(Washington) Tesla will update its software to prevent drivers from playing video games on the car’s system while the car is in motion, the US Highway Safety Agency (NHTSA) said on Thursday, which had opened a investigation.
“After opening a preliminary assessment of Tesla’s Passenger Play, Tesla informed the agency that it was changing the functionality,” a spokesperson for the NHTSA said in an email to AFP. .
“In a new software update, ‘Passenger Play’ will now be locked and unusable when the vehicle is in motion,” she added.
The agency had announced the day before that it had opened a security investigation into this matter involving some 580,000 Tesla.
The affected models are Model 3, S, X and Y, equipped with the “Passenger Play” functionality, which allows video games to be played even when the car is in motion.
This option “is likely to distract the driver and increases the risk of an accident,” the NHTSA warned.
The agency specifies that the possibility of playing while driving has only been offered since December 2020 in equipped models.
Previously, the “Passenger Play” feature was only available when the car was stationary.
At the beginning of December, the New York Times revealed that an update to this feature made it possible to play three games, including solitaire, while driving.
However, the screen displays a warning to clarify that only passengers are allowed to play when the car is in motion.
The NHTSA investigation was opened after receiving a complaint from a driver.
“How come a manufacturer is allowed to display videos that clearly obstruct focus and take up two-thirds of the screen the driver needs to have all the information about his vehicle? ”, We can read in the complaint filed by a resident of Lake Oswego in Oregon.
Inattentive driving caused 3,142 fatalities in the United States in 2019, according to NHTSA.
Tesla is already in the agency’s sights for its controversial driver assistance system dubbed “Autopilot”.