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Tesla continues to allow drivers to play video games after federal investigation

“After opening a preliminary review of Tesla’s ‘Passenger Play’ feature, Tesla has informed the agency that it is changing the functionality of the feature,” a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board said. “In a new software update, ‘Passenger Play’ will now be locked and unusable while the vehicle is in motion.”

Documents for the investigation, revealed Wednesday by NHTSA, say the feature, called “Passengers Play,” has been available to drivers since December 2020. The games appear on screens. Large touch screen in the center of the dashboard. According to documents related to the investigation, although the name suggests that it is intended for passengers to play, there is nothing to prevent drivers from playing while the vehicle is being driven, according to the relevant document. to the investigation.

Prior to December 2020, the game was only activated when the vehicle was parked, according to NHTSA investigation documents. According to NHTSA, even if the game is being played by a passenger rather than the driver, it “can distract the driver and increase the risk of a collision”.

The agency’s investigation generated widespread media coverage on Thursday before Tesla agreed to change the game’s settings.

The agency said: “NHTSA continuously evaluates how manufacturers identify and protect against distraction threats that may arise from error, misuse, or intentional use of technologies. convenience, including the infotainment screen”.

Tesla has been pushing for the delivery of driver assistance features that allow its vehicles to slow down, accelerate, and even change lanes without the need for active driver involvement.

The company warns that motorists using such features, known as “Autopilot“and”FSD”for fully self-driving, always be alert and keep the steering wheel. But Tesla has be censured to make it easier the driver was not paying attention, as well as for some trouble relating to cars in Autopilot mode.
NHTSA is currently Tesla investigation At least 11 crashes involved cars using Autopilot or other self-driving features that collided with an emergency vehicle on arrival at the scene of a previous crash. According to the agency, 11 accidents have caused 17 injuries and one death.
US regulators are highlighting distracted driving as a major safety hazard on American roads. NHTSA estimates that 3,142 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2019.

The Passenger Play investigation began following a complaint filed in November by an unidentified Tesla owner. The complaint says the feature allows playing video games and browsing the web while the vehicle is being driven.

Despite warnings from Tesla, Autopilot drivers still aren't paying enough attention, study shows

“Video games are believed to be restricted to passengers only. Browsing is available to anyone at any time,” the complaint says. “Why should a manufacturer be allowed to create an inherently distracting live video that takes up two-thirds of the screen that a driver relies on for all of the vehicle’s information? NHTSA needs to ban all live video in the front seat and all live interactive browsing while the vehicle is in motion. Creates dangerous distraction for the driver from reckless negligence.”

Tesla (TSLA), which rarely responds to questions from the media, did not respond to requests for comment on the poll or the video game feature.

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