Over the summer, Tesla released an over-the-air software update for its infotainment system that added new video games that could be played while the vehicle is in park, which is fine. However, a highly questionable change made in the latest update seems to allow the driver to play a video game while driving. Don’t spit out your coffee; you read that correctly.
Previously, a Tesla needed to be parked to use the gaming feature, but not anymore, as reported by The New York Times. Drivers could manipulate a prompt to confirm they are the passenger by simply tapping the screen. Whether it’s a round of solitaire or The Battle of Polytopia, it seems there’s only the flimsiest roadblock to a driver entertaining themselves while driving down the road—at the likely expense of safety.
In response to the article, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it is investigating the allegations. Per the Times, the agency said it would discuss the issue with the manufacturer.
Based on all the criticism Tesla has received for its misleadingly named Autopilot system, this video game feature seems patently distracting—and incredibly unsafe. And in case you missed it, there’s currently a walkthrough video on YouTube that demonstrates how a driver might subvert the company’s easily defeat-able passenger lockout.
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