NHTSA Launches Official Investigation into Tesla Drivers Playing Video Games on On-Board Computer

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NHTSA has confirmed that it has launched an official investigation into Tesla drivers playing video games on its vehicles’ on-board computers.

Other than common sense and / or the fear of getting caught, nothing prevents anyone from using their phone, including playing video games on it, while driving.

You can get hefty fines if you get caught using your phone while driving. There have been efforts by smartphone makers to detect driving and warn users not to use their phones while driving, but that’s essentially the extent of the effort to prevent this dangerous practice.

As for Tesla, the same problem exists with phones, but the automaker is also introducing a new factor: its in-car video games.

Tesla has recently put more effort into video games inside its vehicles in an attempt to “maximize the fun” with its owner experience.

Last year, we reported that Tesla had set up a new video game and UI team in Austin, TX. The goal is to build the platform, Tesla Arcade, and embed as many video games as possible.

It’s primarily meant to be used when parked and charging, but Tesla allows video games to be played while driving after a warning that it should only be used by passengers.

Earlier this month, we reported on the The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed it is discussing this issue with Tesla.

Now, Reuters reports that the NHTSA has launched an official investigation into the problem:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said its preliminary assessment covered various Tesla Model 3, S, X, and Y vehicles from the 2017-2022 model years. This feature, called “Passenger Play,” “can distract the driver and increase the risk of an accident,” the agency said.

It covers 580,000 vehicles or virtually all Tesla vehicles in the United States with the “passenger set” capability.

The agency will try to assess how the feature is being used to see if there is a security risk that can be mitigated.

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