Car Fun

Mercedes & Teslas Approaches To Gaming In Cars

The Problem With Gaming In Cars

Gaming in Cars

Image Source Wion


Cars are constantly impressing and on upping each other. A trend that’s been hit with some controversy is gaming in cars. As cars are developed to have large centre console units that feature touchscreen controls. This alone has sparked debate among road users as to how distracting it is to operate during driving. Other argue it’s no different to operating buttons and dials in a “normal” car. Regardless of the stance you take on this, one feature has been met with almost universal disagreement. This is the ability to use your screen to offer gaming in cars. As a standalone feature it’s harmless, it’s when you realise you could be gaming driving a vehicle.

Mercedes Touch Screen
Image Source Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes Response To Gaming In Cars

Mercedes response to the controversy was a pretty direct one. They said it was an error to allow gaming in cars whilst in motion. They even offered to recall the few cars that had this “mistake” available to “fix” them for free. As mentioned there are only a relative small number of Merc units that allow gaming in moving cars so that adds credibility to their claims that this feature was not intentional.

Tesla Screen
Image Source BBC

Teslas Response

Tesla and Mercedes have almost polar opposite responses. Whilst Merc claim it was an error and they’ll fix it, Tesla didn’t feature the ability to game whilst driving but then they gave their users and update during the summer. This update that could be downloaded for free by any Tesla unit that had the centre unit to support it. After the update users were able to play games in their Tesla whilst driving. Tesla hadn’t taken any public steps to address the issue until approached by NHTSA, at which point they now offer an optional update that allows users to lock the “passenger play” feature, disabling gaming in the car when it’s in motion.

The Law

Gaming in cars is generally not legal while the vehicle is in motion. This is because gaming can be a distraction to the driver and can increase the risk of an accident. Most countries have laws that prohibit the use of electronic devices, including gaming devices, while driving. In the United States, for example, the use of handheld electronic devices while driving is banned in many states, and drivers who are caught using such devices can face fines or other penalties.

While there are some devices that are specifically designed for gaming in cars, such as gaming consoles that can be mounted to the back of a headrest, these devices are typically intended for use by passengers, not the driver. It is important to note that the driver is responsible for ensuring the safe operation of the vehicle, and anything that distracts them from that task can be dangerous and may be illegal.

While some cars may have built-in gaming systems, it is not a common feature in most vehicles. However, some auto-makers have included gaming systems as part of their infotainment systems or as an optional feature.

The main reason for including a gaming system in a car is to provide entertainment for passengers during long journeys. This can be especially important for families with children, who may become bored or restless during long trips. Having a gaming system in the car can help to keep passengers entertained and engaged, which can make the journey more pleasant for everyone involved.

In addition to providing entertainment for passengers, built-in gaming systems can also be a way for auto makers to differentiate their vehicles from the competition. By offering unique features like gaming systems, automakers can attract customers who are looking for a more immersive and engaging driving experience.

However, as I mentioned earlier, it is important to note that gaming should not be used while driving, as it can be distracting and increase the risk of an accident. Any gaming system in a car should only be used when the vehicle is parked or when passengers are using it.

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