Sunday, July 21, 2024

Tesla’s parental controls keep teens’ lead feet in check • The Register

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If you owned a Tesla, would you let your child drive it? The electric vehicle brand seems to think it might with the addition of “Parental Controls” in a July update.

Obviously, we’re talking about licensed, legal-driving-age teenagers, although two underage girls were reportedly caught in the backseat and passenger seat of a Model Y a few years ago, allegedly telling the sheriff’s deputy who pulled them over that the car was “self-driving.”

In 2024, Teslas still do not have that feature, despite the boundless optimism of their boss Elon Musk.

The 2024.26 update was covered by the Not A Tesla app, which tracks changes to Tesla’s software. Among infotainment and general tweaks, the release notes state:

The nightly curfew in particular might have prevented those teens from sneaking out for a stroll, and it would be helpful if the minor was grounded.

Chill mode, according to Tesla, “limits throttle for a smooth, gentle ride,” as opposed to features like the Ludicrous mode available on some models, which “increases peak torque by about 60 percent.”

The company already introduced the speed limit mode after the deaths of Barrett Riley and Edgar Monserratt Martinez, 18, in 2018. The pair crashed at 116 mph (186 kph) in a 30 mph (40 kph) zone, according to the NTSB.

According to Tessie, the update is only six days old and not yet available to the general public, but it seems like a good idea when the leading cause of unintentional death among 15- to 24-year-olds in the U.S. is traffic accidents.

As for this non-Tesla family of modest means and habits, we have a hard time seeing our offspring behind the wheel of anything more glamorous than a 2000 Ford Fiesta when they come of age. On second thought, though, that now sounds like a death trap compared to a Muskmobile. ®


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