Videos, many of them stunts or jokes, of people wearing Apple’s new virtual reality headset while driving Teslas in Autopilot mode prompted officials to issue warnings.
Videos being shared across social media this week depict an almost dystopian, futuristic scene: drivers of Teslas in Autopilot mode while wearing Apple Vision Pro headsets, seemingly unaware of the road in front of them.
The videos led federal transportation officials to issue warnings.
But are people really mindlessly riding around in Teslas in Autopilot mode, wearing Apple’s futuristic new goggles? Or is it all just a bit? Part of a never-ending cycle of people doing silly things for clicks, likes, views and clout?
The new goggles have a feature that merges digital apps and one’s surroundings into one immersive space, and videos of people wearing them in strange settings have started to crop up across the internet since they were released on Feb. 2.
Several of the videos taken in cars appear staged, and in many, it is clear that someone other than the driver is recording. The videos are not widespread. Still, they seemed reckless enough for Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, to weigh in on social media.
“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,” Mr. Buttigieg said in a post on X that included a video of a driver using a headset in what appeared to be a Tesla Cybertruck pickup.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also chimed in on Tuesday. The agency said in a statement that “driving while wearing a V.R. headset is reckless and disregards the safety of everyone on the road.”
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