Who's watching you from inside your own car?

April 09, 2019, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

Embedded video Autonomous cars are coming and so far, it appears that they will be equipped with internal monitoring cameras and other sensors. The question is what will the data be collected for, who will see it and how will it be used?

Elon Musk recently talked about the camera inside the Tesla Model 3 and indicated it’s been placed there in order to keep watch over the passengers in your autonomous taxi.

The camera is located in the front of the cab above the rear-view vehicle and it’s there for the time that the cars are rolled out as taxis in partnership with Uber or Lyft. They are also meant to monitor pets in the car and to record any thieves breaking in.

Mr. Musk first spoke about the possibility of the Teslas being used as autonomous ride sharing vehicles in 2016. His idea is that car owners could make extra money by leasing out their cars to ride share aps when owners aren’t using them. This would make the cars a lot more affordable for owners who would have a ‘side gig’ for their cars.

The hardware to allow the cars to be rented out is already present in the currently manufactured cars and Mr. Musk predicts that once the regulatory hurdles have been met then the cars will be fully functional in autonomous and rental mode. He predicts partnerships with sharing aps like AirBnB, Uber and Lyft.

Elon Musk has tweeted that internal cameras and external cameras would work together in ‘Sentry Mode’ to see through the second row side windows and rear window.

The question of how this data will be used in the long run has not been addressed. Nor has the question of who would have access to the data from cars owned by individuals but rented to sharing companies.

You can learn more about Teslas here, or follow Mr. Musk’s twitter account here.

 

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