Viral Cybertruck Video Sparks Warning from U.S. Secretary of Transportation

Viral Cybertruck VR Driving Video Surpasses 20 Million Views, Signaling Potential Trend in Technology Misuse

February 4th, 2024

A video showcasing a driver in a Tesla Cybertruck, seemingly utilizing an Apple Vision Pro Virtual Reality headset while navigating a busy road, has gone viral, amassing over 20 million views. The footage, which surfaced online, depicts a concerning scenario where advanced technology intersects with road safety, prompting a reaction from the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg.

The video, capturing a driver with hands off the steering wheel and eyes covered by the newly released Apple Vision Pro, raises significant concern over the misuse of Tesla's Full Self-Driving (FSD) and the potential hazards of integrating virtual reality technology in inappropriate settings. Released on February 2nd, the Apple Vision Pro comes with a clear warning in its user guide against using the device when driving, emphasizing the importance of ensuring both user and public safety.

Reacting to the viral footage, Secretary Buttigieg took to social media to remind the public of the critical need for drivers to remain in control and fully engaged when behind the wheel, even when using vehicles equipped with advanced driving assistance features. "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," Buttigieg emphasized, highlighting the limitations of Tesla's Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot, and Full Self-Driving capabilities. Despite their innovative names, these systems do not render the vehicles fully autonomous yet.

Tesla's technology, which allows for automated steering, acceleration, and braking within the same lane, has been under scrutiny. The electric vehicle manufacturer released a software update for over 2 million vehicles in December to address a flaw in the system designed to ensure driver engagement during Autopilot use. Furthermore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been investigating Tesla following incidents where the Autopilot feature was involved in crashes.

The incident underscores the ongoing challenges and concerns surrounding the integration of advanced technologies in vehicles and the paramount importance of road safety. As companies like Tesla and Apple continue to push the boundaries of innovation, the need for clear guidelines, user education, and adherence to safety protocols becomes increasingly evident. The viral video not only serves as a cautionary tale but also as a reminder of the shared responsibility among tech companies, regulators, and users to prioritize safety above all.