Tesla's annual tradition is here as the car company has released its holiday software update. The update includes a new feature that allows drivers to turn their vehicles into megaphones.
Tesla Turns Speakers into Megaphones
According to Electrek, the update is only available in the latest Tesla models, launched in 2019, 2020, and 2021--this is because the feature needs external speakers installed in the new Tesla models to meet the regulations in the United States.
The said regulations stipulate that silent electric vehicles should be able to alert pedestrians to their presence, especially at low speeds, according to The Verge.
The external speakers will repeat everything the driver says with a bit of a delay and a distorted sound with obvious echoes and heavy bass. It is still not clear if the distortion can be removed or altered.
This is not the first time that Tesla has used its creative efforts to make use of its external speakers. In late 2020, a Boombox mode was released, and that update allows owners to replace the horn sound of the vehicle with any custom audio clip.
Meanwhile, the Sentry Mode, which was part of its holiday feature too, allows owners to stream live footage from the car's external cameras o the car, which includes a remote audio function.
Tesla recently stated that it would add new functionality to its vehicles, and it will be removing a feature that lets drivers play video games while driving. A megaphone on a vehicle is less distracting than a video game on the screen.
Tesla Passenger Games
Earlier this week, Tesla was investigated after a driver claimed that he was able to play games even though he was driving.
This report alerted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA, and it prompted them to investigate more than half a million Tesla vehicles that were sold from 2017 to 2021.
The NHTSA said that they received complaints from drivers back in August. It was said that live games and internet web searching could be played by drivers even though those features are only meant for passengers.
The Office of Defects and Investigations reported that it confirmed that the capability has been available since late last year in Passenger Play-equipped Tesla cars.
The preliminary evaluation of the Office of Defects and Investigations will include 580,000 Model 3, Model S, and Model X cars that were sold between 2017 and 2022.
The reports are based on the gameplay functionality of Tesla, which can be seen on the front center touchscreen from the driver's seat, is active even when the car is driven. Also called the Passenger Play, the feature distracts the driver and increases the risk of an accident.
According to The New York Times, Tesla updated the video games in most of its cars in a software update. The update allowed some video games to be played on touch screens while the car is in motion. Before the update, the games could only be played if the car was parked.
Related Article: Tesla's Video Games to STOP Working While EV is in Motion: NHTSA
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Written by Sophie Wesbter