'Somebody's going to get killed': Why Tesla added feature that allows driver to play video game while driving?

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Dec 11, 2021, 03:24 AM(IST)

File photo of a Tesla car. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Reports have stated that Tesla added the games in an over-the-air software update sent to most of its vehicles this summer. 

Is Tesla compromising with safety while adding multiple features in the cars? Several critics have raised this question after a software update allowed drivers to play video games on a touch screen mounted in front of the dashboard even while driving. 

For their unique features, Tesla cars enjoy a massive fan following. However, they have been questioned every now and then by federal regulators over the Autopilot System and Full Self-Driving features. Safety-related concerns have been raised by people. 

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On Tuesday (December 7), The New York Times reported that Tesla added the games in an over-the-air software update sent to most of its vehicles this summer. 

The Times also reported that Tesla update added three games - solitaire, a jet fighter and conquest strategy scenario - and said the company has a warning reading: "Playing while the car is in motion is only for passengers." 

This was further highlighted when a retired US-based journalist complaint was filed by Vince Patton, retired journalist. He also said that he watched a YouTube video on how the feature actually works.

He mentioned that in the video, drivers were seen playing video games on the large touchscreen that controls virtually all functions in Tesla vehicles. 

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"Somebody's going to get killed. I was just dumbfounded," Patton told the Associated Press after filing a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

NHTSA also expressed concerns over the same feature as on December 8, the agency said they are discussing it with Tesla Inc the electric carmaker's software update. 

In a mail, that has been accessed by Reuters, NHTSA said, "Distraction-affected crashes are a concern, particularly in vehicles equipped with an array of convenience technologies such as entertainment screens. We are aware of driver concerns and are discussing the feature with the manufacturer." 

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