Tesla VR driving videos have gone viral over the weekend, causing a significant stir among the public and government officials. The clips show drivers wearing Apple’s Vision Pro virtual reality (VR) headsets while operating their vehicles, relying on Tesla’s Autopilot system for navigation.
The U.S. Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, reacted to one such video that has gained over 24 million views. The clip displays a Tesla driver gesturing with his hands while seemingly engrossed in a VR experience. The driver’s apparent reliance on Tesla’s self-driving technology while distracted by the VR headset has sparked widespread alarm.
Reminder—ALL advanced driver assistance systems available today require the human driver to be in control and fully engaged in the driving task at all times. pic.twitter.com/OpPy36mOgC
— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) February 5, 2024
“Reminder—ALL advanced driver assistance systems available today require the human driver to be in control and fully engaged in the driving task at all times,” Buttigieg said.
Released just last week, Apple’s Vision Pro merges digital content with real-world visuals. Although Apple cautions against using the headset while driving, the recent incidents have lead to the debate over technology’s role in vehicular safety. Apple has yet to comment on the issue.
Tesla, known for its Autopilot feature, also kept mum in response to inquiries.
Buttigieg has previously made similar concerns regarding Tesla’s Autopilot, reiterating the need for driver engagement despite technological advancements. The giant EV manufacturer has long insisted that its driver assistance capabilities are designed for alert drivers, ready to intervene at any moment.
The viral Tesla VR driving videos have also raised questions about the potential need for new regulations to address the unique challenges posed by emerging technologies. As VR headsets become more sophisticated and commonplace, lawmakers may need to consider specific rules or guidelines to prevent misuse while driving.
As officials and tech companies navigate these new challenges, the safety of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians remains a paramount concern. The government’s warning serves as a reminder of the shared responsibility in ensuring technology enhances, rather than compromises, road safety.
Image Source: Medium