US transport secretary warns Apple glasses not for hands-free driving

Pete Buttigieg, US Secretary of State for Transportation, speaks during the International Transport Forum. The US Department of Transportation has issued a stark warning in response to video footage of Tesla drivers driving while wearing Apple's new virtual and augmented reality glasses. Jan Woitas/dpa
Pete Buttigieg, US Secretary of State for Transportation, speaks during the International Transport Forum. The US Department of Transportation has issued a stark warning in response to video footage of Tesla drivers driving while wearing Apple's new virtual and augmented reality glasses. Jan Woitas/dpa

The US Department of Transportation has issued a stark warning in response to video footage of Tesla drivers driving while wearing Apple's new virtual and augmented reality glasses.

On social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg posted a video on Monday of the driver of a Tesla cyber truck wearing Apple's VR glasses and gesticulating with both his hands off the wheel as he drove along a busy road.

"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," wrote Buttigieg in his post.

Over the past few days, several videos have appeared online of people driving with Apple glasses on and their hands off the wheel. The Apple Vision Pro has only been on the market since Friday.

The headset has cameras that can capture the surroundings and transmit them to displays in front of the eyes. Apple emphasizes in the conditions of use that the glasses should never be used to drive a vehicle.

The "Autopilot" driver assistance system in Tesla electric cars can maintain speed, lane and distance to the vehicle in front. But Tesla itself emphasizes that the system does not turn the cars into self-driving vehicles.

Nevertheless, there have been repeated cases of drivers who appear to rely too much on the technology.

Apple Vision Pro computer glasses, can be seen on display in the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple corporate campus in Cupertino. Christoph Dernbach/dpa
Apple Vision Pro computer glasses, can be seen on display in the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple corporate campus in Cupertino. Christoph Dernbach/dpa