Tesla is launching a new wildly overpriced solid-state hard drive to hold video games and Sentry Mode videos.
When we talk about storage inside vehicles, we generally talk about trunk space, but in this case, we are talking about digital storage space.
Why would you need digital storage inside cars?
The need for more storage has increased for Tesla vehicles after the release of features like Sentry Mode and TeslaCam. These features record videos from Tesla’s Autopilot cameras for security purposes, and they are stored on a drive plugged into Tesla’s onboard computer.
Tesla owners have been using USB drivers and SSDs for that reason for years now.
Now the need for storage is increasing in Tesla vehicles with the advent of video games inside the cars.
More specifically, Tesla just launched Steam in Model S and Model X vehicles, which are equipped with a gaming computer. Owners are going to need more storage space to install video games, which can reach 100 Gb in size.
Today, Tesla has launched a new Tesla-branded solid-state drive for its vehicles on its online shop:
The automaker wrote about the product on its website:
Store everything. From Tesla Arcade games to Dashcam footage, our 1 TB Solid State Drive (SSD) allows you to save all your vehicle data in one place. This automotive-grade external SSD is designed for durability withstanding extreme cabin temperatures, vehicle shocks and vibrations. With an extended lifespan compared to similar storage devices and read/write speeds optimized for gaming, the Solid State Drive supports Steam gaming.
Top comment by Andrew
Actually, the "cheap drive" linked here is only rated to operate in conditions up to 45C (113F). I don't know about you, but in summer time when my car is parked I've often seen 115 to 120F cabin temps. That would actually be out of specs for that $100 SSD... could it still work? Maybe. Would I rather have a higher rated drive for Sentry mode videos, yes.
That cheap drive also doesn't have a warranty even though it says 5 years, if you read the fine print, the warranty doesn't cover continuous video recording.
"This warranty does not cover use of the Product in connection with the following uses or devices (as determined by SanDisk): (i) normal wear and tear, (ii) video monitoring, security, and surveillance devices, (iii) internet protocol/network cameras, (iv) in-car recording devices/dashboard cameras/black box cameras, (v) display devices that loop video, (vi) continuous recording set top box devices, (vii) continuous data logging devices like servers, or (viii) other excessive uses that exceed normal use in accordance with published instructions."
That likely suggests that it's not an especially high endurance drive.
Again, the Tesla drive could be exactly the same and nothing special, but it COULD be a higher quality drive designed for more write cycles than these cheap drives...
Steam is currently only available on new Model S and ModelX vehicles, but Tesla says that the SSD is compatible with all Tesla vehicles – just like most SSDs.
Speaking of other solid-state drives, they are ridiculously cheap compared to Tesla’s.
Tesla is asking for $350 for a 1 TB drive seemingly without anything special about it other than maybe fitting nicely in Tesla’s glovebox. A good portable 1 TB SSD drive generally costs about $100.
The automaker has a history of charging for overpriced Tesla-branded products, like its $50 whistle.
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