Tesla owners play video games while driving

The interior of Tesla

Photography: PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP (Getty Images)

Tesla has gained a fair share of interest from regulators i security has been advocating the difficult introduction of his “Full Self Driving” beta system in recent months, but has so far largely avoided examining his decision to quietly add the ability to play video games while driving.

Videos of reviewers and drivers accessing the game while on the go appeared on YouTube and were noticed by the New York Times this week. While playing Teslas is not new, (the company started adding arcade-style games back in 2019). while the vehicles are out of the park.

According to the Times, that particular feature was delivered over the summer as part of an over-the-air update. The update included three new games—Solitaire, Sky Force Reloaded, i Battle of Polytopia: Rise of the Moon—Everything can supposedly be played while driving. When these games are launched, the user is warned that the game should only be played by the passenger. At the moment, nothing is preventing the driver from simply lying and starting the game regardless, the report states.

Tesla did not immediately respond to Gizmod’s request for comment.

Tesla’s decision to double video games and the rest of the car fun like Netflix and Hulu streaming comes despite long-running NHTSA guidelines recommends that device manufacturers design systems so that drivers cannot use them to perform “distractions”. Although other car manufacturers offer systems that allow drivers and passengers to watch movies or other entertainment on the front display, they are usually disabled when drivers leave the parking lot. The stakes are high here: distracted driving caused 8.7% of car deaths in the US, according to NHTSA data, although many experts expect the number could be much higher.

NHTSA did not immediately respond to Gizmod’s request for comment.

Tesla’s reason for adding video games to his vehicles is thought to stem from his vision of creating a fully autonomous vehicle experience in which drivers can recover the time they would waste by screaming in traffic to get work done or have fun. This vision of turning the vehicle into the next screen is shared by many in the automotive industry and therefore traditional consumer technology companies like Apple i Xiaomi reportedly working on their own driverless vehicles. CEO Elon Musk extended I came up with this idea earlier this year while showing a demo of someone playing Cyberpunk 2077 in Tesla.

“Think of a future where the car is often on autopilot or completely independent driving mode, then fun will become more important,” Musk said. “You want to watch movies, play games, use the internet, all the things you want to do if you’re not driving.”

The only problem is that Tesla is not completely autonomous – and they are not even close.

Although Tesla is currently in beta testing its “Full Self Driving” driver assistance function, the name is misleading because it actually only achieves level 2 autonomy on a six-level scale. Tesla was forced to declare himself about the regulations of the FSD letter regulators late last year. But that message is not clearly articulated to users of Autopilot or FSD beta participants, and additions to video games only add to that confusion. All of this has the potential to encourage drivers to treat the system as more advanced than it is. And since some Teslas cost around $ 100,000, can you really blame drivers for expecting a more exciting experience than the celebrated cruise control?

These were part of concerns raised by sensors Richard Blumenthal and Ed Markey earlier this year when they sent letter Federal Trade Commission President Lina Khan urging her agency to investigate Tesla for misleading advertising about Autopilot and FSD.

“We are afraid that Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD functions are not as mature and reliable as the company presents to the public,” the senators wrote. “Understanding these limitations is essential, because when drivers’ expectations exceed the capabilities of their vehicle, serious and fatal accidents can and do result.”

These systems are already leading to real-world accidents, which are at risk of increasing with more fun features. For those who follow, it is currently NHTSA exploring 11 accidents that have occurred since 2018, and all include the collision of Tesla with ambulances. The accidents caused a total of 17 injuries and one death, according to the agency. On top of that, a complaint filed with NHTSA last month appears to show the first major collision involving Tesla’s FSD beta.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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