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Tesla driver using Apple Vision Pro while driving prompts criticism from Buttigieg

By Jake Beardslee · February 6, 2024

In brief…

  • Video of Tesla driver wearing Apple Vision Pro headset while driving went viral
  • Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg tweeted reminder that drivers must remain alert and in control
  • Tesla and Apple warn against improper use of vehicles and headsets
  • Video creator claimed it was just a short skit, not real distracted driving
  • Regulators concerned about education on new technologies and driver responsibility
A viral video of a Tesla driver using an Apple headset while operating his vehicle has prompted warnings from regulators about the need for drivers to remain attentive and in control despite new technologies.  Screenshot: @lentinidante/X

A video of a Tesla driver wearing an Apple Vision Pro headset while operating his vehicle has caught the attention of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. The video, which has been viewed over 25 million times online, shows a driver scrolling on his Vision Pro headset instead of keeping his hands on the steering wheel. In response, Secretary Buttigieg posted a reminder on X that all advanced driver assistance systems today still require the driver to remain alert and in control of the vehicle at all times, stating: “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.”

Both Tesla and Apple have warnings in place about proper use of their products. Tesla vehicles are not fully autonomous and drivers are instructed to keep both hands on the wheel. Apple has cautioned Vision Pro users to never wear the headset while driving or doing anything else requiring full attention.

The Vision Pro headset debuted recently with a price tag of $3,500. Apple has marketed it as a “spatial computer” that blends digital content with the physical world.

The creator of the controversial video told Gizmodo it was just a 30-40 second skit and he was not actually distracted from driving for an extended period.

But the video has still alarmed regulators like Secretary Buttigieg concerned about safety on the roads as new technologies emerge. With advanced driver assistance features becoming more common, making sure drivers understand they are still responsible for control of their vehicles will continue to be a priority.