Tesla is testing Steam integration, are they about to move light years ahead in gaming?

By Kevin Armstrong
Elon Musk said he is testing Steam integration in-vehicle
Elon Musk said he is testing Steam integration in-vehicle

Elon Musk is a busy guy, but he even takes time to play video games. The Tesla CEO told his 105.6 million followers on Twitter that he was playing games. But when you're Musk, this is still working. He was testing the highly anticipated Steam integration with Tesla. It's not known which one of the 30,000 Steam games he was playing (or should I say testing), but the fact that he is telling the world he is trying it out could mean the release is imminent.

Steam is to the PC gaming world what Tesla is to the electric vehicle market. With nearly 20 years under its belt, it's estimated Steam takes up 75 percent of the global market share for the distribution of PC games. More than 100 million users are on the platform, and it is showing no signs of slowing down. In addition, it is releasing Steam Decks, a mobile device to take all of those games with you.

Tesla's gaming does not quite compare to Steam, with about 20 games available, and most are classics. However, this integration could put Tesla's gaming platform light years ahead. In fact, the new Model S and Model X have a gaming computer that keeps pace with PlayStation 5 and XBox Series X.

The new system has ten teraflops of processing power. A teraflop is the computer world's version of horsepower, and yes, 10 is a lot. The PS5 has 10.28, and for those keeping score, the Playstation 4 has 1.84. For anyone who has played the two consoles, you can attest to noticing immediately the difference those additional 8 TFLOPS provide.

Musk wants the Tesla to be the most fun you can have in a car. By adding this kind of computer power to the Model S and Model X, he ensures that the system can handle the top-end video games. He has demonstrated the game considered the most graphically demanding, Cyberpunk 2077. These complex and visually stunning video games also occupy a lot of space. The average Steam user has 55 games on their account. However, it looks like Tesla has already started to solve these problems.

With Tesla update 2022.24 Tesla now lets you uninstall games from Tesla Arcade. There's currently no need to uninstall a game because there's ample storage, but that won't always be the case.

Tesla has also started adding code to support external storage that could be used to load additional games.

The amount of storage available for games will vary depending on the MCU in the vehicle. While vehicles with MCU 2 only contain a 64GB hard drive for the entire vehicle (OS, games and data), newer vehicles with MCU 3 include up to a 256GB solid-state drive. Out of those 256GB, 155GB is currently reserved for games, so they'll be able to store significantly more games before requiring an external hard drive.

While there is still no release date for the Steam integration, a big event is on the horizon for Tesla, AI Day Part II. The event was initially scheduled for August 19 but has been pushed back to September 30. Musk has promised "many cool updates" at AI Day; perhaps Steam integration will be one of them.

Tesla Is Removing Steam Gaming in New Model S and Model X Vehicles

By Karan Singh

Tesla is no longer including Steam support in any of its newer Model S and Model X vehicles, according to messages received by customers who are awaiting deliveries of the flagship vehicles.

Tesla previously introduced the Steam beta to newer versions of the Model S and Model X refreshes which had 16GB of RAM as part of the 2022 Holiday Update. This update didn’t support slightly older vehicles with only 8GB of RAM, but a retrofit was available for $2,000 USD.

Tesla No Longer Supporting Dedicated GPUs?

The Cybertruck also did not receive a dedicated graphic processing unit (GPU), with many people noting that they did not have access to Steam on their Foundation-series Cybertrucks and GreenTheOnly later confirmed the Cybertruck did not include a GPU. The Cybertruck also shipped with only 8GB of RAM, matching the Model 3 and Model Y MCU 3 versions based on AMD Ryzen chips.

This could be an indication that Tesla is phasing out the GPUs, as well as the larger RAM packages that came bundled with their top-end vehicles, likely due to cost-cutting, hardware streamlining, and optimization.

Tesla is removing Steam support on newer vehicles
Tesla is removing Steam support on newer vehicles

Future of Steam Support

While the AMD Ryzen RDNA-2 APUs that are built into every Tesla MCU are quite powerful and very capable of rendering 3D or 2D graphics when in mobile configurations, there has been a distinct lack of Steam support on other vehicles, due to the 8GB of RAM.

Given the removal of GPUs from the flagship vehicles, there is also a chance that the RAM on newer Model S and X vehicles will also be facing a reduction similar to the Cybertruck. The Steam Beta could very well be on its way out.

The other possible alternative would be an updated Steam Beta that supports 8GB of RAM, and does not require a powerful GPU, as people may not do too much hardcore gaming on their vehicles.

Gaming Alternatives

Some gaming applications still live on in Tesla’s Arcade Mode, including the ever-popular Cuphead, Sky Force Reload, and Vampire Survivors. We previously discussed Tesla’s lack of Google Casting and Apple Airplay, but a fantastic alternative would be providing HDMI pass-through support on the Glovebox USB-C port.

Imagine being able to connect your phone to Tesla’s displays and gaming on a much larger 19” screen (screen size comparison) as seen on the Cybertruck.

The Future of Tesla Compute

Elon Musk mentioned in the 2024 Tesla Earnings Call that the unused compute power of Tesla vehicles not being driven was equivalent to a larger computing system like Amazon’s AWS. One idea floated by Musk was to use the computers of parked vehicles to conduct inference, data processing, and other tasks – selling the compute capabilities of vehicles to external organizations, while also paying back the owner.

Tesla Releases FSD v12.4: New Vision Attention Monitoring, Improved Strike System With Update 2024.9.5

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla has just rolled out its latest FSD software, v12.4 to employees. Elon Musk announced that this update would be available to employees this past weekend, with plans to release it to the public in small numbers later this week.

Surprisingly, the new update is version 2024.9.5, which is likely based on the earlier 2024.8 branch and not Tesla's latest 2024.14. The spring update (2024.14) brings various new features such as a new media player, a new parked visualization, Audible support, and a Preview of Sentry Mode events, among others.

However, FSD v12.4 brings its own excitement with two new major changes.

Vision-Based Attention Monitoring

The release notes show a new Vision-Based Attention Monitoring feature that replaces the steering wheel nag as Musk previously mentioned.

However, as we predicted, Tesla will still leverage the steering wheel to detect attentiveness when the cabin camera is inconclusive.

The car can only rely on the vehicle's cabin camera, and therefore remove the steering wheel nag under certain conditions:

  • the camera is not occluded

  • there is sufficient lighting

  • the driver is looking forward

  • the driver is not wearing sunglasses

  • the driver is not wearing a low-brim hat or another object that covers their eyes

If any of these situations occur, or if the vehicle doesn't have a cabin camera, then the vehicle will continue to use the steering wheel to determine driver attention.

Tesla is careful to state that images and video from the cabin camera are not saved or transmitted unless you enable data sharing.

Updated Strike System

With FSD v12.4, Tesla has also updated its Autopilot Suspension feature which is designed to enforce the responsible use of FSD.

The current system lets the driver receive up to five strikes (three strikes for vehicles without a cabin camera) before Autopilot and FSD become unavailable. If that happens, then FSD is unavailable for one week. Strikes are only removed once the driver has accrued five strikes, or when Tesla wipes out strikes for everyone, which happens about twice a year.

The new system is more gracious about removing strikes. The vehicle will continue to issue strikes whenever the driver isn't paying attention, however, now the vehicle will gradually remove strikes for the driver after a certain period of time.

Tesla states that one strike will be removed for each 7-day period the driver goes without receiving a strike. So if FSD gets disabled due to strikes, the driver will still go one week without FSD, although now strikes are removed on an ongoing basis. This new strike system is expected to apply to vehicles with and without a cabin camera.

Other New Features

Other new features are expected in FSD 12.4 as well, which we outlined in our look at Tesla's FSD v12.4 article.

They include a focus on improved driver comfort by reducing the amount of hard braking, automatically seeking a parking spot when arriving at a destination and more. Driver interventions are also expected to be drastically reduced with Musk stating that Tesla expects to see a 5-10x improvement in interventions.


Unfortunately, due to FSD v12.4 being on branch 2024.9, it's expected to only be available to owners on update 2024.8 and below, which includes everyone currently on update 2024.3.25.

If no major issues are found with FSD v12.4, we could see it start to roll out to the public later this week.

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