Tesla CEO Elon Musk has provided more clarity on why the company has placed a camera inside the Model 3. It’s located above the rear-view mirror. The camera could augment Tesla’s Sentry Mode which uses all of the cameras the vehicle has to keep an eye out if it suspects a potential danger. A recent video of a woman keying a Model 3 showed just how useful it can be. However, Musk says that the camera inside the car is there for when the Model 3 can be used as an autonomous taxi.
Musk’s explanation came in response to a tweet which raised privacy concerns about having a camera inside the car. He wrote that the camera is 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.” So in case someone messes up your car when it’s driving around by itself earning you money, you can check the video just to be sure what happened.
He also added in a follow-up tweet that the hardware which would enable the car to become a part of the shared autonomy fleet is already present in the units that are now being produced. He said that it’s “just a matter of finishing the software & going through regulatory approval”.
Musk has previously predicted that this functionality would be ready by the end of 2019. Once this functionality will arrive, there will be an option to disable the internal camera and until that happens, this camera will remain permanently turned off.