In some cars from the American manufacturer Tesla, the screen that sits in the middle of the dashboard can operate video games. This entertainment system is designed to operate when stationary: it pauses when the car is moving. However, certain games can be unlocked by pressing the “I am a passenger” button.
Except that nothing prevents the driver to do it, then to play while driving, as noted by the New York Times December 7. At least so far: On December 24, Tesla pledged to the US national highway traffic safety authority, NHTSA, to completely block video games in moving vehicles.
A decision which is not unrelated to the opening, three days earlier, of an investigation by the same federal agency. In the United States, distracted driving is identified as one of the major reasons for road accidents.
This restriction will take some time to take effect: the manufacturer will have to develop a software update, then the owners of the cars concerned – models sold since 2017 – will have to connect their Tesla to a Wi-Fi network and accept its installation.
Regularly accused of flirting with the red lines of safety, the Californian manufacturer is in the crosshairs of the American highway regulator for another reason: its autopilot has failed several times on major US axes, rushing Tesla against emergency response vehicles.
In addition, in September, the brand allowed its most cautious customers to test a new version of this autopilot, still in development, making them beta testers of a technology that is not completely safe – a role traditionally devolved. to professionals.
Finally, Tesla vehicles are criticized by some automotive journalists for their economy of buttons: most settings are made on a touch screen, which means looking away from the road. The more physical buttons with which certain competing models are equipped can, on the other hand, be piloted blindly, by groping with the hand.