Tesla is under investigation over claims that its latest models allow the driver to play video games while the car is moving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is exploring these claims from Tesla owners.“ This functionality, referred to as ‘Passenger Play,’ may distract the driver and increase the risk of a crash,” the agency wrote.
The electric automaker’s Passenger Play feature provides a suite of games through a touchscreen, including “The Witcher 3,” “The Battle of Polytopia,” and “Sky Force Reloaded.”
- The investigation covers 580,000 vehicles across the company’s S, X, Y, and 3 models, and the stakes are high: Tesla could be forced to issue a recall, depending on its outcome.
- Tesla seems to have allowed the capability in question on purpose. A warning on the touchscreen states that “Use of Touch Arcade while the vehicle is in motion is only for passengers.”
- Tesla CEO Elon Musk envisioned a future in which the driver could watch videos while the car drives itself. “When full self-driving is approved by regulators, we will enable video while moving,” he tweeted in July 2019.
A Gaming System on Wheels
The $1 trillion market cap company has amped up its vehicles’ gaming capabilities.
Tesla said in January that its Plaid model comes with a 10-teraflop gaming computer, making it comparable to Sony’s PS5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X.