Tesla Owners Are Playing Video Games While Driving

In the last few months, it has gained the attention of regulators and safety advocates, but it has so far avoided scrutiny over its decision to quietly add in the ability to play video games while during.

The New York Times noticed videos of reviewers and drivers accessing the game while in motion, which have popped up on YouTube. The company started adding arcade-style games back in 2019.

The feature was shipped over the summer as part of an update. There are three new games in the update, which are said to be usable while driving. When these games are launched, the user is shown a warning that the game should only be played by the passenger. There is nothing stopping the driver from lying and starting the game regardless.

The company didn't respond to Gizmodo's request for comment.

NHTSA guidelines recommend that device makers design systems so they can't be used by drivers to perform "inherently distracted secondary tasks while driving." When drivers shift out of park, the systems that let drivers and passengers watch movies or other entertainment in the front display are usually disabled. Distracted driving accounted for 8.7% of U.S. car crash deaths, according to NHTSA data, though many experts think the figure could be much higher.

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The NHTSA did not respond to Gizmodo immediately.

Presumably, the reason for adding video games into its vehicles is to make it easier for drivers to do their jobs and not have to shout in traffic. The vision of turning vehicles into the next screen is shared by many in the auto industry and is why traditional consumer technology companies like Apple andXiaomi are working on their own self-drive vehicles. The idea was expanded by Musk earlier this year when he showed off a demo of someone playing Cyberpunk 2077.

Musk said that entertainment is going to become more important as the car is often in autopilot or self driving mode. If you don't drive, you're going to want to use the internet, watch movies, and play games.

The only problem is that they aren't completely self-sufficient.

The name "Full Self Driving" is deceiving since it only works on a six-level scale. In a letter to regulators late last year,Tesla was forced to come clean about the regulations. Adding video game additions only adds to the confusion, as the message has not been clearly articulated to the users. The system is more advanced than it is and this could encourage drivers to treat it that way. Can you really blame drivers for expecting an experience more exciting than a cruise control?

The concerns were outlined by the senators when they sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission urging them to investigate the misleading advertising of the Autopilot and FSD.

The senators wrote that they fear that the features of the company are not as mature and reliable as the company pitches to the public. When drivers exceed their vehicle's capabilities, serious and fatal accidents can and do occur.

The systems are already leading to accidents, which are at risk of increasing with the added entertainment features. The NHTSA is currently investigating 11 crashes that have occurred since the beginning of the year, all of which involve cars colliding with first responders. There were 17 injuries and one death from these crashes. A complaint was filed to the NHTSA last month, which appears to show the first instance of a major crash involving the company.