US initiates probe into Tesla letting people play video games while driving

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Dec 23, 2021, 03:18 PM(IST)

The probe by automaker agency covers 5,80,000 Tesla cars and SUVs from model years 2017 through 2022 Photograph:( Agencies )

Story highlights

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the feature, called “Passenger Play,” may distract the driver and increase the risk of a crash.

The US has launched a formal investigation following reports that Tesla allowed games to be played on the front centre touchscreen while driving.

The probe is being led by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and covers about 580,000 electric cars and SUVs from model years 2017 through 2022.

In a document posted online Wednesday, the agency said the feature, called “Passenger Play,” may distract the driver and increase the risk of a crash.

NHTSA said it has “confirmed that this capability has been available since December 2020 in Tesla ‘Passenger Play’-equipped vehicles.”

Earlier, the game feature “was enabled only when the vehicle was in park mode.”

NHTSA said it will evaluate aspects of the feature, including the frequency and use scenarios of Tesla ‘Passenger Play’.

Earlier this month, the New York Times highlighted the game feature prompting NHTSA to say it was in discussions with Tesla about the feature.

The New York Times spoke to a Tesla Model 3 owner in December who said that he had discovered he was able to play games including solitaire on his car's touchscreen while driving.

The driver said he had also seen people on YouTube driving while playing games in Teslas.

“I'm astonished. To me, it just seems inherently dangerous,” he told The Times.

Tesla has so far not reacted to the development.

(With inputs from agencies)

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