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Tesla is killing the feature that let drivers play video games while driving

Tesla has told NHTSA that it will issue a new software update that will lock the feature.

Screenshot of a display showing software features and updates, with the highlight on an arcade section featuring "Sonic the Hedgehog". Text describes the game features, including supersonic speed, defeating Dr. Eggman, and high-speed loops.
Image: Imgur

Well, that didn’t take long. Tesla is discontinuing a feature that allowed its drivers to play games in its center console while the car was in motion. This comes days after the US government opened up a formal investigation into the feature called “Passenger Play.”

Tesla says they’ll be pushing out a software update that essentially kills this functionality. So even when the car is moving, the feature is unusable and will be locked out until the vehicle is parked.

“Following the opening of a preliminary evaluation of Tesla’s ‘Passenger Play,’ Tesla informed the agency that it is changing the functionality of this feature. In a new software update, ‘Passenger Play’ will now be locked and unusable when the vehicle is in motion,” an NHTSA spokesperson said in a statement.

READ MORE: Steam games will be available on Tesla cars soon, says Elon Musk

tesla passenger play screen
Image: AP

The update is estimated to affect around 565,000 Teslas spanning from the Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y. According to Electrek, Tesla is reportedly pushing out the update as part of its holiday update.

Despite Tesla’s update killing off Passenger Play, the NHTSA has reiterated the investigation will continue.

“The Vehicle Safety Act prohibits manufacturers from selling vehicles with defects posing unreasonable risks to safety, including technologies that distract drivers from driving safely,” said an NHTSA spokesperson in a recent statement.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at kevin@knowtechie.com or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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