Orignally published on 2021-12-09 10:38:39 by www.businessinsider.com
- The New York Times reported Tesla drivers can play video games on their cars’ touch screens while in motion.
- The National Highway Traffic Administration told Bloomberg it is talking to Tesla about it.
- Tesla did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider for comment.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to know why Tesla lets owners of its cars play solitaire while driving.
The New York Times reported Thursday that a Tesla driver discovered he was able to play some of the video games that come as playable on Tesla cars’ touch-screens — including solitaire — while his car was in motion.
The NHTSA issued a statement to Bloomberg the same day saying it was looking into the feature.
“We are aware of driver concerns and are discussing the feature with the manufacturer,” the NHTSA told Bloomberg.
“The Vehicle Safety Act prohibits manufacturers from selling vehicles with design defects posing unreasonable risks to safety,” the agency said.
The NHTSA also told Bloomberg it recommends vehicle-makers design in-car devices so that they “cannot be used by the driver to perform inherently distracting secondary tasks while driving.”
“For all other visual-manual secondary tasks, the NHTSA guidelines specify a test method to evaluate whether a task interferes with driver attention, rendering it unsuitable for a driver to perform while driving,” the agency added.
“If a task does not meet the acceptance criteria, the NHTSA Guidelines recommend that the task be made inaccessible for performance by the driver while driving,” it told Bloomberg.
Tesla did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider for comment outside of normal working hours.
According to the NHTSA, over 3,100 road deaths in 2019 involved at least one distracted driver.
The NHTSA launched an investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assistance feature in August, following 11 instances since 2018 where Teslas on Autopilot struck first-responder scenes. The agency added a twelfth crash to the investigation in September.