Tesla Owners Can Game in their Car, Kind Of

Tesla Model 3
Image: Tesla

Tesla’s in-car gaming feature enables users to play Steam games in their car even though the company was investigated in 2021 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration related to the dangers of similar technology. 

In December of 2021, Telsa, the electric car company owned by Elon Musk, was investigated by the Highway Traffic Safety Administration for their “Passenger Play” feature, which enabled car owners to play video games in their cars, according to the New York Times.

On December 13, via Twitter, the official Tesla account announced the company would be introducing a similar feature that would enable users to play Steam games. 

As it was initially announced via Twitter, the statement was somewhat vague, with little to no patch notes or information regarding the new update. According to the tweet, however, this functionality will be available for new Model S & X vehicles, with a retrofit available for older Model S/X cars, according to Elon Musk

Back in December, the New York Times continued to follow this story–which ultimately ended up with Tesla disabling the gaming feature whenever the car was in motion. According to the reporting, Tesla informed the Highway Traffic Safety Administration that, 

“In a new software update ‘Passanger Play’ will now be locked and unusable when the vehicle is in motion.”

What is the Use Case?

Yes–it’s pretty cool that you can play games in your Tesla, but in what world would you be sitting in your car, rather than, you know–your house or apartment to play games?

Maybe we could see having to wait for someone in your car, or if you’re a service worker always in their car; however, beyond that, this functionality and use seem somewhat limited. 

That being said, it’s understandable why this change had to be made. A game screen, something meant to engage you and draw your attention, is distracting while you drive.

In a world of expanding and evolving tech, sometimes common sense reigns supreme. After all, you could grab your Nintendo Switch, the best-selling game system in the world, or even your Steam Deck to play games as a passenger in a car–and that isn’t distracting.

OR, you can do what Musk would likely want you to do and drop $96,000 on a brand-new Model S, so you can play games while completely stationary in your car. We’ll let you use your best judgment. 

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