Since Tesla drivers can play video games while driving, the US traffic safety agency NHTSA has now opened an official investigation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (ODI) Vehicle Failure Investigation Department is concerned about distracting drivers and increasing the risk of accidents. Now you want an “initial evaluation” of the job.
The study is about Tesla Model 3, S, X, and Y models built between 2017 and 2022, according to a statement from NHTSA (PDF). It has been reported by your defect investigation office that the play function can be activated on the central touch screen on the dashboard, which was visible from the front seats, while driving.
ODI has received a report from a Tesla owner (Vehicle Owner Questionnaire, VOQ) describing gameplay functionality and confirming that this functionality has been available in Tesla cars with “Passenger Play” since December 2020. Previously, gameplay was only activated when the car was parked. ODI now wants to assess how powerful Passenger Play can be a distraction for drivers and wants to include game repetitions and usage scenarios. Tesla has not yet issued a statement on this.
In the course of the update played over the air on the vehicles, three matches entered Teslas, according to the British newspaper The Guardian. The New York TimesAfter NHTSA first raised concerns: the shooting game Sky Force Reloaded, the card game Solitaire, and the strategy game The Battle of Polytopia. If you want to play a game, you have to confirm that you are not the driver with the touch of a finger.
Paragraph 23 of the German Road Traffic Regulations states that a driver may use an electronic device only for purposes of communication, entertainment, information or regulation if the device is not picked up and carried for this purpose. To use the device, drivers are only allowed to take their eyes off what is happening on the road for a brief period and use the hands-free or reading function. In many cars in Germany, for example, the TV function is turned off when the ignition is turned on.
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