According to several Tesla owners posting on social media, recent updates to Tesla's Autopilot technology and Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta capability package seem to be policing drivers more closely. More specifically, it appears the technology is now aware of some devices or tricks that may be used to "cheat" the system, and it's working to stop such behavior.
Tesla's Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta systems have certain safety measures in place to help ensure that people don't make bad choices that could lead to injury or death. This is in addition to the fact that the instructions related to the software make it abundantly clear that drivers must keep their hands on the steering wheel and be ready to take control at any time.
While the safety systems don't make Tesla's advanced driver-assist systems foolproof, they aim to "punish" drivers who are breaking the rules. However, we've learned over the years that there are still ways to trick the driver-assistance software by way of certain methods and/or devices.
At one point, while some people were actually providing online instruction or videos to help people learn to trick Tesla's technology, Consumer Reports actually published a video showing that tricking Autopilot was possible, and the publication even showed folks how to do it. Needless to say, there are people out there who are tricking the technology so they don't have to keep their hands on the wheel, and one way to get away with it seems to be to use a device that makes the car "think" you're applying pressure to the steering wheel.
A recent article about the topic was published by Electrek based on details from Teslascope, a social media account that keeps tabs on Tesla's software updates. According to Teslascope, Tesla has now figured out a way to detect whether a driver is potentially using a device or trick to avoid holding the steering wheel.
If the car detects that a cheat device is being used to apply torque to the steering wheel, it may issue "strikes" against the driver and even then from using Autopilot or Tesla's FSD beta technology. This could come as a big help to Tesla as it is now making FSD beta available to all paying customers in the US and Canada.
Digging further into the thread related to the tweet above reveals that some Tesla owners may be upset if they're banned from using Autopilot or FSD beta. This is especially true of the latter since you have to pay a pretty penny for access.
Tesla's Full Self-Driving technology is still in beta form, and if people aren't using it as Tesla specifies, they're potentially causing a safety issue. For this reason, it makes sense that the automaker could take away access based on misuse. However, it appears all of that stands to change in the future.
We'll have to wait and see how it all progresses. Would Tesla have to refund an owner for the Full Self-Driving capability package if they were banned from using it? Since Autopilot comes standard on all Tesla's EVs, perhaps it wouldn't cause such an issue. We don't yet have the answers, but it will certainly be interesting to see how it all plays out.