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Tesla update adds Stardew Valley and backgammon from Lost (Yep, the TV show)

Tesla expanded its library of in-car games when it released software version 10.0 in September 2019, and the holiday update will add more titles. The relaxing 2016 farming game Stardew Valley and an intriguing, John Locke-approved version of backgammon inspired by the television show Lost will both join the repertoire. Here’s to hoping the latter doesn’t summon the Smoke Monster through the climate control system’s air vents; that thing was creepy. These updates were announced by founder and CEO Elon Musk on Twitter.

He also revealed Tesla is sending out a holiday software update that will give owners of compatible cars a sneak preview of its full self-driving technology. He didn’t provide additional details, but we doubt he’s referring to a 30-second promotional video showing the feature in action on a closed course. Odds are Tesla owners are about to receive a new feature that will make their car more capable, and finally let them put the hardware they paid for to good use.

If you own a Tesla, whether you’ll be able to check this update out depends on how your car is configured. Full self-driving is offered at an extra cost; the company charges Model 3 buyers $7,000 for the feature. Its official website says cars equipped with the feature will gain the ability to recognize and respond to traffic lights and stop signs before the end of the year, which falls in line with data uncovered recently by a Tesla hacker. The end of the year is in 11 days as of this writing, so we won’t have to wait long to find if that’s one of the new features included in the holiday software update.

Finally, Musk said the holiday software update includes “a few other things,” so Tesla owners will be in for a surprise. Still posting on his official Twitter account, he explained that the update needs a few more days of validation before it’s sent out to customers who get early access to new features. It sounds like it will be released to the general public by the end of 2019.

The announcement comes shortly after Tesla released a $2,000 software update that makes the Model 3 quicker via a simple wireless software flash.

While most owners will welcome the new features with open arms, keep in mind that Tesla announced that it will start charging its customers a monthly data fee to unlock functions like the satellite view navigation system and live traffic data, as well as in-car video streaming from platforms like Netflix and YouTube.

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