Tech UPTechnologyThese are the touchscreens that allow you to play...

These are the touchscreens that allow you to play behind the wheel and for which Tesla faces an investigation

In the United States, a regulatory committee that is in charge of road safety has launched an investigation concerning more than half a million Tesla vehicles that are equipped with touch screens in the navigator, since these screens allow drivers to launch applications external to those of the car, such as games or video and audio playback . The committee defends that these screens pose a maximum risk for drivers, since they increase the chances of being distracted at the wheel, which can lead to serious traffic accidents.

Play while driving

This investigation follows a complaint filed by a user who discovered that he was able to launch games on the touch screen while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is analyzing about 580,000 Tesla Models 3, S and X manufactured from 2017 to the present day, and that have these types of touch screens incorporated.

Tesla has not yet responded to the investigation.

The feature under scrutiny is called Passenger Play, and it allows users to play games on their car’s touch screen. The company advises that playing on the move is “for passengers only” and requests confirmation from the occupants before allowing and starting any game or application, but this does not prevent the driver himself from starting a game on the touch screen while driving , something that supposes a very serious security breach on the part of Tesla, which has not yet made any statements regarding the investigation that is being carried out against it.

However, the NHTSA has noted that Passenger Play “can distract the driver and increase the risk of having or causing an accident.” In addition, he added that the feature had been available since December 2020. Previously, the game feature was only enabled when the vehicle was in parking mode, that is, parking.

Earlier this month, NHTSA itself reported that at least 3,142 road deaths in 2019 were attributed to distracted drivers . Guidelines released by the agency in 2013 recommend that devices in the vehicle be designed so that the driver cannot use them “to perform inherently distracting secondary tasks while driving.”

Last month, a Tesla owner, Vince Patton of Oregon, saw a video on YouTube highlighting how drivers could use Passenger Play while behind the wheel. Although, in reality, with this application the driver can not only play, but also has access to various functions that can distract him from the road and be involved in a serious accident.

After testing it in a parking lot and discovering that it could indeed play various games while driving, this man filed a complaint with NHTSA, describing the function as “negligent and reckless .” It is for this reason that the committee has initiated the investigation, although for now Tesla has refused to make any kind of statement through networks.

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