Multiple viral videos of Tesla drivers wearing an Apple Vision Pro headset while letting the car drive itself has people sounding the alarm about Elon Musk’s notoriously dangerous assisted driving technology.
Mashable reports that multiple videos of Tesla drivers wearing the new Apple Vision Pro headset while driving using the vehicles “Full Self-Driving” feature has caused worries about potential safety issues. In one video, a 23-second clip shows a Tesla driver taking his hands off the steering wheel and concentrates on controlling the headset’s virtual reality display. The video was posted on February 2, the day the new Apple headset went on sale. It has amassed over 24 million views.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into Tesla last year after fatal crashes involving Autopilot. The probe found the system’s driver monitoring features to be inadequate. Tesla even acknowledged to regulators that Autopilot’s controls “may not be sufficient to prevent driver misuse.”
Autopilot can steer, accelerate and brake automatically but cannot drive without human oversight. Apple specifically warns against using the Vision Pro headset while operating any vehicle.
The Tesla driver who made the video told Gizmodo it was a staged “skit.” He only wore the headset while driving for 30-40 seconds. Still, the video has raised fresh doubts about the safety of assisted driving technology.
However, other similar videos have also popped up online. One which has received 17.2 million views shows a Cybertruck driver using their headset:
We’re so fucked. pic.twitter.com/3Zz9QydLzm
— blake (@blakestonks) February 4, 2024
Consumer Reports has warned that systems like Autopilot create complacency in drivers, with studies showing that people are quick to abandon their oversight role and rely too much on flawed automation. Researchers at MIT found test drivers started looking away from the road after just 15 minutes using Autopilot. Tesla itself reports drivers routinely ignore warnings to keep hands on the wheel.
In a recent safety information memo, Apple stated: “Never use Apple Vision Pro while operating a moving vehicle, bicycle, heavy machinery, or in any other situations requiring attention to safety,”
Critics say automakers need to do more to ensure drivers pay attention and that video clips like this promote dangerous misuse of driver aids. For now, experts stress that no commercial system turns a car into a fully self-driving vehicle.
Read more at Mashable here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.