U.S. automobile safety company presses Tesla on video clip video game feature

A logo of the electric powered-car maker Tesla is noticed close to a shopping complicated in Beijing, China January 5, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

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WASHINGTON, Dec 8 (Reuters) – Expressing worry about distraction-influenced automobile crashes, the U.S. Countrywide Freeway Site visitors Protection Administration (NHTSA) claimed on Wednesday it is speaking about with Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) the electrical carmaker’s program update that lets people play movie games on a touch screen mounted in front of the dashboard.

Tesla extra the online games in an more than-the-air software program update sent to most of its cars this summer season, the New York Times claimed on Tuesday.

“Distraction-influenced crashes are a issue, specially in automobiles equipped with an array of convenience systems these as entertainment screens. We are mindful of driver issues and are talking about the function with the maker,” NHTSA reported in a assertion supplied to Reuters by e-mail.

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The company claimed distracted driving accounts for a major selection of U.S. road fatalities – 3,142 in 2019 by itself. Protection advocates have stated formal figures undervalue the trouble because not all distracted motorists confess the problem following crashes.

The Moments stated the Tesla update included a few video games – solitaire, a jet fighter and conquest technique scenario – and reported the business has a warning reading: “Playing though the car is in motion is only for passengers.” The Moments documented that a button asks for affirmation that the participant is a passenger, even though a driver could engage in only by urgent the button.

Tesla did not promptly reply to a request for remark.

In 2013, NHTSA issued recommendations to persuade automakers “to element safety and driver distraction prevention into their patterns and adoption of infotainment equipment in automobiles.” The rules “suggest that in-auto products be developed so that they can’t be utilized by the driver to carry out inherently distracting secondary jobs whilst driving,” the agency explained.

NHTSA’s tips “specify a exam approach to assess no matter whether a undertaking interferes with driver consideration, rendering it unsuitable for a driver to accomplish when driving.”

The agency in August opened a protection investigation into Tesla’s driver-guidance procedure Autopilot following a series of crashes involving the procedure and parked crisis automobiles.

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Reporting by David Shepardson, Enhancing by Will Dunham and Franklin Paul

Our Expectations: The Thomson Reuters Have confidence in Principles.

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