— At some point, the Tesla Model 3 could monitor its drivers. Electric-everything website Electrek reported Tuesday that the new sedan has a driver-facing camera embedded above the rearview mirror, though it's unclear what it does. Don't blanch just yet: Systems to monitor drivers have been around for a while, most recently popping up in Cadillac's forthcoming Super Cruise system to intuit driver inattention. Privacy concerns notwithstanding, Tesla is hardly first.
The California electric-car maker confirmed the camera to Cars.com, but said it's not active right now or used for anything. Tesla said it could use the camera at some point down the road for features introduced via software updates. The automaker didn't say what those features will be, but it promises the option of full self-driving at some point on all its cars, including the Model 3. Could a driver-facing camera factor into that? Perhaps. Along those lines, Electrek hypothesizes the camera might factor into Tesla's plans for an autonomous ride-sharing network.
Until fall, deliveries of the all-electric Model 3 — including the inaugural batch Tesla handed over July 28 — will go to the automaker's employees. Tesla says deliveries to outside customers will start in late October. It's likely the vast majority of cars delivered through the end of the year will have the Model 3's longer-range battery, which adds significant capability but costs an extra $9,000. Production for the base battery, which makes the sedan's often-referenced $35,000 base price (before tax incentives) even possible, begins in November.
Interested in a Model 3? Get in line. The reservation list is at least 12 months long, Tesla says.