For some reason, Tesla cars have been updated to let you game and drive at the same time, resulting in an investigation by regulators.
We’re not entirely sure who was demanding that cars come with video games installed in them, but that’s precisely what Tesla offers. All four Tesla models come with an arcade that includes everything from Solitaire and Sonic The Hedgehog to big budget titles like The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077.
Originally, you could only play games while the car was parked. After all, why would anyone even attempt to play and drive at the same time? Except that has now been made an option and, according to The LA Times, Tesla is facing an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the US.
A document posted to the NHTSA’s website confirms that a preliminary evaluation has been opened and that this Passenger Play feature ‘may distract the driver and increase the risk of a crash.’
Apparently, this feature has been available since last December and only came to the NHTSA’s attention when one Tesla owner made the discovery and filed a complaint.
Earlier this month, Vince Patton told The LA Times how he became aware of it himself thanks to a YouTube video. He proceeded to test it out in an empty parking lot and, to his shock, was able to play arcade shooter Sky Force Reloaded, Solitaire, and browse the Internet while driving in circles.
Patton expressed concern for other Tesla drivers, saying ‘Somebody’s going to get killed. It’s absolutely insane.’
No doubt the NHTSA will take this investigation very seriously, as it is dedicated to educating people on the risks of distracted driving and mitigating it. Its website says that 3,142 people died in 2019 because of distracted driving.
It is baffling that Tesla would ever make this a feature in the first place, although it’s too soon to tell if it will remove it in the wake of the investigation.
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