U.S. NHTSA puts Tesla’s video game feature under the torch

U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is discussing with Tesla Inc its software update that lets users play video games on a touch screen mounted in front of the dashboard.

Tesla added the games in an over-the-air software update sent to most of its vehicles this summer.

The agency said distracted driving accounts for a significant number of U.S. road deaths – 3,142 in 2019 alone. Safety advocates have said official figures underestimate the problem because not all distracted drivers admit the issue after crashes.

NHTSA’s 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 in August opened a safety investigation into Tesla’s driver-assistance system Autopilot after a series of crashes involving the system and parked emergency vehicles.

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