Driving While Video Gaming
As if distracted driving couldn’t get any worse, Tesla has added a new element to it…video gaming. The electric car manufacturer is in the news yet again, this time allowing drivers to actually play video games while the car is in motion.
In 2019, Tesla added arcade-style video gaming to their vehicles on board infotainment centers which could only be played while the cars were parked. But an over-the-air update deployed in late summer of 2021 made certain games accessible while driving.
Prior to playing, a warning message does appear which states the game should only be played by the passenger. However, there is nothing stopping the driver from simply pressing a button and engaging the game.
According to Gizmodo.com Tesla has decided to double down on video games and other in-car entertainment such as Netflix and Hulu video streaming services despite long-standing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration guidelines that recommend auto makers design systems that prevent drivers from performing “inherently distracting secondary tasks while driving”.
Not confirmed by Elon Musk the CEO of Tesla, but presumed by recent Tesla rationale, adding video games into its vehicles stems from Musk’s vision of creating fully autonomous vehicle experiences where drivers take back their time they would have wasted screaming in traffic to do work or entertain themselves.
The drawback to Musk’s vision is that Tesla’s aren’t fully autonomous and have a long way to go to prove the technology is viable.
In August 2021 we wrote an article entitled, “Tesla’s Autopilot Causing Accidents and Injuries” where we shared how federal safety regulators were investigating at least 11 accidents caused as a result of Tesla’s vehicles being in autonomous mode.
Playing a video game while driving regardless of what the car is designed to do or advertised to do is not only considered distracted driving, but is also negligent, reckless and careless.
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