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Gaze in Horror at This Guy Wearing a VR Headset While Driving

Over the weekend, a video of a guy getting pulled over wearing a freshly released Apple Vision Pro headset while cruising down a highway in a Tesla with "Full Self-Driving" (FSD) engaged went viral on X-formerly-Twitter.

And though the guy in the video, a 21-year-old software developer named Dante Lentini, definitely should have been pulled over regardless, we're not convinced that this clip wasn't a total stunt.

In the video, Lentini is first seen, headset covering his eyes and behind the wheel of his Tesla as he uses both hands to allegedly flip through various augmented reality (AR) windows, swiping away at the air in front of him. A few seconds later, the camera pans to cops pulling up behind the Tesla  based on the video, it appears to be a Model Y now stopped on the side of the road.

"Think different," Lentini captioned the clip, "#applevisionpro."

Users flocked to the comments section to mostly deride Lentini for engaging in clearly reckless behavior, save for a few seeming Tesla stanboys who tossed a lot of crying-laughing emojis into the video's replies. And again: stunt or not, Lentini one million percent should have been ticketed — after all, driving in the really-not-self-driving vehicle without your hands on the wheel even violates Tesla's policies.

But while we're not exactly surprised to see a video like this crop up, some testers have noted that the $3,500 Vision Pro doesn't actually work very well when the wearer is in a moving vehicle — and as such, this clip feels like dangerously staged rage-bait all the way through.

https://twitter.com/lentinidante/status/1753549370568368224

Indeed, Lentini's video doesn't just go against Tesla's policies. As Gizmodo points out, the developer also violates several Apple safety warnings listed in the Vision Pro User Guide.

For one thing, it warns that "Apple Vision Pro won't detect all obstacles or conditions" — two things that we can safely assume roadways to have. The guide further warns that "immersive experiences or loss of device power will block your ability to see," and later specifically urges users to "never use Apple Vision Pro while operating a moving vehicle, bicycle, heavy machinery, or in any other situations requiring attention to safety."

"Apple Vision Pro is designed for use in controlled areas," reads the guide, "that are safe, on a level surface."

So, in other words, a user throwing on their headset while behind the wheel of a moving video is Apple's nightmare. And though Tesla CEO Elon Musk has long touted FSD as a key piece of our eventual work-commute future, his vehicles are nowhere near safe for drivers to take their eyes and hands off the wheel anytime soon — let alone safe enough for a hands-free driver to fiddle with distracting AR tech.

Beyond the obvious safety concerns, though, it's unclear whether it's currently even possible for the Vision Pro to work effectively under driving conditions. As noted by Autoevolution, for a wearer to see out of the headset at all, the Vision Pro needs to be turned on. But while it's likely that the goggles were at least powered up, the question of whether Lentini was truly using the headset as suggested in the clip is doubtful. To wit: in a Vision Pro review video published to YouTube on Sunday, the YouTuber Casey Neistat repeatedly remarks on how the Pro's AR "windows" will disappear when either the wearer or the vehicle they're in — in Neistat's case, he was on the subway — are moving.

"While you're moving, this thing comes up that says ‘tracking fail," Neistat observes in the 10-minute-long video. "So it doesn’t track if you're moving a lot."

And, well, if this thing doesn't work on the subway, we can't imagine it's all that functional on an obstacle-littered highway. (The Pro is designed to work well on airplanes, but that's a very stable environment compared to these other two types of travel.)

Anyway. We can't believe we need to say this, but if you shelled out for a Vision Pro, please don't wear it while you're driving. And if the risk of injuring or harming yourself or others on the roadway isn't enough to dissuade you from hopping behind the wheel with your ski goggle-esque interface on, you might instead consider what it might do to your nearly $4,000 investment.

As one commenter wrote in Lentini's replies: "Know what an airbag would do to that glass?"

Lentini, for his part, later tweeted in response to some criticism that the event was "my bad."

"Had a meeting," he added.

More on the Vision Pro: Apple's Ludicrously Expensive VR Headset's Virtual Keyboard Is Apparently Useless