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Tesla Being Investigated By Authorities For Letting Drivers Play Video Games

Tesla Being Investigated By Authorities For Letting Drivers Play Video Games

"Somebody’s going to get killed" if nothing changes

So, earlier this month, Elon Musk announced that all Tesla owners would soon be seeing Sonic the Hedgehog grace their vehicles in Tesla Arcade. Because there’s absolutely no feature a car needs more than the ability to play as a blue hedgehog every now and then. Gotta go fast, right?

Well, that’d honestly be pretty great, if it wasn’t for one extra, very important matter. Although originally you could only play games in the car while it was parked, an update was released last summer which allows you to play them while the car is in motion, simply by tapping the “I am a passenger” button. Obviously, it’d also be very easy to press that if you weren’t a passenger, which leads to a whole host of safety concerns.

The Tesla Arcade is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to safety concerns - even robots are at risk, apparently...

It’s probably not surprising, then, that Tesla is being investigated by US regulators, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), for possible regulatory violations. The investigation was launched after one Tesla driver, called Vince Patton, submitted a complaint earlier last month. 

Patton, who owns a Tesla Model 3, saw a video on YouTube where another Model 3 owner was gaming and driving at the same time. Patton decided to see for himself if this was actually possible, so after driving to an empty parking lot, he booted up Sky Force: Reloaded, and started playing while driving in circles. 

“I was just dumbfounded that, yes, sure enough, this sophisticated video game came up,” he said, speaking to the LA Times. “Somebody’s going to get killed. It's absolutely insane.”

It’s a pretty huge complaint, too - it covers around 580,000 vehicles, of model years from 2017 to 2022. The aim is to “prohibit all live video in the front seat and all live interactive web browsing while the car is in motion”, which I think most people can agree is reasonable, especially when you keep in mind how distracting it’d be to have a game running on a screen while you were driving, even if you weren’t the one playing it. We’ll just have to see what comes from it. 

Featured Image Credit: @Sonic_Hedgehog via Twitter, BBC

Topics: Sonic

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