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Regulators investigate Tesla’s new video game feature 

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2021 | Personal Injury |

Tesla is once again at the center of controversy. This time it’s not because of something its eccentric founder Elon Musk said or did. It’s because of a new “feature” that customers and federal safety authorities are concerned is creating a serious hazard on the road.

A recent over-the-air (OTA) software update made to Tesla vehicles allows owners to upload video games to a screen that the driver is able to see and reach. Regulators apparently became aware of the feature when a retired journalist discovered via a YouTube video that he could play video games on his Tesla Model 3 while driving. 

The man filed a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). He told the press he was “dumbfounded” and added, “Somebody’s going to get killed.”

NHTSA “discussing the feature” with Tesla

According to NHTSA, “We are aware of driver concerns and are discussing the feature with the manufacturer. Distraction-affected crashes are a concern, particularly in vehicles equipped with an array of convenience technologies such as entertainment screens.” 

This is certainly not the first safety controversy for the electric vehicle manufacturer. There have been battery fires. There have also been questions about how safe its “Autopilot” feature is if a driver chooses to drive hands-free. It’s been linked to several fatalities and many more crashes.

More electronic driver distractions could be in our future

While many families take advantage of video screens in vehicles to keep their children occupied on long trips, those screens are typically in the rear seating areas and are not supposed to be within sight of the driver. However, some in-car entertainment systems have the capacity to provide some highly distracting content. As we discussed in a recent blog post, Ford Motor Company has applied for a patent that would transfer ads from nearby billboards to these systems as you drive past them.

As automakers come up with increasingly unique ways to entertain and therefore distract drivers, it’s more crucial than ever to keep a lookout around you for the unexpected as you drive. If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, it’s crucial to seek the compensation you need for medical bills and other expenses and damages. Don’t settle for less than you deserve.