What other features would you want on an S?

What other features would you want on an S?

Looking at the nice photo of the full glass roof (go to, click on "Model S", click on "Learn More ->" just above and to the right of "300 Miles per charge") made me wonder as others have: will it be too hot? Can you see the information on the touchscreen?

How will you "close" the view above?
Is switchable glass possible for automotive and curved glass applications? (LCD built in to the glass makes it electrically controllable to be clear vs. "frosted" (translucent) or "mirror" (opaque).

If it's possible, there would be no significant weight or volume difference from standard glass. Instant control from the dash. (Fresh air is done the old fashioned way...)

That's (1) for me.
While I'm brainstorming (fantasizing?), someday I'd like to see some other electronic features:
(2) How does Google Maps get their traffic information? Internet connected cars could easily periodically report their position and average speed for wherever they are, thus enabling intelligent re-routing of other connected cars around traffic, whatever the cause.

(3) I'm used to backup cameras. What I'd really like is a simulated view of my car seen from above, showing all the cars nearby. This might be done with front, back and side cameras and real-time stitching, or with ultrasonic or laser scanning around the car. The view would show on a display, preferably one that can be seen easily while driving. No need to look over your shoulder as you're about to cut someone off with a lane change when you already know they're there. Not a replacement for good driving, but nice.

(4) Skype application in the car. Mobile ISPs don't like it, but it would be nice.

(5) Social mode: detect other nearby cars with local connectivity (Bluetooth auto-pairing? Wireless access point from your car to others?) and talk to them over your Bluetooth mike and speakers! "Man, did you see that guy cut off the ambulance!" "Do you know any good restaurants around here?" "Do you know what's causing this traffic?" "How 'bout them Yankees?" :) "Nice day!" "I like the color of your Tesla S - wanna get a cup of coffee?" It would make driving more like walking with others in public - more personable. But you could just shut it off!

I'm sure many of you have ideas, too!

WmHires | 17. Juli 2011

brushless 4 wheel hub motors, on hwy 2 convert to generators

Timo | 17. Juli 2011

Hub motors are too weak for sporty sedan and they increase unsprung weight too much for decent handling. On heavy vehicles where tire size is big and amount of tires is more than just four they are good (world biggest truck has electric hub-motors, and huge diesel engine to run them. Basically an locomotive on wheels).

gjunky | 18. Juli 2011

+1 on the seat cooling (or vented seats like more and more cars have now)

An OS that runs the center console that is widely used (Android / Linux or iOS if apple allowed it). This would make it much easier to develop apps / skins for both displays

A way to shadow what is on your phone screen onto the main display. Both Android and iPhone and perhaps Windows Mobile 7 devices can do this. You could plug in your phone for power (storage in arm rest) and just operate the phone as is from an area on the main display. This will allow you to use it exactly as is with the same Apps/shortcuts in the same places as you are used to on your phone.

Living in Phoenix where it is 110 outside today, I wanted to comment on the idea of opening the windows vs. turning on the AC. The choice for me is simple... :) Remote control by phone of the car's AC is my top priority, directly followed by the cooled seats. It takes about 0.5 seconds for your car to get hot up in the sun here when parked outside.

+1 for power outlets in (both) trunks, 12v or 110/230, either way.
At least two 12v outlets or two powered USB ports for the front passengers. Two more for the rear passengers would be nice.

Please don't make USB ports and iPhone control an extra charge. This is just embarrassing on a luxury car.

Now for some blue sky ones:
- LCD tintable glass as mentioned. Clear when the power is off please for safety :)
- Have the glass roof be in louvers that stack in the trunk
- Self inflatable tires (I believe Hummers have these)
- Adjustable ride height
- Self Parking with parallel, backing in and home garage modes. Allow to do it after I get out
- Drive the car from my phone like Bond, James Bond to bypass the valet. Auto obstacle avoidance would be a must here.
- Rims with snow tires and hub motors in front for AWD for those cold (non-Phoenix) winters

EdG | 30. September 2011

I'm not sure how acceptable or unacceptable this would be for those who make these decisions, but it might make a large difference in sales:

Currently there are kitchen appliances (from most manufacturers) and elevators that run with an optional "Sabbath Mode". This special mode allows the device in question to operate on the Sabbath in line with the needs of observant Jews. The kitchen appliances (typically an oven) have this mode without anyone who doesn't want it being affected. The elevators don't affect anyone until one is put into Shabbat mode, and then it stops at every floor going up and then down and doesn't stop doing this until the day is over.

What I don't know is if the Model S motor generates any sparks internally. If all the power is transmitted by electromagnetic fields, but with no sparks at all, then it may be possible for a pseudo-Shabbat mode app: the car is "on" all day, no lights go on or off when entering or leaving the car.

My guess is that most observant Jews just wouldn't use any car at all, because walking as the only mode of transportation is the tradition. However, there are many who are infirm, or know someone who is infirm, and they have to bend the rules.

For these people, (and there are a lot of them, and they are adamant about particulars so they often make a very good clientele when you make them happy) implementing a Shabbat mode can be a game-changer.

If such a thing could be done to hew to the rules as much as possible (and this doesn't take much work), sales of the Model S might skyrocket.

1) No sparks
2) Any night-time lighting (i.e., headlights) would increase in intensity (not turn on) by detecting ambient light and some other inference - the less direct the better - of intended movement. For example, GPS location change might turn up the headlights. Or approaching the car with an electronic key might do it. Best to consult with a few people who actually study this stuff closely - I don't.
3) No change in lighting, even internal displays, that is not absolutely necessary. So, leave the 17" display on or off the whole time, leave internal cabin lights off, or leave one low one near the bottom of doors on at all times.

If some observant people take the bait on this, it might easily spread like wildfire, albeit for a minority of the population. But an increase of thousands (tens of thousands?) of sales are nothing to sneeze at.

BYT | 30. September 2011

I love the the Tesla Coils comment! :) I say add AirPlay to the Model S, you have that beautiful 17" screen as a canvas, take full advantage of it!

ckessel | 30. September 2011

First I assumed it must be a joke post. But regardless, Tesla is probably better off not pandering to crazy religious eccentricities. The opportunity cost of doing such versus focusing on the 99.99% of the rest of the world wide population is probably a better investment.

ThomasN | 30. September 2011

Both sets of wheels. 21 for summer, 19 for winter.

Timo | 30. September 2011

Studded tires preferably for winter.

David70 | 30. September 2011

Personally, I hate studs. I haven't used them in at least 6 years. And yes, we have snow and ice in eastern Washington.

MTriantafelow | 30. September 2011

I know I'm way late on this, but was just reading through the thread. In the AC vs. windows debate, I side with the Mythbusters.

EdG | 01. Oktober 2011

@ckessel: Sorry, it was not a joke. And, while some people may have their eccentricities, the fact that this is not an issue for the vast majority does not mean a manufacturer should ignore it.

Note that all the big name electric oven manufacturers cater to this minority of their customer base. Why? (1) It's very easy to do, both for engineering and manufacturing and (2) not having it tosses out that segment of your customer base - when your competition provides the feature.

Tesla has a different opportunity here: though the number of people in this minority who would even consider doing this is a minority of the minority, the number of increased sales would be a significant number for Tesla, and the competition (is there any?) does not provide this feature. And, if lighting is all controllable by computers, it's something one engineer can implement in a day or two. If you were an engineering manager, and having one or two people spend a day or two would add 5,000 sales, wouldn't you tell your people to implement it?

If accepted by that .01% (a big "if"), it would be a big deal for them, and word would spread faster than you could imagine. For those who could stretch to afford a Model S, they would stretch to get one. That's gold to the sales department.

VolkerP | 01. Oktober 2011


Shabat mode would include disabling the airbags, since they use a form of combustion to inflate. Not sure if this would appeal to any possible buyer! But surely will attract attention of the NHTSA.

EdG | 01. Oktober 2011


I'm certainly no expert, and your observation might be correct, but my guess as to the "correct" (hah!) interpretation would be that if it takes an explosion to save a life or limb, an exception would be okay.

Actually, the whole idea is one of an exception to start with. Only those who might not be able to walk - the elderly or otherwise somewhat incapacitated - would generally use any car at all. I just thought that such an "app" would make the Model S (or maybe it will make it the Bluestar) more appealing than any other car on the road for those who need to ride. But, even at that minority of minority, the sales could be significant. Hence my suggestion.

Timo | 01. Oktober 2011

That's so tiny minority that I wouldn't bother. Religious fundamentalists should not dictate anything regarding general public. I would want such feature removed from my car UI. Otherwise you should do it for all the 200+ religions in the world.

OTOH it could be done by software alone, so someone religious enough from their own group could write a software for it.

Brian H | 02. Oktober 2011

Are you promoting an alternative new religion, Teslaism? With First Prophet Elon, and First Temple in Freemont? :D

With charging shrines ever 100 miles along every major route, and home chapels in the garages, etc.

Sounds like fun!

Brian H | 02. Oktober 2011

typo: every 100 miles

Kipernicus | 02. Oktober 2011

Tesla, please put in the option to disable the creep.

The Model S is the antithesis of an ICE car with its inefficient automatic transmission, so why mimic its behavior?

And I don't agree with arguments that creep is a safety thing. I drive a stick shift. There is no creep. Are there studies that show that automatic transmissions with creep are safer than manual without?

Thanks for listening, and thanks for a great event last night!!

mwu | 03. Oktober 2011

It seems to me that would be something that they could provide an option to turn on / off using the touchscreen. I definitely agree -- I would want to disable the creep on it.

EdG | 03. Oktober 2011

Another vote for the option to disable creep.

Rather than creep, it would be nice if, when stopped at a traffic light on a modest incline or level ground, if the car would actually hold its position, like the "hill lock" feature of some manual transmission cars. That would provide some relaxation for the driver's right leg when the driver decides it to be safe. I'm not sure if this is a hard thing to do or an easy one, depends on what feedback the car's computers get.

Timo | 03. Oktober 2011

I would like to have same as EdG, car holding its position in incline/decline when driver does not touch the accelerator. The place where I live is on a quite steep hill so if I want to parallel park in a side of a road there (for some reason) I'm doing it either downhill or uphill. It would be nice if the car holds its position when I switch to reverse without applying brake.

Timo | 03. Oktober 2011

I would like to have same as EdG, car holding its position in incline/decline when driver does not touch the accelerator. The place where I live is on a quite steep hill so if I want to parallel park in a side of a road there (for some reason) I'm doing it either downhill or uphill. It would be nice if the car holds its position when I switch to reverse without applying brake.

Brian H | 03. Oktober 2011

Classic parallel parking technique leaves you with the front wheel canted outwards when facing uphill, so it "backs" into the curb, and inwards facing downhill.

With practice, you can p-park in one step. Back past the front car till rear wheels align. Cut in sharply, and hold till the front wheels align with the other car's rear wheels. Now cut back sharply, and continue backing. Your nose will just miss the tail of the other car (a few inches/cm). You will arrive in perfect position; you may need to turn the front wheels in if facing downhill.

That's it. Works with minis, Dodge Avengers, Cadillacs, and delivery vans, and anything else you can try it on.

The "nervous" part is as the nose passes the other car's tail, but after a while you learn to have faith in geometry.

Brian H | 03. Oktober 2011

P.S. to above: about 1 m. separation laterally from the front car to start is the general rule. Slightly more if it has a very long trunk, less if it's a hatchback or Smart Car.


Brian H | 03. Oktober 2011

Just to be clear, "Now cut back sharply, while continuing backing." Don't stop and force the cut-back; it should all flow naturally.

Timo | 03. Oktober 2011

Brian H, I'm not sure what you are trying to say there. If you think that I don't know how to parallel park a car, you are wrong.

Brian H | 03. Oktober 2011

Nope, just commenting about stability of parked cars.

That "one-step" trick was taught to me by a professional driver, who helped me perfect it. I see virtually zero people in practice who have Clue One about how to do it right.

Timo | 03. Oktober 2011

Really? That is one of the things that is required here to get a driving license. Average US people must be rather poor drivers if you don't see people doing it right there.

Brian H | 03. Oktober 2011

Yes, they are required to be able to parallel park. I'm saying that few handle it without a lot of "fussing", back-and-forthing, etc. The "one-step" isn't something I've seen any/many using.

ncn | 10. Oktober 2011

Count me as another vote for NO CREEP.

I hate "high idle" / creep. I like a car to coast to a stop when I take my foot off the pedal on a flat surface. And the electric car automatically does regen braking when you take your foot off the pedal, so it's natural for it to come to a stop.

NigelM | 10. Oktober 2011

1. Keep the creep.
2. PRND buttons please, no stick.
3. Door handles matched to the door paint color please (camouflaged).

Leofingal | 10. Oktober 2011

I also would be happy to have zero creep. stationary would be ideal, and probably pretty darn simple to implement.

ThomasN | 10. Oktober 2011

I would think creep could be programmable and be part of the user profile.

Brant | 10. Oktober 2011

1) No creep. My 1st fender-bender as a teenager was due to this (rear-ended a Corvette). Oops

2)Some ambient cabin lighting around the doors at night would be nice. Think I saw this feature in the BMW Grand Turismo. Looked very cool.

3)Spare tire and jack. Just a small one would do. Gonna need it one of these days. What are we supposed to do then? Wait for a tow?

EdG | 10. Oktober 2011

I'm not sure about this one, maybe too much bling... anyway:

I imagine the first few months of driving the Model S there will be those on the road who will recognize it, and honk or wave appreciatively. A simply toot or wave back might be the correct response. If the Model S were the type of car to have a pattern of LEDs all around, then a little light show might be appropriate.

Maybe it's possible to do something a bit more subdued along these lines? Something that shows that the car is fully programmable? Maybe a sequence of interior and/or exterior lights running as a wave from front to back and back again, once? (Don't want to flash the headlights or brights or brake lights...) I don't know if there will be enough controllable lighting to do this, but if so....

It would impress them enough to get another honk, but we'll just have to leave them hanging a bit, won't we? Just one tap on the appropriate screen app, and on your way.

EdG | 11. Oktober 2011

I don't really care about this one, but the wife does:

On many cars, there's an option for the car to lock its doors automatically after you get moving above 10 mph or so. The theory is that you've completed loading your passengers by the time you actually get going - not just moving around the parking lot or driveway.

Unlocking is done manually, as the car can't know when the driver feels safe to do so.

Volker.Berlin | 11. Oktober 2011

On many cars, there's an option for the car to lock its doors automatically after you get moving above 10 mph or so. (EdG)

IMO, that's pretty standard in this class. Possibly not even an option.

Denis Vincent | 11. Oktober 2011

There is no creep, the car does not idle, when you take your foot of the "accelerator petal", the electric motor stops running....

Timo | 11. Oktober 2011

@Denis, is that a fact or a assumption? Everywhere else I have read that car has a creep as long as it is in "forward" -gear.

ggr | 12. Oktober 2011

The roadster has "creep". Technically I don't think anyone knows for sure whether the Model S will or not. But note that it's controlled by the car's software in the roadster. While the motor is perfectly happy at zero RPM, if your foot is not on the brake, the PEM will supply power (1-2 amps) to the motor and the car tries to move forward. If you put your foot on the brake, it stops delivering the power.

Personally I don't like the creep, but I've seen the effect of someone who doesn't have their foot on the brake being rear-ended; I think they put it there as a safety feature, to make the driver hold the brake if they want to be stopped.

EdG | 12. Oktober 2011

Remember that video where Elon gets out of the car with 7 others in it? When he went to the back left door, he had to wait for the door handle to pop out.

I think it would be nice if, when in park, all unlocked door handles automatically open up for a minute or two. I guess it's not too much to ask that the driver put the car in Park when someone in the back seat is being helped out of the car by someone else outside, thus pushing the handles out.

I'm just putting it out there in the hope that these niceties get done before mid-2012.

Brad Holt | 12. Oktober 2011

I thought that handle opened up pretty quickly. Also it seems like in any other situation, people could let themselves out of the backseat.

thwang99 | 13. Oktober 2011

I'd like to throw my vote out there for cooled or at least vented seats.

I got a rental car while my daily driver was being fixed. It had cooled seats, and I LOVE this feature. My daily driver has black seats, and being that Los Angeles is super hot during the summer, my legs and back are always uncomfortable for the first 15-20 minutes of the drive, until the entire car has equalized to a cooler temperature from the AC.

If there's ONE feature I with the Tesla to have, it would be cooled/vented seats!

- Tony

Slindell | 13. Oktober 2011

- Make the "pop-tart" door handles an option (which I won't buy)
- Move charging port to front of car, behind T-badge
- And while you're there, remove the middle silver line on the front area. In fact, get rid of all the silver trim and center the T-badge

gagliardilou | 13. Oktober 2011

I would really like to see blind spot notification added to the car. They are making it a really safe car so why not add blind spot notification??? With all I am reading and seeing though, it really is an amazing car! Bought more stock!

Brian H | 14. Oktober 2011

re your "Social Mode" #5, prev. page, the pix of the BMW i8 & i3 transparent doors suggest another one (or two): "Hubba, hubba!" "Nice lower appendages!" Etc.

8-O !!

Mel. | 29. Oktober 2011

I agree with MHz, a Heads-Up display would be great.

Thumper | 03. Dezember 2011

I really want all of the modern electronic safety features that I can get on the car;a daptive cruise, lane assist, lane warning, pedestrian ID, bumper proximity etc. Everything that other companies have thought of. These will help me keep the Tesla in one piece. I know not all of them may be implemented by option finalization cutoff. How about at least planning for adding them at a later date as they can be developed. Run the wiring harness or optical fiber now. Sell me the upgrade later. I like this idea as a stockholder. It keeps the installed base of cars as and ongoing revenue stream. Reactions?

Robert.Boston | 04. Dezember 2011

@Thumper: I agree that building an "extensible platform" makes good sense, provided that it's not overly expensive and that Tesla can predict reasonably well what the extensions will/might be.

(I'll still argue that Adapative Cruise Control is a safety reducing feature because it encourages people to have cruise control on when they really should be driving the car fully under their manual control.)

Mycroft | 04. Dezember 2011

I frequently have to commute in bumper to bumper traffic for an hour each way. ACC would be a Godsend!

That said, I noticed that it was a $2,500 option on the BMW.

Mel. | 04. Dezember 2011

Heads up display, like the corvette, BMW. And Lexus, and fighter jets. Vented seats in Florida would be appreciated