Published: December 29, 2021
Tesla has come to the decision of disabling its gaming feature while driving, following an investigation by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Passenger Play feature allows playing games on the touchscreen while the car is moving.
The investigation by the NHTSA began after concerns that this feature of Musk’s cars was dangerous. They said that it’s concerning since this feature may distract the driver and risk the possibility of a crash.
This feature was meant for the passengers only, as the name “Passenger Play” suggests. However, it only asks if you’re a passenger. There is nothing truly stopping the driver from using it.
When this feature first came out, people could only use it when the car wasn’t moving, but at the end of 2020, Tesla changed it to allow them to play the game while the vehicle was in motion.
A Tesla car owner, Vince Patton, noticed the change and reported it to NHTSA, complaining about it for being “recklessly negligent.” As a result, they’re changing it back now to how it used to be.
A new software update would disable this feature while the car is in motion. According to the New York Times, the company has already reached out to the NHTSA to inform them of this decision.
This investigation came after the NHTSA had already started investigating Tesla in August. This past investigation looked into Tesla’s Autopilot system involved in a crash into parked emergency vehicles.
The agency is also investigating other crashes where the gaming feature was used. Distracted drivers caused over 3,000 car accidents in 2019, which is why such a feature has been deemed dangerous.