Mere days after the release of Apple's Vision Pro headset, a user has been recording wearing the XR headset while driving a Tesla. The event has led US transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg to remind diligent citizens that you must remain in control of your vehicle even if it offers some form of assisted driving—in other words, the 'I swear I had autopilot activated, officer' defence isn't going to fly.
The viral video of a Tesla driver wearing the headset while seemingly interacting with some sort of app or game with their hands has been viewed over 25 million times on X.
Buttigieg said on Monday in a repost of the viral video: "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."
Tesla cites its Autopilot feature available on some of its electric vehicles as an "advanced driver assistance system", and doesn't consider either its Autopilot or more advanced Full Self-Driving Capability as making a vehicle autonomous.
"Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability are intended for use with a fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any moment. While these features are designed to become more capable over time, the currently enabled features do not make the vehicle autonomous," Tesla's website states.
Needless to say, you can't claim to be fully attentive while wearing an XR headset over your eyes.
The Vision Pro was launched last week to much applause (from Apple's own employees) and offers a way for users to interact with apps dropped onto the real-world. The Vision Pro gives the illusion of being able to look through the device, though this isn't actually the case. Instead, the Vision Pro's two high-resolution main cameras display a full-colour feed onto the internal Micro-OLED screen. A users eyes are shown on the exterior of the device through an external display.
Advertised almost exclusively around the house or in the office, some have taken to the streets wearing the headset. Casey Neistat has been patrolling New York with the Vision Pro, including wearing the device while longboarding, and both Neistat and another person wore the device on the New York subway—considering the device's $3,499 price tag, I wouldn't be so brave.
Neistat was very complimentary of the Vision Pro, namely in how it tricked his brain into thinking that what he saw through the headset was actually reality, and called it the "future of computing".
So, clearly Apple is onto something here. Though probably best to avoid operating large metal boxes travelling at high speed while you check your emails or watch a YouTube video, yeah?