When Tesla expanded its growing list of dashboard touchscreen games last winter, the update inexplicably allowed drivers to play them while the electric car was in motion. Almost a year later, the US government is finally asking the company why.
“We are aware of the concerns of drivers and are discussing the functionality with the manufacturer,” the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Recount Bloomberg today. “The Vehicle Safety Act prohibits manufacturers from selling vehicles with design flaws that pose unreasonable safety risks. “
This news comes just a day after it was reported by Le New York Times brought the problem to light. Since the release of Update 2020.48.26 in December 2020, three games—Solitaire, The battle of Polytopia, and Celestial Force Reloaded, of which the latter arrived in a separate update in July 2021, allowed users to play while the Tesla was in motion.
As noted by Le New York Times, Tesla seems to be aware of the problem. When the engine starts Solitaire, for example, a pop-up message warns that “playing while the car is in motion is for passengers only”, but the operating system does nothing to verify who is playing the card game once the user has confirmed that they are playing the card game. ‘he wasn’t driving. It basically works on the honor system, like age restriction websites that allow visitors to enter a fake birthday.
Add this to constant, sometimes fatal problems with Tesla’s autopilot system, and it’s really starting to feel like these games are a disaster waiting to happen. According to the NHTSA, more than 3,000 Americans lost their lives in 2019 due to distracted driving.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk had previously boasted of the playability of its electric cars, saying in a presentation this summer that they were able to play Cyberpunk 2077 thanks to the “PlayStation 5 levels” specifications.
“If you think of a future where the car is often on autopilot or autonomous driving mode, then entertainment is going to become more and more important,” Musk explained. “You’re going to want to watch movies, play games, use the Internet… things that you want to do if you’re not driving. “