Patent Filing Reveals How Tesla Plans to Use Model 3’s Cabin-Facing Camera

A Tesla patent application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has revealed how the company plans to use the cabin-facing camera inside its Model 3 cars to personalize the in-car experience for the drivers (via Electrek).

Tesla has installed the said camera inside every Model 3 released till date but even after two years since the electric car maker brought the vehicle to production, the camera has remained dormant. Thanks to the patent application, we finally have an idea of how Tesla plans to implement a feature using this camera.


Titled ‘Personalization System and Method for a Vehicle based on Spatial Locations of Occupants’ Body Portions,’ the patent application details how a camera can be used to recognize occupants and automatically apply specific settings personalized to them.

“The following described implementations may be found in the disclosed personalization system and method for a vehicle based on spatial locations of body portions of occupants in the vehicle. Exemplary aspects of the disclosure may include a personalization system that may include an image-capture device and circuitry in an in-vehicle electronic device. The disclosed personalization system, for example, the in-vehicle electronic device, increases improves an overall in-vehicle comfort and entertainment experience for the vehicle occupants. The personalization system provides an advanced, intelligent, and an automatic personalization of in-vehicle systems in real-time or near-real time for enhanced and consistent in-vehicle comfort and entertainment experience, both before and during a drive.”

In an interview last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk also briefly mentioned the system in reference to something the company plans to do with “the advent of self-driving and a shared fleet of robotaxi.”

Here’s what Musk said:

“You’ll want probably dynamic personalization, so it’s like you step into the car, it knows who you are, it knows everything you want, and the car reconfigures itself automatically to all your preferences. So you could step into any car, and that’s how it would be.”

The system was designed former Apple engineer Blair Williams, who has been working on Autopilot and Infotainment Hardware Engineering for Tesla.