Soon: Tesla will release an update that will disable the Passenger Play feature of its vehicles, preventing video games from being played on the center console while an EV is in motion. The revelation comes amid a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation into the feature.
Earlier this week, NHTSA’s Office of Defect Investigation (ODI) released a preliminary assessment of about 580,000 Tesla Model 3, S, X and Y vehicles covering model years 2017 and 2022. It focuses on function Passenger Play, and looks specifically at how it might distract drivers. The ODI said the game previously ran on the center console only when a Tesla was parked.
A day after the investigation began, Tesla told NHTSA it would change the role following discussions with agency officials, it reports. The Guardian. However, a representative said the investigation would continue despite the update.
“The Vehicle Safety Act prohibits manufacturers from selling vehicles with defects that present unreasonable safety risks, including technologies that distract drivers from driving safely,” NHTSA said in its statement.
At this year’s Computex event, Tesla revealed the Tesla Model S and Model X Ryzen APUs with their Navi 23-based graphics that allow games like Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3 to be played on the infotainment system. Tesla said it offers the same “10 teraflops” performance as the PlayStation 5. The chip recently started appearing in the Tesla Model Y, initially in China, but they are heading elsewhere.
Tesla has been the subject of multiple NHTSA investigations in recent years for claims that its cars were suddenly accelerating (they weren’t), touchscreen failures, petitions, fatal autopilot failures, and more.