Indi One first look: Half EV, half gaming PC

Written by Jeff Lampkin

Whereas established automakers attempt to come to grips with the electrical revolution, recent EV startups are considering up revolutionary methods to cater to a brand new technology of drivers. And after trying out an early model of its upcoming automobile on the New York Auto Present, it appears like could have created the primary electrical automobile made for avid gamers.

Relating to normal specs and efficiency, INDIEV’s Indi One appears to be utilizing the Tesla Mannequin Y as a template. The bottom mannequin is slated to price round $45,000 and encompasses a 75 kWh battery, all-wheel drive and 230 miles of vary. In the meantime, the $65,000 premium model will sport a 95 kWh battery with 300 miles of vary and a 0 to 60 time of 4.2 seconds. Even the form of the Indi One is considerably harking back to Tesla’s in style electrical crossover, sporting a shortish hood, room for 5 passengers and a sloping rear finish.

The Indi One's VIC or vehicle integrated computer is located beneath the car's hood, where a frunk might be in other EVs.
The Indi One’s VIC lives beneath the hood, which implies you will not get a frunk. 

Sam Rutherford/Engadget

Nonetheless, the place INDIEV is altering issues up comes on the within. That is as a result of not like different vehicles, the premium model of the Indi One encompasses a VIC, or automobile built-in pc designed to let occupants play video games, edit images and movies, and even dwell stream whereas on the go.

Now different automobile makers like Tesla have dabbled with in-car gaming, with homeowners having fun with help for titles just like the Witcher 3, Stardew Valley, Cyberpunk 2077, and extra on its autos. However the few dozen or so video games accessible in Tesla’s Arcade function are nonetheless a far cry from what you will get from PC marketplaces like Steam or the Epic Recreation Retailer. Moreover, as a consequence of NHTSA laws, you’ll be able to’t recreation on a Tesla’s primary display whereas the automobile is in movement, which makes a variety of sense, however is a bummer for any passengers in search of different leisure.

The Indi One features two different interior screens: one running Android Automotive, and another powered by Windows.

Sam Rutherford/Engadget

However on the One, INDIEV will get round that restriction by having two massive screens on the automobile’s dashboard. There’s a primary infotainment display powered by Android Automotive, together with a second display on the passenger’s aspect working Home windows. Not solely does this imply company can play whereas shifting, it additionally means you’ll be able to set up just about any PC app you need. The automobile’s gaming credentials aren’t too shabby both. On the present, INDIEV reps advised me the automobile at present options an Intel Core i7 CPU and an Nvidia RTX 2080 GPU. However by the point the One formally goes on sale subsequent yr, the corporate is hoping to improve that to an RTX 3080 or higher (assuming we’re nonetheless not within the midst of a chip crunch).

Whereas it most likely received’t be straightforward, INDIEV says the automobile’s GPU could even be user-replaceable, so that you shouldn’t have to fret about shopping for an entire new automobile after a number of years when it struggles to play the newest AAA video games. And whereas I didn’t get an opportunity to recreation on it myself, I used to be in a position to pull up Twitch, get a look at the usual Home windows UI working beneath and see the One’s in-car streaming setup in motion. INDIEV even lets customers entry one of many automobile’s built-in cameras to seize your face, so there’s no want for an exterior webcam. That mentioned, as a result of there isn’t a built-in mouse, keyboard or gamepad, you’ll want to determine a management setup that works in your wants.

The Indi One's Windows-based computer allows users to install practically any app they want, including live streaming software and games.
The Indi One’s VIC will run Home windows so you’ll be able to set up video games or apps like Streamlabs, which you’ll be able to see working right here. 

Sam Rutherford/Engadget

INDIEV additionally teamed up with markers of ARK Park so company can dive into in VR, with the sport set to imitate the movement and turns of the automobile to scale back movement illness. Moreover, the VIC can be open-sourced and can have an SDK for builders, so when you’re not afraid of some code, you’ll be able to create customized apps and routines. And due to military-grade vibration discount surrounding the VIC, the automobile’s gaming elements shouldn’t come free as a consequence of unexpected bumps within the highway. How’s that for geeky?

Lastly, INDIEV says the One helps blockchain integration, permitting the automobile’s pc to operate as a node for an unspecific decentralized ledger. This implies the automobile might rake in a little bit of passive revenue while you’re not driving it, which seems like a pleasant concept in an alternate world the place crypto has overtaken money and credit score, however I don’t suppose we’re but. I also needs to level out that it’s exhausting to say how a lot juice gaming or working a node can have on the One’s vary, which might render each of those options moot when you’re low on battery.

Gallery: The Indi One on the 2023 New York Auto Present | 5 Images

After all, EV startups are sort of a dime a dozen nowadays. And for each Tesla that makes it massive, there are positive to be others that crash and burn earlier than reaching important mass. However as somebody who has at all times questioned why automobile makers don’t attempt to get extra utility out of the computer systems inside them, I respect the ambition. And as we seen from Tesla and different EV makers have already confirmed, the tech inside a automobile issues simply as a lot as the way it appears to be like or drives.

Now I admit that the novelty of with the ability to recreation in your automobile makes it tough to say if INDIEV’s endeavor can be a hit and even assist promote an additional automobile or two. However as somebody who by no means has sufficient time to play video games as it’s, the thought of becoming in a fast spherical of Apex Legends whereas recharging or poking away in Civ 6 as a passenger throughout a highway journey sounds implausible. So when you’ve ever dreamed about an EV that may push pixels simply in addition to your rig at residence, the One offers an fascinating glimpse at a next-gen driving machine.

Reservations for the Indi One can be found now forward of its official launch date subsequent yr in Q2 2023.

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About the author

Jeff Lampkin

Jeff Lampkin was the first writer to have joined He has since then inculcated very effective writing and reviewing culture at GamePolar which rivals have found impossible to imitate. His approach has been to work on the basics while the whole world was focusing on the superstructures.