Ford is copying Tesla and adding video games to infotainment systems

A photo of the interior of an F-150 Lightning.

Plug and Pong.
Photo: Ford

Remember when Tesla proudly introduced a suite of computer games you could play in its cars? And remember when NHTSA has issued a warning that it could be distracting for drivers? Well, it looks like Ford may be following Tesla’s lead and bringing games to its new electric truck – but you’ll only be able to play it when it’s parked.

Last August, electric car maker Tesla announced that it was launching a new Arcade feature on its cars. The company proudly proclaimed that users could play games like sonic the hedgehog and Cuphead on the giant screens at the front of his cars.

But the rollout was marred by a New York Times report that cited a Tesla Model 3 owner who discovered he could play games while driving.

This, of course, is not a safe thing to do. AAs a result, NHTSA quickly intervened and ordered that Elon Musk and Tesla release software update to disable the ability to play games while driving.

A photo of a Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3: car or game console?
Photo: You’re here

Obviously this is the right thing to do, because a flickering screen plays Sudoku or any other arcade classic in your eyes isn’t the kind of thing you want to watch out for while driving.

So now your You’re here only transforms into the world’s largest games console when you park.

But soon, Tesla won’t be the only automaker offering computer games in its cars, as the feature appears to have piqued Ford’s interest.

The blue oval is prepares to deploy its all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup. And, ahead of its release, Darren Palmer, vice president of global electric vehicle programs at Fordteased a preview of things to come in the truck’s new infotainment system.

A photo of two Ford F-150 Lightning trucks.

Ford F-150 Lightning: pickup truck or really, really big games console?
Photo: Ford

In a post on LinkedIn, Palmer shared a video of someone playing a simple driving game on his truck’s infotainment system. The game is controlled by the car’s volume wheel and sees players steer a car through traffic to collect coins.

In the post, Palmer says, “Some cute little games now on the F150 Lightning. To prove success with my children in the final tests…”

While Tesla initially had no process in place to ensure people weren’t playing games while driving, a Ford spokesperson confirmed to Jalopnik that “games are only active when the vehicle is parked.”

There’s no further information on what games will be available, but we don’t have too long to wait because the electric F-150 is to be launched on April 26.

But what do you think of the new wave of electric cars equipped with integrated games? Is that a good idea or are you in a rush to leave your car as soon as you park so in no time to play computer games?

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