in 2014 and his Master's of Theological Studies from Boston University in 2019.

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