Tesla is off the Hook to Allow Gaming while Driving

    Tesla will not have to recall its vehicles following the Federal Government’s conclusion of an investigation into “Passenger Play”, a feature which allowed passengers to play games on the infotainment screens while in motion.

    In December 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened the first investigation after receiving customer complaints. These complained stated that live games and web browsing — which are allegedly restricted to passengers only when the car is in motion — can be played at any time by anyone inside the vehicle. The NHTSA investigation covered more than half a million vehicles.

    The NHTSA investigated over half a milllion cars

    was able to play some Tesla Arcade games in the moving car when tried out the feature late 2021. The screen displayed a warning that only passengers were allowed to play games while the car was moving. A button asked the user to confirm they were a passenger. Nothing really stopped the driver from pressing the button to play a game.

    Tesla updated their software shortly after the announcement of the investigation to disable the feature. NHTSA reported that Tesla had updated 97 percent its vehicles over the air in less than a month. NHTSA said that even though the investigation was closed, it could still act in the future to address any safety-related defects.

    Tesla stated in its response to NHTSA that it had only recorded “a small portion” of incidents when the Passenger Play was active during vehicle motion. In “approximately one third” of those cases, the video games were being played without the presence of a passenger — meaning that the driver could have been interacting with this feature.

    Tesla is the subject of several investigations into safety, including a study that examined several dozen accidents in which a Tesla with Autopilot turned on collided with an emergency vehicle. The company is also at the top of the list for crashes and deaths involving vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems.

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