Tesla buckles to NHTSA pressure, plans to disable Passenger Play

by Surur
December 23, 2021

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Tesla is currently under investigation by the NHTSA for a feature called Passenger Play, which allows passengers to play video games while the car is driving. Previously the games were only available while the car was stationary, but after an update this summer the games became playable while the car was moving.

The NHTSA said :

“The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) is opening a Preliminary Evaluation (PE) on certain model year (MY) 2017 – 2022 Model 3, S, X, and Y vehicles based on reports that Tesla gameplay functionality, which is visible on the front center touchscreen from the driver’s seat, is enabled even when the vehicle is being driven. This functionality, referred to as “Passenger Play,” may distract the driver and increase the risk of a crash.”

The move was following a complaint, though no actual accidents have been attributed to the feature.

Now the Guardian reports that Tesla plans to reverse their update and only make the games playable when stationary.

The news comes via the NHTSA, not Tesla, which of course does not have a PR department.

The new update will come in the near future, but will not stop the investigation, with the NHTSA saying:

“The Vehicle Safety Act prohibits manufacturers from selling vehicles with defects posing unreasonable risks to safety, including technologies that distract drivers from driving safely.”

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