Dear Drive… radio interview – video games in the car

Tesla brings more than 6,000 video games to in-car screens

No longer relegated to bedrooms and sofas, video games are widespread and can now even be found in your car!

Dear Drive… Here we answer questions from readers, viewers and listeners. Something on your mind? Call us on the radio show or email us atcontactus@drive.com.au.


James continued talking to Warwick Long ABC Radio 1.6.23:

It’s nothing new to see a screen in a car, but the latest development is bringing video games and serious video games to electric cars – so what’s the deal?

ABC Host – Warwick Long: Why are pretty powerful video games built into cars?

James Ward – Drive.com.au: We see the next evolution of personal electronics integration with our mobile electronics, which is essentially your car.

Late last year, Tesla announced that you could upgrade your in-car touchscreen to support it steam, which is an online gambling service platform. This allows owners to download and play some popular games while the car is parked and charging (not while driving).

If you need to charge an electric car, if you don’t use a real high-speed charger, you can be there for 30 to 45 minutes, which is enough time to make a good game. So instead of using your phone, you can use the big screen in the car.

To be fair, this example is a bit of a gimmick, but it’s just one of the areas where we’re seeing the gaming portion of the market start to make its way into the automotive industry.

Later this year, the new Volvo EX90 (the new electric version of the seven-seat family SUV XC90) will be launched, and all the screens in the car will be replaced by the so-called Unreal game engineand it has one Nvidia graphics chipset power it, which is used in game consoles to create really fast real-time 3D graphics.

ABC: So that’s what you’re saying, is the technology already being used in the car?

D: Yes, Volvo uses gaming technology in the car, so when you’re using adaptive cruise control or lane-keeping tools, you’re getting these really slick live 3D graphics that are being processed by the car’s cameras and sensors, so the gaming technology actually drives it the technology of the car.

Also earlier this month, Sony, who are they PlayStation Companies have teamed up with Honda to produce their own electric car – further connecting the world of personal electronics and wearable electronics with the mobile electronics in your car.

ABC: So in some of these cases where there are screens in the front and back of the car, kids will be able to play video games effectively while mom and dad drive in the front, or am I exaggerating here?

D: Yes. For example, the new BMW 7 Series has a fold-down 31.3-inch roof-mounted LCD screen. It is ridiculous! It’s like first class on an airplane.

It includes a 39-speaker sound system and is designed to offer Amazon’s streaming video services, essentially making it your living room. So, since the screens aren’t facing the driver, rear passengers can play games while you’re on the move.

Well, between us, an iPad has already done that job, so we’re not really taking a huge leap here, but I think it’s just a step that we’re seeing the car brands really try to say, well, what’s coming as next for the market?

And again, this week at CES (the Consumer Electronics Fair 2023), announced BMW BMW idea Concept car that has a virtual, digital friend as part of the car.

With this, they are suggesting that the future will be more akin to KITT, a talking automotive companion, than a digital assistant on your smartphone. This extends to allowing the car to create faces and emotions through its headlights and grille, which are all just a screen, allowing it to represent your mood. The car can change color, and the car can display your avatar on the windshield and side window, so people can see your gaming avatar while driving.

To be clear, this is just a concept and obviously takes things to a ridiculously forward-thinking level, but that’s how brands like BMW think about these things – so stay tuned!

ABC: James, can you tell me if I should be really scared or excited by these changes?

D: If you take the Volvo example, they’re going to put some really cool technology into the car, so it’s a good amalgamation of sci-fi with fact, so mark that as exciting one.

With the BMW concept taking on a personality and projecting a gamer avatar, I don’t really know if we need that. I’d rather see people concentrating on driving than color their cars to whim. But it’s a brave new world out there!

ABC: And just on the subject of Steam and supporting games in cars, where you might be standing at the charging station next to someone who is playing while they wait for their car to charge. Would the gaming system use a lot of power and suck out a lot of electricity while the car is trying to charge?

D: Not at all. The batteries required for electric cars are large.

Think about it like this; An average family home for a full day (running TVs, air conditioners, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, etc.) uses about 25-30 kWh of energy. A car like a Tesla Model 3 has a battery of about 70 kWh, a BMW IX has about 110 kWh.

So an electric car has twice or three times the battery power that a whole house uses in a whole day. Thus, the energy required to operate a gaming system is negligible.

We recently exhibited a Kia EV6 and ran a TV using the car’s V2L (vehicle to load) performance. The TV draws around 100W of energy per hour, meaning we could have run the TV non-stop for a month and still be able to drive away in the car with some battery life.

Bottom Line: Running these devices is not a huge amount compared to the amount of batteries in these cars.

ABC: It’s a brave new world James, thank you for joining us. Gaming in cars is a thing that’s happening now. And while you won’t see them play while cars are driving, you might see them play while waiting for the car to charge, which is incredible.

The post Dear Drive… Radio Interview – Video Games in the Car appeared first on Drive.

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