Tesla investigated after letting drivers play video games

Need for gaming at speed

A U.S. car safety regulator has opened an investigation into Tesla regarding the ability to play video games while driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is holding the investigation, as first reported by the LA Times (thanks, TheGamer). It comes after a complaint to the NHTSA that Tesla allows players to play games while driving. As reported by The Verge, the ability to play games while the car is moving was a recent update. Previously you could only play the games while it was stationary.

The NHTSA posted a document regarding the “Passenger Play” feature and how it might distract the driver, increasing the chances of an accident. While the ability to play games has been around since December 2020, it is because of the update which allows games to be played at all times that the investigation is taking place.


Elon Musk SNL
SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. CREDIT: Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images

The investigation covers all four Tesla models and was opened “to evaluate the driver distraction potential of Tesla ‘Passenger Play’ while the vehicle is being driven.” Vince Patton, owner of a Tesla, was the one who filed the complaint about being able to play games while driving. He watched a YouTube video of a Tesla owner that discovered he could play games while driving, so Patton decided to test it out himself.

“I was just dumbfounded that, yes, sure enough, this sophisticated video game came up,” said Patton. “Somebody’s going to get killed. It’s absolutely insane.”

In his complaint, Patton wrote, “NHTSA needs to prohibit all live video in the front seat and all live interactive web browsing while the car is in motion. Creating a dangerous distraction for the driver is recklessly negligent.”

The most recent addition that is playable in Teslas is none other than the original Sonic the Hedgehog.


In other news, recent data suggests that the Epic Games Store might be losing money on smaller indie games.