The NHTSA is looking into Tesla's Passenger Play gaming feature

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,049   +152
Staff member
In brief: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has launched a preliminary evaluation of the gameplay functionality on certain Tesla models. Specifically, the agency wants to determine if the feature is a distraction for drivers, even if they aren't the ones playing.

The ODI’s evaluation spans 2017-2022 Tesla Model 3, S, X and Y variants and focuses on a feature called Passenger Play that allows certain games to be played on the center console screen while the vehicle is in motion. The ODI is concerned that the feature could distract drivers and increase the likelihood of a crash.

Tesla’s big holiday update recently added the original Sonic the Hedgehog to Tesla Arcade, in addition to further functionality and various UI changes.

According to the ODI, gameplay on Tesla screens previously only worked when the vehicle was in park.

The preliminary evaluation seeks to gauge driver distraction potential, including how frequently and in what scenarios the feature is commonly used.

Combined with Tesla’s Autopilot mode, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that drivers could totally disengage from paying attention to the road to play a game on the center console. While such a scenario is no doubt the goal of autonomous driving systems, we’re still a long way from reaching that level of capability.

Even a quick glance down to see how a passenger is progressing in a game could have fatal consequences.

Permalink to story.

 

RudyBob

Posts: 511   +466
There are a tonnes of videos showing cars careening at HIGH speed into all manner of people, places and things. I would bet it isn't an accelerator or brake issue as much as it is distracted driver issue. So put it in the back
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 2,073   +1,651
I can’t wait until we get fully automated cars. The. We can play as much as we want whilst we are driving. There could even be mobile businesses like hairdressers, doctors and hookers providing services to you in a fully automatic vehicle. The future is going to be amazing!
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,341   +4,985
I can’t wait until we get fully automated cars. The. We can play as much as we want whilst we are driving. There could even be mobile businesses like hairdressers, doctors and hookers providing services to you in a fully automatic vehicle. The future is going to be amazing!
Hookers? Now there's an idea!
 

Austinturner

Posts: 351   +452
“ Combined with Tesla’s Autopilot mode, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that drivers could totally disengage from paying attention to the road to play a game on the center console.”

My guess is it is happening a lot today, if they want it for passengers, give the passenger a screen directly in front of them
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,315   +2,318
If you follow European and American cars, you'll see the often weird requirements they put on American cars.

I can see this going either way. It should be a firm no, but stranger things have happened.
 

Austinturner

Posts: 351   +452
Passenger should be alert if something happens to the driver. Back seat only for the gaming.
A front passenger is not any backup for a driver and has no role in driving the vehicle, they can be asleep, drunk, using their phone or just not there at all without impacting the safety of the trip as long as they are not distracting the driver
 

Homerlovesbeer

Posts: 181   +206
What a bunch of Nannies so far in the comments above.

The driver is ultimately responsible for the safety of the vehicle and if they aren't able to focus on the road it's their responsibility to turn the game off.

It's not Tesla's responsibility.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 988   +739
What a bunch of Nannies so far in the comments above.

The driver is ultimately responsible for the safety of the vehicle and if they aren't able to focus on the road it's their responsibility to turn the game off.

It's not Tesla's responsibility.

As a Kiwi Nanny - it's my responsibility to protect my children - if that means supporting laws the jail punish drunk drivers - then I'm Big Nanny . You know the problem with libertarian or anarchical views - they sound great until the rubber hits the toddler . ie their are a lot of silly people out there - who can not act wisely - Notice how in more sensible areas of towns and countries they have nice things - That's why America could not a hitchhiking robots - Canada travelled real sweet - first day in The USA - slaughtered brutally ( a nice anecdotal story from vague memory ) - but yeah there are jobsworths & killjoys - but sometimes councils have to remove stuff - when silly people do silly things in communal playgrounds
 

George Keech

Posts: 148   +237
Given you can fail your MOT/Service in the UK for having an air freshener on the rear view mirror as it can be distracting. I can see this being a problem.
 

DrSuess

Posts: 197   +179
Tesla's fine they have named the feature Tesla's Passenger Play for a reason. Surely no Tesla driver would ever be dumb enough use Passenger Play while driving. Right?
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,321   +5,512
As a Kiwi Nanny - it's my responsibility to protect my children - if that means supporting laws the jail punish drunk drivers - then I'm Big Nanny . You know the problem with libertarian or anarchical views - they sound great until the rubber hits the toddler . ie their are a lot of silly people out there - who can not act wisely - Notice how in more sensible areas of towns and countries they have nice things - That's why America could not a hitchhiking robots - Canada travelled real sweet - first day in The USA - slaughtered brutally ( a nice anecdotal story from vague memory ) - but yeah there are jobsworths & killjoys - but sometimes councils have to remove stuff - when silly people do silly things in communal playgrounds
This entire argument is "whataboutism" at its finest.
What a bunch of Nannies so far in the comments above.

The driver is ultimately responsible for the safety of the vehicle and if they aren't able to focus on the road it's their responsibility to turn the game off.

It's not Tesla's responsibility.
Do you consider seatbelts nannies? What about airbags? ABS warning lights?

A major distraction like video games should not be in a car. When you are driving, your one and only objective is to get where you need to go safely. Millennials and later gen X seem to have a major gaming addiction if they need a full on game console in their car, especially a car that cant travel for more then 3-4 hours at highway speed without having to stop for a 4 hour recharge somewhere.

In a world where portable game consoles are easily bought, smartphones are commonplace, and ideally you are riding with another person you want to talk to, there is no need to have games built into your infotainment system where any abuse of said system is going to inevitably lead to a horrific accident.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,494   +6,299
What a bunch of Nannies so far in the comments above.

The driver is ultimately responsible for the safety of the vehicle and if they aren't able to focus on the road it's their responsibility to turn the game off.

It's not Tesla's responsibility.
If the drivers were actually able to control themselves instead of playing games, I would agree.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,494   +6,299
Tesla's fine they have named the feature Tesla's Passenger Play for a reason. Surely no Tesla driver would ever be dumb enough use Passenger Play while driving. Right?
🤣 Yes, that name is right up there with "AutoPilot" 🤣
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 988   +739
This entire argument is "whataboutism" at its finest.
Do you consider seatbelts nannies? What about airbags? ABS warning lights?

A major distraction like video games should not be in a car. When you are driving, your one and only objective is to get where you need to go safely. Millennials and later gen X seem to have a major gaming addiction if they need a full on game console in their car, especially a car that cant travel for more then 3-4 hours at highway speed without having to stop for a 4 hour recharge somewhere.

In a world where portable game consoles are easily bought, smartphones are commonplace, and ideally you are riding with another person you want to talk to, there is no need to have games built into your infotainment system where any abuse of said system is going to inevitably lead to a horrific accident.
Merry Xmas,
I think you misconstrued my point - not that it really matters - My point was vs Homerlovesbeer - who stated leave it all up to the driver and stop being a Nanny - and I said I'm happy to be a Nanny - as someone's irresponsibility is my responsibility as Nanny of my kids to protect them from *****s watching media while driving - I can be obtuse though