CBS reporter David Pogue was part of a Titan crew in 2022, during which he revealed a few worrying nuggets of information about the submersible vessel’s design. For example, he said that the vessel was piloted with a Logitech F710 wireless game controller that had some modifications done, such as substituting the direction joysticks with a pair of custom sticks for better navigation.
Now, one can argue that if the U.S. Navy can use Xbox 360 controllers with its submarines, why can’t the Titan? Well, there’s a crucial difference here: the Navy uses the controller to operate a submarine’s periscopes rather than relying on it to maneuver the vehicle. As well, the Logitech F710 is a cheap controller that was first released on the market more than a decade ago. When it comes to matters of life and death, it seems like using such an old, inexpensive controller is an unusual choice.
In addition, there is said to be only a single button inside the vessel (to turn it on), with the rest of the control systems involving computers and digital displays — much in the same way that many modern cars have replaced buttons and dials with touch screens. While the design was intended to make operating the submersible a low-skill task, that same design may be a problem if the submersible has lost all electrical power, particularly as it is dependent on Starlink for communications.