NHTSA Ends Probe Into Tesla's Video Game Feature

On Tuesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it was wrapping up its investigation into Tesla’s "Passenger Play" feature. The service originally offered occupants the ability to play a slew of video games while vehicles were in motion. But this was changed after the automaker felt pressure from federal regulators.

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Electronic Arts Outruns Take-Two in Codemasters Race

Electronic Arts said it had reached an agreement to buy Codemasters in a deal worth $1.2 billion, beating rival video games maker Take-Two Interactive Software to the finish line for the British company.

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Shades of Tomorrow: Mercedes-Benz's 'In-Car Gaming Challenge'

The Mercedes-Benz-sponsored “In-Car Gaming Challenge” isn’t exactly breaking news. Daimler made the announcement almost a week ago, with the story only gaining traction online thanks to a slower-than-usual news cycle. Frankly, we originally planned to ignore the topic entirely — until we realized no one discussed the broader implications.

That probably sounds more ominous than it should. Essentially, Mercedes is trying to diversify its business by getting into video games. But the potential ramifications stemming from that change could be felt across the automotive industry in the coming years. Daimler isn’t just seeking game-related business ventures — it’s trying to figure out how to make life inside an autonomous vehicle more appetizing.

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FIA Sanctioning Virtual Racing League, Nissan Training Gamers Into Real Drivers

Three decades ago, video games could only offer the vaguest approximation of driving. Things are very different today. While a lot of modern software still forgoes realism for the sake a fun, simulators have grown in popularity and are becoming incredibly realistic. Real tracks are built to scale, weather effects have meaning, and automobiles behave in a faithful manner. Gamers can even swap their gamepads for honest-to-god cockpits.

Racing simulators have become so effective that Nissan’s PlayStation GT Academy program is now in its eighth year. The event pits thousands of gamers against each other in order to find some they can put behind the wheel of an actual race car. Players then receive additional simulator and on-road training before being allowed to compete in legitimate races.

While we could endlessly debate how well video game skills translate to actual racing, they do provide gamers with an opportunity to learn the tracks and sharpen reaction times. They’ve certainly proven competitive enough for the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile to sanction virtual racing leagues.

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Porsche Announces Most Powerful 911 in History… at the Video Game Expo

Porsche unveiled its most powerful production 911 in history and not exactly where you’d expect. Dodge saved the unveiling of its much-teased Challenger SRT Demon for the New York International Auto Show, so where did Porsche choose to present the new GT2 RS? The Electronic Entertainment Expo — the world’s premiere video game convention.

There are two ways to look at this sacrilege. You can either take offense, accusing the brand of betraying its fervent automotive base, or you can see this as one of the smartest marketing choices it could have made. E3 has a lot of eyes on it and video games are a booming industry. For a long time Porsche cars weren’t even in most video games, thanks to an exclusive deal made with Electronic Arts. When that ended, the brand slipped its cars into Forza Motorsport 6 through downloadable content, and the GT2 RS is on the cover of Forza Motorsport 7.

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Lotus Evora 400, If You Don't Know What It Is #itsnotforyou

While most car companies try to persuade broad swatches of people to buy their cars, Lotus is trying a new/old approach in promoting their new Evora 400 model, telling some folks that maybe Lotus’ fastest model is just not for them.

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Adventures in Downmarketing: Mercedes-Benz Goes Nintendo

From the department of brand-killing marketing ideas comes Mercedes-Benz’s latest venture: in-game product placement for popular Nintendo game Mario Kart. Why? Because Millennials, that’s why!

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The Video Game For Armchair Auto Execs Is Coming

Not long ago, I considered asking the Best and Brightest if something like this were possible. You see, when I was a younger man, I was a big fan of the game Aerobiz, a tough, take-no-prisoners Super Nintendo simulation of the (Cold War-era) airline business. Since I’ve been immersed in the world of the car business, I’ve often wondered if it were possible to create a game that similarly captured the challenges of running a car company. And now, it seems, that game is already in development by a couple of coder car nerds from Australia. Called “ Automation,” the game is still a ways from completion and its creators are soliciting pre-orders to help fund development (sound like any car startups you can think of?).

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  • ToolGuy I AM PLACING [sic] NICELY. There is NO NEED TO BAN ME. Personally I do lots of things which DON'T MAKE SENSE, sometimes to myself, often to others. WHO ELON MUSK ENDORSES is really kind of NONE OF MY BUSINESS. It is a FREE COUNTRY, in some ways, still. I wish I knew how to FORMAT MY COMMENT better. I USED TO KNOW HOW, maybe I am losing it slowly (lot of that going around, JUST SAYING).
  • Aja8888 I can't read those whole thread without throwing up....
  • ToolGuy Maybe I will GIVE IT A LISTEN. Probably when I'm MOWING THE LAWN. Probably with a BATTERY OPERATED MOWER. (There are also batteries IN MY HEADPHONES. And IN MY PHONE.) Does anyone remember how to make a NEW PARAGRAPH?
  • ToolGuy I am NOT SURE WHAT TO SAY. In fact I'M NOT EVEN SURE WHAT I JUST READ. I paid a premium for my last cordless drill/driver because it has a hydraulic front end which PRODUCES LESS NOISE AND VIBRATION.
  • ToolGuy Tim, THANK YOU FOR THE ALL CAPS. I think it ADDS A LOT to the discussion. I might USE it MYSELF in the future. Have a GREAT WEEKEND.