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Tesla Gaming Raises Major Safety Concerns

Tesla — led by the eccentric Elon Musk — has been leading the charge into the future of transportation, with the company's popular electrical car featuring beta phases of what it calls "Full Self Driving." While still in its early stages of development, part of Tesla's plan for "Full Self Driving" is to include onboard features that would allow passengers to enjoy services like Netflix or Hulu, and play video games, while the car automatically navigates the roads.

Tesla has long been at the forefront of integrating video games with driving, with multiple titles such as "Cuphead", "Fallout: Shelter", and "The Witcher 3" announced as being ported over to the Tesla cars in the past. The vehicles also have a selection of classic Atari games that are available to play within their confines when in park. With these innovations, it's obvious that Tesla envisions a world where gaming on the go — even when in transport — is a huge point of emphasis. But of course, mixing driving and gaming has brought its fair share of criticism due to the major safety concerns it poses.

Many have concerns about on-board gaming

Tesla's autonomous vehicles have been subject to much scrutiny in the past, with the U.S. Government previously investigating the company's self-driving mode due to previous accidents involving the cars. In a recent report, Mack DeGeurin of Gizmodo levied criticism at Tesla, stating that while the vehicles offer an advisory that gaming should only be enjoyed by passengers, it does not place a block on drivers playing. According to DeGeurin's report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provided Gizmodo with a statement, saying "the agency is aware of the issue and is discussing the feature with Tesla." Further criticism was found in a piece by Umar Shakir of The Verge, who said that the requirement to press an "I Am a Passenger" button in order to play games in a Tesla was "hardly a deterrent" for drivers.

Some onlookers, however, are calling these concerns into question. In the comment section of DeGeurin's Gizmodo report, one user — who claims to be a Tesla owner — said, "If you have FSDBeta, there is not a chance you are doing this since the system will nag within 10 seconds if you are not looking at the road." Another commenter, 'magus-21', said that there is no evidence that anyone has reported drivers playing video games while driving a Tesla, and that this news is instead the result of a New York Times article claiming that "a guy [...] noticed that he'd be able to play. Not that anyone was actually playing."