MIT's Autopilot-monitoring study

We're still in the early days of autonomous driving, and while we've got a plethora of sensors facing out from the car, what about the driver? That's what MIT's AgeLab wants to know more about, and they're offering Tesla Model S and Model X drivers up to $1,000 for the data they need. Here's what MIT is looking to do:

  • Install 3 webcams and audio recording to monitor the driver
  • Monitor vehicle GPS
  • Monitor vehicle telemetry (e.g. steering wheel position)

While MIT doesn't state outright what their intent is, it's clear they intend to study both the driver and the car when Autopilot is engaged — how does the car taking over vital functions change how the driver behaves? And because MIT know what your privacy is important, they're making clear that all collected data will be store on secure MIT servers and "can be removed on request".

We can speak from personal experiences with Autopilot: it changes so much and so little. Autopilot doesn't mean you can completely disengage from the road, but without having to focus on steering and throttle control the experience becomes much more relaxing while opening the driver up to better pay attention to their surroundings. And yet, you're still sitting in the driver's seat, ready to snap to take control of the car should something go awry.

If you're interested in picking up some extra money and taking part in defining the bleeding edge, hit up the MIT AgeLab for more information.