The car’s actual steering wheel would serve as the controller.
Whether you love or hate Elon Musk, you have to give the guy credit for some creative thinking. The head of Tesla took to Twitter today to drop a bit of a gaming bombshell for the company’s upcoming V9.0 software update, which is slated to hit cars in about four weeks according to the tweet. Among the various tweaks will apparently be a few classic Atari games, with the great-grandfather of modern racing titles possibly among them. We’re speaking of Pole Position, and if Musk gets his way you’ll be able to play the game using the Tesla’s own steering wheel.
It should be noted that Musk prefaces this by saying “hoping to include” these games. Specifically, he’s referencing another tweet that mentions several games including Tempest and Missile Command. Other games could certainly be possible (we'd love to see Night Driver), and with Musk’s shout-out to Atari in the tweet it would seem the long-time computer company is on-board with the fun. Additionally, it seems Tesla is keen to get unique game content into its cars, as Musk also tweeted job opportunities for game developers.
If all this talk of games in cars seems like a tremendous driving distraction, you’re not wrong. Many vehicles with rear-seat infotainment systems already offer such things, not to mention the ability to connect a game console. The key word there is rear seat systems, though Musk does mention – obviously – that Pole Position would only be playable with the wheel while stationary. We assume that would hold true for all games, because we’re fairly certain the motoring public isn’t ready for an autonomous car that lets drivers have a go at Pac-Man while rolling down the highway at speed.
Speaking of autonomous driving, enhancements to Autopilot are also expected in the V9.0 update, along with dash cams and something called party & camper mode that will allow a range of systems to be kept active while parked for 48 hours.
All in all it sounds like the forthcoming update should pack quite a lot for Tesla owners. And if Twitter is any indication, the inclusion of games might even draw in some new buyers. Combined with the reported record sales for the Model 3 in July, things could be starting to turn around at Tesla after a rocky first half of 2018.
Source: Elon Musk via Twitter