In a recent surge of viral videos, Tesla owners have been spotted wearing Apple’s new virtual reality headset while behind the wheel, prompting concerns over safety and distracted driving.
US Secretary for Transport, Pete Buttigieg, took to social media to remind drivers that all current vehicles, including those equipped with advanced driver assistance systems, require the human driver to be fully engaged and in control at all times. This warning comes amidst a flurry of online videos depicting Tesla drivers utilizing Apple’s VR headset while operating their vehicles, seemingly relying on autonomous driving features.
One such video, reposted by Buttigieg, portrayed a driver wearing the Apple Vision Pro headset during a supposed traffic stop by law enforcement. However, it was later revealed to be a staged scenario, with the individual admitting to driving with the headset for only a brief period as part of a prank.
Both Tesla and Apple have been approached for comment on the matter, highlighting the growing concern surrounding the use of VR technology while driving.
The Apple Vision Pro headset, priced at $3,499 in the US, offers various features, but its usage during driving poses significant safety risks. While the headset allows users to see through the glass in certain modes, it still severely limits vision, potentially leading to accidents or traffic violations.
Apple’s user guide explicitly advises against using the headset while operating a vehicle, emphasizing the importance of maintaining control and responsibility for one’s vehicle at all times. Similarly, Tesla reinforces the necessity for drivers to remain engaged, even when utilizing autonomous driving capabilities.
Despite its innovative features, Apple has refrained from labeling the Vision Pro headset as virtual reality, instead opting for the term “spatial computing.”
As the intersection of automotive technology and virtual reality continues to evolve, regulatory bodies and manufacturers are urged to address safety concerns and promote responsible usage to ensure the well-being of drivers and road users.