Tesla is now attempting to gauge the tiredness of its drivers through a new feature rolling out called “Driver Drowsiness Warning.” It uses the cabin-facing camera — built to ensure the driver was watching the road and not on their phone — to gauge facial characteristics of drowsiness, such as the frequency of yawns and blinks. Rumors of the new feature first circulated in May when a Tesla hacker, known as Green, found indications of drowsiness tracking in Tesla’s software.
In action, the Driver Drowsiness Warning tool looks at both facial characteristics and driving behavior. An alert will appear on the touchscreen in the cards area, and an internal alarm will sound if the system records indications of tiredness. Drivers can choose to disable the feature by navigating to Controls and then Safety. Though, unless it’s constantly beeping anytime the car moves from the direct center of a lane, there is little reason to do so.
In any case, the Driver Drowsiness Warning should automatically turn back on during a new drive. However, the feature only activates when the car goes over 40 miles per hour and if Autopilot is not switched on. Even if an alert occurs, the warning system will deactivate if the car drops below that minimum speed. Tesla includes the usual disclaimer in its announcement, cautioning drivers that it’s their “responsibility” to stay alert and focused on the road ahead.