GM Wants to Turn Cars into Video Game Controllers, according to New Patent

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General Motors seems to think that vehicles might make for viable gaming controllers, according to a new patent spotted by auto enthusiast site Motor 1 that teases how future car technologies might be used to bolster games and produce new virtual experiences. Several applications are described in the patent, with one of the more radical ones relating to users being able to activate a game while driving and seeing a virtual representation of the surroundings thanks to special sensors in the vehicle. Another amounts to a vehicle being turned into a virtual driving cockpit, allowing occupants to control a game using a car’s physical steering and pedals.

In-Vehicle Gaming Systems and Methods (USPTO)

  • A gaming system of a vehicle includes: a game application embodying an interactive game and stored in memory; a sensor of a vehicle configured to determine a present condition while the vehicle is moving; a gaming module of the vehicle, the gaming module configured to, while the vehicle is moving: execute the game application; display a virtual environment of the interactive game via one or more displays in the vehicle; output sound of the interactive game via one or more speakers in the vehicle; control action within the virtual environment of the interactive game based on user input received via one or more input devices of the vehicle; and adjust one or more characteristics of the virtual environment of the interactive game based on the present condition.

GM Just Filed For A Very Interesting Video Game Patent (Motor 1)

  • The filing primarily focuses on using the steering wheel and pedals to control the car in the game. Although, one section says that gaming controllers or joysticks would also work, suggesting passengers might also be able to play.
  • Weather sensors would add another layer of realism to the game. If it’s raining in real life, you’d see this in the virtual world, too. One of the weirder elements in the patent is that if you’re playing on an especially hot day, the world would appear to melt. Similarly, things could look frozen on a very cold day.
  • GM’s patent doesn’t say how the company intends to use this tech in the real world. Having people playing video games while driving could be dangerous for other people on the road.
Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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