Since the launch of the Apple Vision Pro on Friday, some early adopters have been sharing videos of themselves driving while wearing the pricey AR/VR headset. This has sparked concern from government officials, who warn that users are utilizing Tesla Autopilot and not paying attention to the road.
Warning from U.S. Secretary of Transportation
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg posted a video on X showing a driver wearing Apple Vision Pro and interacting with the headset while operating a Tesla Cybertruck. He reminded drivers that all advanced driver assistance systems require the human driver to be in control and fully engaged in the driving task at all times.
Viral Videos and Legal Ramifications
Another Apple Vision Pro driver, X user @lentinidante, went viral for driving a Tesla while wearing the headset and making interactive hand gestures. The video ends with police officers supposedly pulling him over. However, the driver later confirmed that the video was a skit, although he admitted to actually driving the vehicle for a short time while wearing the headset.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has stated that driving while wearing a VR headset is reckless and disregards the safety of everyone on the road. However, AR/VR headsets and smart glasses fall into a grey area when it comes to legal ramifications. Many states have laws against texting while driving and similar distracted-driving regulations, but some specifically limit this ban to cell phones or television.
Apple specifically tells users not to use the Apple Vision Pro while “operating a moving vehicle.”