Tesla CEO and co-founder Elon Musk is no stranger to making headlines for his wild ideas. After all, he is the founder of SpaceX, a company that wants to facilitate the colonization of Mars. So, when Musk tweeted that he wants to bring “super fun” video games to Tesla vehicles, few people were surprised. Considering Musk’s other, more outlandish ideas, this was relatively mundane.
In his tweet, Musk asked video game developers to “consider applying” to Tesla. The executive also said that he is specifically looking for games that “integrate the center touch screen, phone & car irl [in real life].” But what sort of games could we expect to play in a Tesla? And what does this mean for the industry as a whole?
What Sort of Games Could We See in a Tesla?
One of the most popular suggestions in the replies to Musk’s tweet was Pokemon GO. Niantic’s augmented reality video game took the world by storm in summer 2016, allowing players to explore their real-life surroundings in order to catch the virtual pocket monsters. These Pokemon could then be battled with, players can now trade with them, and there are opportunities to collect them all, including elusive, “shiny” variations. Pokemon GO has made $1.8 billion since launch and it is one of the most popular mobile games around, so it could be an ideal fit for a Tesla title. Musk seemed open to the idea, suggesting “something like that but with more of an adults in cars anime vibe.”
There are also many suggestions for DOOM, the frantic shooter game which has been ported to many weird devices including pianos, calculators, and even on a billboard truck, so a Tesla car would be the next, logical step. Skyrim, another game which has also been released on many platforms (including the touchscreen-enabled Nintendo Switch) was also suggested. Nothing is concrete; however, these three games seem like solid choices.
Are Elon Musk’s Tesla Gaming Plans a Good Idea?
While Musk’s plans do sound like fun – if not a little silly – many will note that putting games in a Tesla comes with significant security risks. Many will encourage the car company to employ systems such as WAF (Web Application Firewall). WAF prevents attacks on web applications, denying attacks that aim to steal sensitive data by analyzing and inspecting requests.
This is vital for a Tesla with games as many of the mobile games being considered, such as Pokemon GO, require players to log in to and interact with a server. If not properly secured (using WAF), data sent from the Tesla driver to the server could potentially be intercepted. Or, frustratingly, hackers could deny drivers access to the user interface.
As it stands, Musk and the team at Tesla are likely a long way off, especially if the company is only now calling for game development applicants. There are also questions of special, Tesla-specific features; for example. The project is certainly interesting, though, and could shake up vehicle technology and entertainment systems, so watch this space.