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leaving preconceptions behind

leaving preconceptions behind

A big thank you to the design team at Tesla. Once again you are pushing us all to leave behind our preconceived notions of what a car should be. Change is always hard. The model 3 nose reminds me of a formula 1 race car. The more I think about the car, the more I find myself saying "that makes sense". For example: is a "dash" behind the wheel really needed? In the past we have added instrument clusters to our cars off to the right. With every Tesla the sleek design, aerodynamics, and unique details continue to astound. Hats off to the design team for their creativity. The attention to the little details is what attracts me to Tesla. The door handles, the hidden charge port, the large storage capacity, a display us "old" folks can read easily, of course the cup holders, and the aesthetic interior design all add up to a driving experience, not just a mode of transportation. So far Tesla is the only company with the foresight to create a network of chargers which allow freedom of movement. After all, autos are all about the freedom to go where we want, when we want. Without gas stations there would be no freedom in ICE cars either. I admire Tesla's desire to aid us all into a future free of pollutants from cars. This is why I am waiting for 2 years for a car.

Chunky Jr. | 02. April 2016

I remember how much grief Apple got when they started shipping computers without floppy disks or CD drives. At first everyone thinks it is really weird and a terrible move, but soon most people realized they didn't really need those things.

Tesla may be doing the car equivalent of this. Looking ahead at what really is important, as opposed to what everyone thinks is important based on the past.

Chunky Jr. | 02. April 2016

For example, is it really important to know exactly how fast you are going? Instead of saying you are going X MPH, what if the car knew the speed limit and simply displayed a color that indicated whether you are going too slow, too fast, or just right? For example, if speed limit is 65, it will be green if you are going 63-68, but turn yellow if going 69-74, and orange if 75-80, and red if 80+. Maybe it trends towards blue if going too slow.

Maybe this particular idea is not ideal, but if you really think about what is important and what isn't, lots can change.

EVino | 02. April 2016

Part 2 is heads-up display, fighter jet HUD. Stay tuned.

borodinj | 02. April 2016

+1, EVino. I really hope this is true. Will make the car close to perfect (perfect if they offer it with a hatch).

stanaland | 02. April 2016

Very true about the instrument cluster behind the steering wheel--it's really not that optimal when you think about it! In my previous truck, the speedometer was partially blocked by the steering wheel so I always had to lift my hands slightly and duck my head slightly to check the speed. My eyes were taken off the road for half a second but it wasn't a problem at all.

diegoPasadena | 02. April 2016

Like EVino (In "EVino" Veritas?) I also think there will be an HUD. It seems the most logical and safest solution. We're used to having access to certain real-time information while we drive. Looking to the side is not the safest way to get it, and it would be diametrically opposed to Tesla's emphasis on safety. Rather than forcing us to change our driving habits and information needs, Tesla will use an elegant, unobtrusive solution to provide it to us. HUDs fit that bill.

cephellow | 02. April 2016

@DP, What real time information is really 'needed'. With respect, I hope Tesla doesn't drive their designs based on what we are used to, that would be pointless.

moorelin | 02. April 2016

Autopilot 2.0 will require info in line with driving direction, not off to the side. Either HUD or dash, or both.

danCE | 02. April 2016

Chunky, your color coding for speed is a neat idea!

cephellow | 02. April 2016

I remember my grandmother's early 70's Oldsmobile 98 having a linear speedometer that would change colors with speed, pretty cool. She always kept it in the red on the highway.

jordanrichard | 02. April 2016

Now, before we starting praising Tesla for the idea of putting the "instrument panel" in the center screen, this is not a new idea. A number of other cars have this set up. Granted it isn't a 15" screen.

miburns | 03. April 2016

jordanrichard who did it before the Model S? Not just a toy screen but one you can do almost everything on

Tropopause | 03. April 2016

Scion xB and Mini Cooper have central speedo's, albeit analog gauges.

If we are to eventually to go autonomous, the information will need to be accessible by all.

BTW-

Chunky,

Some airplanes have a Back-Up Speed Scale which is a color-coded gauge (red-green-red) without numerics, allowing a pilot to fly "in-the-green" to a safe landing. Very simple, yet effective.

Tropopause | 03. April 2016
Chunky Jr. | 03. April 2016

@Tropopause : thanks for sharing that. When driving, the absolute speed is not as important as the speed relative to the speed limit.

Red Sage ca us | 04. April 2016

Chunky Jr.: +1! Great ideas!

This is the Renault Scenic interior console and dashboard design:

PhillyGal | 04. April 2016

The Model S dash display is gorgeous but "they gotta do what they gotta do" to get this thing built on time and on budget. Onward!

Red Sage ca us | 06. April 2016

Do you really need a vent that blows cold or hot air directly at your face?

Is it absolutely necessary to have bezels, and stitching, and leather, and pillows, and quilts, and wood accents, and stuff in front of you in the driver's seat?

When was the last time you actually had gloves in the glove compartment?

How much of traditional automotive interior design is necessary as opposed to simply being tradition?

jamilworm | 06. April 2016

Regarding the air vents... I kind of do think it is necessary to point the air at your face. When I get in the car after playing soccer on a hot day, I crank up the AC and blow it directly on my face. I don't want to wait for a passive AC to gradually lower my car temp from 100 degrees F. I'd be roasting and be home before it even got comfortable.

Red Sage ca us | 06. April 2016

jamilworm: That's what the app on your mobile phone is for... You can cool the car remotely before you get there. Next?

Chunky Jr. | 06. April 2016

It would be nice if you could put the car in a mode where it will keep it at a certain temperature while you are away instead of letting get really hot and then possibly forgetting to turn on A/C. You'd set the maximum temp you want the car to be, and the car makes sure it never gets above that temperature whether you are in the car or not.

Of course if you forgot to turn this off, you could be in for a rude surprise, so perhaps it defaults to off, you enable, and then it disables itself again once you turn the car on.

smiffy99 | 06. April 2016

"When driving, the absolute speed is not as important as the speed relative to the speed limit." Chunky Jr.

The most important part about speed is the speed relative to the road conditions. Unless I'm in town and driving through residential areas the speed limit is secondary to being safe, just like when you're on a track.

Red Sage, have you any idea how much charge air con chews up from the battery? You will want to have vents that you can aim and point at your sweaty noggin. Personally, living near Sacramento, I'm not a fan (pun intended) of the glass roof. The inside of the car will be somewhere between the temperature of the surface of the sun and a lightening bolt. I'm going to have to give my 3 a literal pointy tin foil hat to reflect the heat from the sun. The moon roof on my Prius is supposedly solar reflective blah blah blah but if you leave the sliding panel under it tucked away it's 2 bazzilion kelvin and even the cloth seats dry roast your wedding tackle in seconds.

smiffy99 | 06. April 2016

There was a solar option on the 3rd gen Prius. The panel provided ~60 watts to power the cabin fans to blow in outside air when the temperature difference between inside and out was fairly large. It works well and I love that feature. What I found out from the remote start AC included in that package is that it chews up the max allowable charge in ~3 minutes. In a 3rd Gen Prius with the 1.3KWh battery, you're allowed to use a whopping 600 Wh. So, if the electric AC in the Tesla is about as efficient, you'll get about 5 minutes per 1KWh of charge. You definitely don't want that kind of depletion if you're visiting somewhere for more than a few hours, or even just leaving your car sat on the driveway.

Just have a cellphone app to turn on the AC based upon location services if you're away from home or even just open up the app and hit 'turn on AC'

smiffy99 | 06. April 2016

There was a solar option on the 3rd gen Prius. The panel provided ~60 watts to power the cabin fans to blow in outside air when the temperature difference between inside and out was fairly large. It works well and I love that feature. What I found out from the remote start AC included in that package is that it chews up the max allowable charge in ~3 minutes. In a 3rd Gen Prius with the 1.3KWh battery, you're allowed to use a whopping 600 Wh. So, if the electric AC in the Tesla is about as efficient, you'll get about 5 minutes per 1KWh of charge. You definitely don't want that kind of depletion if you're visiting somewhere for more than a few hours, or even just leaving your car sat on the driveway.

Just have a cellphone app to turn on the AC based upon location services if you're away from home or even just open up the app and hit 'turn on AC'

Red Sage ca us | 07. April 2016

smiffy99: Typically, if you know it is hot as [HECK], you can just tell the car to switch on the air conditioning 10, 15, or 20 minutes before you come back to the car. The likelihood of that burning through more than a handful of miles during that time frame is practically nil. There is no need to have your car refrigerating itself for hours on end.