An investigation into Tesla has been launched in the US after a man discovered he could play games while driving.
Bear in mind, anyone who’s driving can play games on their phones at any time – there’s just the small matter of it being illegal, dangerous and really, really stupid.
If you’ve seen the inside of a Tesla, you’ll likely be familiar with the rather large screen between the driver and passenger seat. More than half a million cars across the US are equipped with these touchscreens, giving its users a wealth of options from SAT-NAV, to browsing the internet, to games.
It should go without saying – but Tesla has said it anyway – the games aren’t intended to be played by the driver, especially when they’re in motion.
Passenger Play, which has been available since December last year, does allow users to play games while the car is moving, but it specifically notes it’s ‘only for passengers’ and even asks you to confirm this before gameplay commences. It was formerly only available while the car was in park mode.
Fearing this warning won’t be enough, Tesla owner Vince Patton filed a complaint with the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) after he discovered he could play the games while driving. He tested the feature in a car park, dubbing the ability to play games such as Solitaire as ‘recklessly negligent’.
‘I was just dumbfounded that, yes, sure enough, this sophisticated video game came up… somebody’s going to get killed. It’s absolutely insane,’ he told AP.
Now, the NHTSA is investigating around 580,000 Tesla Models 3, S and X made from 2017, to ‘evaluate the driver distraction potential of Tesla Passenger Play while the vehicle is being driven’.
Investigators will ‘will evaluate aspects of the feature, including the frequency and use scenarios of Tesla ‘Passenger Play’, while noting the feature ‘may distract the driver and increase the risk of a crash’, as per BBC News. In 2019, 3,142 road deaths were attributed to distracted drivers.
Tesla has not commented on the complaint.
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