Tesla will disable the gaming while driving feature in accordance with the order of the US traffic safety regulator NHTSA. According to the leading US car safety regulator, Tesla Inc. has restricted access to the video games available in their vehicles by disabling the feature that allows passengers to play games on the 16-inch front screen while driving. After the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigates complaints about the technology, a software update will disable a “feature” that allows Tesla’s touch screen to play video games even when the vehicle is driving.
Tesla’s autopilot system has been abused by drivers in the past, interfering with its steering wheel hand detection system. At least one Tesla driver worried about possible distractions while driving, as this prompted the NHTSA to launch an investigation. Vince Patton, a 59-year-old Tesla owner, filed a lawsuit last month after discovering that the game feature was available for drivers to play. Patton likes his car and said that he is not against Tesla. He is worried that the driver will play games and be distracted.
While the availability of games like Sonic 1 has generated buzz among both games and Tesla fans, traffic safety experts and agencies fear that live video and interactive touchscreen actions could pose a safety risk. Since last year, around 580,000 Tesla vehicles sold since 2017 can play games on the large, central touchscreen while driving. Arcade game playing on a Tesla is not new, but the thing that is making people concerned is that it can be played even when the car is in motion.
The US government is currently looking into Tesla Autopilot’s partially automated driving software, as well as its full Self-driving system, which is being beta tested by select owners on public roads right now. In August, NHTSA initiated a safety investigation into Tesla’s autopilot feature, which allows its vehicles to test themselves in limited circumstances. They began investigating its autopilot function after Tesla’s repeatedly bumped into parked ambulances. In February, the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that the fatal accident of an Apple engineer Tesla was due to overconfidence in the vehicle’s autopilot software.
Tesla, which allowed on-the-go gaming via an over-the-air update this summer, has not taken any public steps to address the issue, but NHTSA said it was aware of the situation this week. Tesla is at odds with the traditional auto industry in many ways, according to tweets from CEO Elon Musk. Taking the warning regarding the issue into consideration, Tesla has disabled this feature when the vehicle is driving and only allows passengers to access video games using Passenger Play when the vehicle is in parking. The report said safety experts criticized the electric car maker for allowing access to games while cars were in motion.