Tesla is no stranger to drivers who do things they shouldn’t while driving, but the auto maker is now under investigation by the NHTSA for going one step further and allowing in-car video games while driving.
Aside from common sense and/or a fear of being caught, there’s nothing preventing someone from using their phone while driving, including playing video games on them.
Using your phone while driving can result in hefty fines. Smartphone manufacturers have made some attempts to detect driving and advise consumers not to use their phones while driving, but that’s as far as it goes. Tesla is also dealing with the same issue, although it has a new element to consider: in-vehicle video games. Tesla has recently concentrated more effort on video games inside its vehicles, aiming to “optimize fun” while using its cars.
It was previously reported that Tesla is establishing a new video game and user interface department in Austin, Texas. The aim is to establish the Tesla Arcade platform and onboard as many video games as possible.
It’s designed to be used while parked and charging, but Tesla allows you to play video games while driving after a caution not to do so while behind the wheel.
According to Reuters, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has inquired with Tesla about this feature.
“Expressing concern about distraction-affected vehicle crashes, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on Wednesday it is discussing with Tesla Inc the electric carmaker’s software update that lets users play video games on a touch screen mounted in front of the dashboard.”
The NHTSA wrote:
“Distraction-affected crashes are a concern, particularly in vehicles equipped with an array of convenience technologies such as entertainment screens. We are aware of driver concerns and are discussing the feature with the manufacturer,”
Tesla is expected to release more video games on its arcade platform as a result of this new attention. Tesla has a history of releasing software updates with interesting new features in the holidays. It released three additional video games and a seasonal update last year, and another holiday upgrade is anticipated in the near future.