Viral videos of people driving while wearing Apple’s Vision Pro have horrified the public in recent days and forced the White House to come out and say: Please don’t be dumb.
It only took a few hours after Apple released its new $3,500 headset for videos to pop up of people using the gadget while driving, an act that clearly endangers the public, and rack up millions of views. Two of the most viewed videos feature people in Tesla vehicles, including a monstrous Cybertruck, which are equipped with driver assistance systems that can help drivers do things like steer, cruise control, and park.
Despite the systems’ names — Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot, and Full Self-Driving — none of them enable Tesla vehicles to drive themselves and require drivers to be alert and keep their hands on the steering wheel at all times.
On Monday, the videos caught the attention of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who felt the need to remind these reckless drivers that obstructing their vision with the Apple Vision Pro in a car that is not autonomous is a bad idea.
“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 said in a post on X, the social network formerly known as Twitter owned by Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Musk has remained silent on the incidents and did not respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.
Driving while wearing AR/VR headsets is illegal in some states, such as Alaska. Austin McDaniel, communications director at the Alaska Department of Public Safety, said in an email that use of these devices falls under the state law regulating screen use while driving. Doing so is considered a misdemeanor in Alaska and can rise to a felony act if the person’s driving causes the injury or death of another individual.
At least one of the drivers behind the viral videos was only doing it for laughs, a revelation that is even more concerning when considering that there were other people on the road. Twenty-one-year-old Dante Lentini told Gizmodo on Monday that the video of him driving a Tesla wearing the Apple Vision Pro was a “skit.” In a portion of the video, Lentini is shown without his hands on the wheel, although the 21-year-old claims he only drove with the headset for 30-40 seconds in total to make the video.
It’s not clear whether the driver in the Cybertruck staged the video of himself using the Apple Vision Pro from behind the wheel. Given that the video appears to be recorded from someone in the car driving next to the Cybertruck, it seems unlikely. Gizmodo has not confirmed the identity of the driver in the video.
Apple explicitly warns users against using the Vision Pro while driving in its user guide. Neither Apple nor Tesla responded to requests for comment about the viral incidents.
“Never use Apple Vision Pro while operating a moving vehicle, bicycle, heavy machinery, or in any other situations requiring attention to safety,” Apple states in its Vision Pro user guide.