- Elon Musk tweeted on Thursday about the purpose of tiny cameras that perch just above the rear-view mirror in Tesla vehicles.
- Musk says the cameras are there for when Tesla realises its ambitions to break into the autonomous vehicle ride-sharing market.
- Tesla is holding an investor day showcasing its self-driving tech later this month.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Elon Musk has revealed the purpose of a tiny camera just above the rear-view mirror in Tesla vehicles.
A Tesla enthusiast’s account first posted about the camera, irked by not knowing the purpose of its inclusion in Tesla cars. A video shows the enthusiast closing the camera’s cap.
Until @Tesla or @elonmusk tells me what this camera is doing for me I'm shutting them out. It SHOULD be used with Sentry Mode, but it's not at this time. When it has a purpose that serves me I'll slide it back open. Here's what I used of you want to join: https://t.co/MasBhAAH5n pic.twitter.com/eZIEYmBKGx
— ⚡LivingTesla⚡ (@LivingTesla) April 4, 2019
Musk replied to the tweet, saying that the company is planning to put it to use once it launches its own fleet of autonomous vehicles to compete with the likes of Uber and Lyft, who are both developing their own autonomous vehicle technology with the hope of someday making driverless cars part of their business.
Specifically he said Tesla owners will be able to allow their car to act as part of an autonomous vehicle fleet thereby earning them some extra cash, and the camera will be a security measure in case a passenger “messes up” the car.
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. In case someone messes up your car, you can check the video.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 5, 2019
He added that the camera is not in use right now. “Only external cameras are being used right now, so internal is not enabled. When it is enabled, we’ll add a setting to disable internal camera,” he said on Twitter.
Musk made clear his ambitions to break into self-driving ridesharing as far back as 2016, and on Wednesday the company announced it will be holding an investor day about its work on autonomous vehicles later this month.
Some have criticised Musk for being overly enthusiastic about self-driving tech. AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson said the way Musk bigs up the technology is “almost unethical,” and a senior analyst for Navigant told Business Insider in February that Musk’s overselling of Teslas vehicles’ autonomous capabilities was putting customers at risk.
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