The Teslascope team, who understands Tesla software updates, found something interesting in the latest FSD beta update. Tesla vehicles can now detect devices designed to simulate hands on the steering wheel while the autopilot function is in operation. If such devices are detected, the system will disable the autopilot.
In order to use the beta Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) features, Tesla requires drivers to keep their hands on the wheel. That being said, the automaker regularly asks drivers to apply some torque to the wheel in order to continue using autopilot.
This prompted some people to use some tricks. Someone just put a water bottle under the steering wheel rim, and some companies even tried to mass-produce special steering wheel pads that fool the Tesla computer.
Because the technology is still in beta and undeniably dangerous if drivers aren’t in control, Tesla is trying to get drivers to take the wheel regularly to be ready to take over.
Tesla is also increasingly using a cab-facing camera for driver attention monitoring, which can detect when drivers are not looking at the road.