It didn’t take long for people to start abusing Apple’s Vision Pro augmented reality (AR) headset while behind the wheel of a vehicle, including Tesla.
The Vision Pro, Apple’s foray into the AR market comes with a hefty price tag of US$3,500, and was designed to offer an immersive experience for users. However, its introduction to the streets has led to risky, and somewhat expected, experiments.
Several Tesla owners have been documented using the Vision Pro while driving, a practice that blatantly disregards not only Apple’s warning against operating a vehicle or engaging in any activity that demands attention to safety while wearing the headset, but also Tesla’s warning about the use of its driver-assist features.
One of the notable incidents involved 21-year-old Dante Lentini, who posted a video on social media showcasing himself driving a Tesla with the Vision Pro. The video, which went viral, initially led viewers to believe Lentini had been arrested for driving with the headset. However, it was later revealed that the video was a “skit,” and no arrest had occurred. (via Gizmodo)
If there is one saving grace, it was that Lentini was using Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta while using the headset. That was not the case however for another incident that went viral involving someone wearing the Vision Pro while behind the wheel of the Cybertruck, which currently does not have FSD or even basic Autopilot enabled.
We’re so fucked. pic.twitter.com/3Zz9QydLzm— blake (@blakestonks) February 4, 2024
Apple’s warning aside, Tesla’s Autopilot and Full Self-Driving features require the driver’s hands to be on the wheel and their full attention on the road. This is something Tesla has been battling for years, and which resulted in the company being forced to increase its driver monitoring systems by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
It is worth noting however that Tesla wasn’t the only auto brand that people chose to abuse the Vision Pro with. Other videos were uploaded to social media in an attempt for clicks, including someone behind the wheel of a Subaru, an Audi, and a Mercedes-Benz (via InsideEVs).
The misuse of AR technology like the Vision Pro while driving not only goes against Tesla’s guidelines, it also raises questions about the future integration of AR into driving experiences. While there is real potential for AR to enhance driving through real-time navigation aids and safety alerts, the current reality is that the technology is not designed for use behind the wheel.