Tesla Driver on Smartphone During Crash

Tesla Driver in Crash Was Gaming When Things Got Fatal

During a recent hearing by the National Transportation Safety Board, Chairman Robert Sumwalt claimed the driver of a Tesla Model X SUV who perished in a collision was likely gaming on his smartphone at the time. Apple engineer Walter Huang put his Tesla in autopilot mode when it eventually swerved into a concrete freeway divider in Mountain View, California. The autopilot failed due to a combination of faded lane lines, bright sunshine, an worn down freeway barrier and a closer-than-normal vehicle in the lane ahead.


When the fatal crash began, Walter Huang wasn’t alerted by his Tesla’s forward collision avoidance system and its automatic braking did not activate. Things were going smoothly to him as he apparently gamed on his smartphone until suddenly the vehicle swerved off course and crashed into the freeway barrier. Considering Huang didn’t attempt to break or steer to avoid the crash, he was definitely distracted by whatever he was doing but we think smartphones are a distraction whether someone is gaming on it or managing their emails, social media, etc. Though gaming wasn’t a sole factor in this crash, it apparently prevented Huang from manually preventing the crash.

Chairman Robert Sumwalt called for government regulations and company policies that limit the use of electronic devices within a driver’s reach “unless it’s an emergency,” but drivers are already discouraged to watch T.V., text, read, or play video games while “driving in the supposed ‘self-driving’ mode.” Certain games such as Cuphead, Fallout Shelter and Asteroids are playable in Tesla vehicles but we recommend nobody play these while the car is in motion and implore Tesla to include more games with the pause option for moments like this.

Do you think this hearing will affect Tesla production? Do you think this will hurt sales of the self-driving vehicles? Let us know in the comments below!
Source: Game Rant