An investigation was launched in the United States into more than half of a million Tesla cars with touchscreens.
The United States launched an official investigation into whether Tesla drivers could play video games on their centre touchscreen while the vehicle was in motion.
The agency posted a document on Wednesday stating that the “Passenger Play” feature can distract drivers and increase accident risk.
This follows a complaint by a customer who discovered that he could play while driving.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently reviewing almost 580,000 Tesla 3 and X models, which were produced between 2017 and date.
NHTSA stated that Passenger play “may distract the driver, and increase the risk for a crash.”
“To date, the agency received one owner complaint about the gameplay functionality and has confirmed this capability has existed since December 2020 in Tesla “Passenger Play”, a spokesperson for NHTSA said in an email.
A recall can be initiated by an investigation. An investigation can lead to a recall.
Tesla has yet to comment on the investigation. Passenger Play is the feature being reviewed and allows users to play games directly on the car’s touchscreen.
It warns that gaming while driving is not permitted and requests confirmation before allowing gameplay.
The NHTSA reported earlier this month that 3,142 road deaths in 2019 could be attributed to distracted driving.
The agency published guidelines in 2013 recommending that on-board devices not be used “to perform inherently distracting second tasks while driving.”
Tesla owner Vince Patton lives in Portland, Oregon and filed the complaint last month. He discovered that he could play a videogame on his touchscreen while Tesla was in motion.
Patton drove a Tesla Model 3 2021 to a empty parking lot at a community college, activated “Sky Force Reloaded” using a menu and did some loops.
“It was just dumbfounded that this sophisticated videogame came up,” stated Patton
He also tried Solitaire, and was able activate it while driving. Later, he discovered that he could surf the Internet while his car was moving.
Patton loves his Tesla and doesn’t mind it, but he is concerned that Tesla drivers might play dangerous games and become distracted.
He said, “Somebody’s going get killed.” It’s insane.
Patton stated in his complaint that “NHTSA must prohibit all live video in front of the driver and all interactive web browsing while the vehicle is in motion.” Recklessly negligent is creating a danger for the driver.
2013 NHTSA guidelines were issued to encourage car manufacturers “to include driver safety and avoidance distracting in their design and adoptation of in-vehicle informationtainment devices.” According to the agency, the guidelines “recommend” that in-vehicle gadgets be designed so that drivers cannot use them for inherently distracting secondary tasks.
The NHTSA guidelines “specify an assessment method to determine if a task interferes or makes it impossible for a driver to drive while doing so.”
After a number of incidents involving the driver assistance system in Tesla Autopilot and parked emergency vehicles, the agency opened an investigation into Tesla Autopilot’s safety.
“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 this feature with the manufacturer,” NHTSA stated in an email statement to Reuters.
Mercedes-Benz issued an earlier recall due to an issue with a computer configuration that allowed drivers access the internet and watch TV while their cars were moving.