The controversy around Tesla’s in-dash video gaming feature appears to be dying down. It seems that Tesla has bowed to pressure after all. According to The Guardian, Passenger Play is being disabled aboard a moving vehicle. It remains unclear when this update is rolling out. But a spokesperson for the NHTSA has assured that it is happening.
Here’s a little refresher if you haven’t been keeping tabs on all things Musk. It all started with Tesla’s new summer update allowing drivers to play three in-dash video games while the car was in motion – Solitaire, Sky Force Reloaded and The Battle of Polytopia: Moonrise. The New York Times covered this story, and it became a genuine safety concern as the NHTSA gained notice.
For the most part, Tesla had refrained from commenting. This was on account of them not having a public relations department anymore. But their inaction has only made Tesla appear more negligent until now, that is. Disabling the in-dash video gaming feature was the right move, much awaited by regulators, tech pundits and competitors alike. Especially since Mercedes Benz was quick to respond to their error which allowed dashboard video playback while driving.
Did NHTSA Overreact?
The dangers associated with distracted driving, especially while in-dash video gaming is enabled for moving cars is a serious matter. According to the NHTSA, in 2019 there were 3,142 fatalities due to distracted driving in the United States. The authorities have not taken this matter lightly. “Safety is central to NHTSA’s mission and we are committed to improving safety for all road users,” an official from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated.
Is Tesla in the Clear?
There will be an investigation despite Tesla’s reassurances, even after this new update. So far, the inquiry is covering 580,000 Tesla EV models from 2017-2022. Whether Tesla is in the clear remains to be determined, but in-dash video gaming will not be happening in a moving car.
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