LAS VEGAS, Jan 5 (Reuters) – Elon Musk’s novelty offering to Tesla (TSLA.O) Car owners have become table stakes for the next generation of electric vehicles.
From Sony to Honda to Hyundai, automakers at the CES 2023 technology trade show this week unveiled ways to reinvent the in-car entertainment experience, including offering video games during rides. They’re positioning themselves to capitalize on the time people spend in their cars as a potentially lucrative source of recurring revenue.
“This is an area that can be deployed very quickly,” said Volkswagen head Dirk Hilgenberg. (VOWG_p.DE) CARIAD’s software division told Reuters at CES. “You can host a third-party app for a streaming service, or generate a syndicated platform. You guarantee a certain volume, you guarantee a certain revenue.”
Car radios have been the primary form of entertainment in cars for decades, and Tesla vehicles have reset consumer expectations with the ability to watch popular video streaming services such as Netflix (NFLX.O)YouTube and Hulu while the vehicle is parked and charged.
In December, Tesla released a “holiday update” to its software that added access to 1,000 PC games through the Steam platform.
Other automakers have followed suit. October, BMW (BMWG.DE) Announced a partnership with AirConsole to bring casual gaming to its vehicles.stellantis (STLA.MI) Announced last year that it plans to take Amazon.com Inc’s (Amazon) Fire TV for Auto to its new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer SUVs.
In Las Vegas, South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co. (005380.KS) Said to use technology developed by Nvidia (NVDA.O)a company that powers PC games with chips that can play games in cars.
Nvidia’s cloud-based gaming service, called GeForce Now, provides access to more than 1,000 games from PC gaming stores like Steam, as well as free titles like Fortnite.China’s BYD (002594.Shenzhen)And Swedish electric car brand Polestar is also working with Nvidia.
Sony Japan (6758.T)The maker of the market-leading PlayStation video game console said Wednesday at CES that its The newly named electric car Afeela, It will be powered by the same Unreal Engine 3D technology used in video games.
Sony has promised “best-in-class” movies, games and music, but it has provided few details on the car it is co-developing with Honda Motor Co. (7267.T)
“In order to achieve smart mobility, continuous software updates and high-performance computing are required,” Sony Honda Mobile CEO Yasuhide Mizuno said at the show.
The auto industry has been grappling with how to safely introduce these new features and limit occupant use while the vehicle is in operation.
Tesla is in the spotlight of regulators in 2021 after reports emerged that a feature would allow drivers to play games on the car’s tablet-like touchscreen. Tesla disabled the feature while the car was in motion.
Hilgenberg said Volkswagen is developing vehicles that can drive themselves on highways or in traffic jams, which could give drivers and passengers more time to watch videos or play games. But he said the vehicles would be equipped with safety systems that could shut off the game or video display to the driver if conditions made autonomous driving unsafe.
Still, these are features consumers are asking for, so VW is looking for partners at CES.
“In some areas, we’ll see people say, ‘You don’t have that? I’m not buying it,'” Hilgenberg said. “We’re going to see content… content delivered by software features will be the deciding factor in the purchase.”
Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski and Joseph White in Las Vegas Editing by Ben Klayman and Matthew Lewis
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