US authorities investigate toy functionality in Tesla cars

Photo: ANP

Authorities in the United States have launched a security investigation into a game feature built into Tesla cars. In the 580,000 Teslas cars sold since 2017, games can be played on a touch screen right next to the driver while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), this feature increases the risk of accidents because it can distract the driver from the cars.

The game function in Teslas called Passenger Play can be enabled while driving since last year. Before that, you could only play if the car was parked. NHTSA now says it will evaluate certain aspects of the position. This relates, among other things, to the repetition of Passenger Play usage scenarios, or so it seems. Tesla has yet to respond.

Earlier this month, the US newspaper The New York Times drew attention to the game’s feature. NHTSA said it is already discussing this with Tesla.

The number of road deaths in the United States due to driver distraction reached 3,142 in 2019, according to official figures. In fact, the numbers appear to be much higher, with many drivers involved in crashes not even admitting to being distracted.

Earlier, the NHSTA opened an investigation into Tesla’s autopilot function after a series of incidents involving the system. Complaints to the moderator about the game’s choice while driving have also been received. Earlier, Mercedes-Daimler’s mother had already recalled several cars to the garage in the United States because it was possible to watch TV or use the Internet via the infotainment system while driving.

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