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!

Thumper | 04. Dezember 2011

Robert.B, Your point about cruise control is well taken. I also don't need or want full park assist. I sorely want the blind spot warning because even with well placed mirrors, you can't always look in time to avoid an idiot coming into you from the blind spot. I also would use front and rear proximity sensors. Curbs and parking bumpers are impossible to see, touching them is too late and not pulling into spots as fully as possible leaves the back end out in traffic.

Peter Spirgel | 04. Dezember 2011

vented seats. All luxury cars in the anticipated price range have them as at least an option.

Peter Spirgel | 04. Dezember 2011

One other thing is a retractable cover for the full glass roof. I would like to have this roof configuration (it is beautiful!); but there are times when the glare makes a cover necessary for safe driving. It would also make the cabin cooler on hot days. I'm sure Tesla's engineers could develop something that would maintain the appearance they are striving for and still deliver the functionality of a shade.

EdG | 04. Dezember 2011

Having never been allowed to sit in the Alpha, and not seeing the Beta, I'm mostly going by what's been said here.

For the price (whatever that turns out to be -- soon? ) I'd like the interior of the car to compare favorably with the interior of all similarly priced cars. People who are looking at the car as a possibility will not be sold on the EV capabilities alone, and will be turned off if the Model S looks (inside) like a $25,000 car with a big screen.

It looks like blind spot cameras will be included in hardware - so it's only software that would make it available to me while changing lanes. And I would also like vented seats.

And I'm hoping that the driver visibility (glancing over the shoulder, etc.) is better than so many of the cars out there. If it isn't, the side cameras should do well as an assist.

Brian H | 04. Dezember 2011

RB, heard the Urban Legend(?) about the woman who bought a new Winnebago, went out on the freeway on the way home, set CC, and went into the back to make a coffee?

When rescued from the ditch, she was indignant. Sued Winnebago for not making it explicit that you still had to steer--and won. Subsequently, the point was made prominent and clear in the Owner's Manual.

Probably untrue, but funny!

olanmills | 04. Dezember 2011

I really really really want a standard two (or three) pronged outlet. I have one in my car now, and I find it to be invaluable. It's one of those things that you wouldn't think you need until you get start using it every day.

Robert.Boston | 04. Dezember 2011

@Brian H: the version of that urban legend I had heard was of the RV owner who went back to find himself a beer. Same idea....

Slindell | 06. Dezember 2011

EdG: The interior of our Model S can never compare with the interior of "all similarly priced cars", because the other cars aren't carrying $30K worth of batteries. Everyone's vision of the Model S interior needs to be taken down one or two notches.

Personally, that's why I'm not a fan of the touch display. How much does that add to the cost of an already expensive car? If I could save $10,000 and just get buttons and knobs I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Robert.Boston | 07. Dezember 2011

The touchscreen might actually be cheaper, on an all-in basis, than the instrumentation in a BMW 5-series. The labor cost to install (including wiring) all the 50+ knobs and dials has got to be substantial.

Volker.Berlin | 07. Dezember 2011

Robert.Boston, I second that. I think that Tesla made a smart move with this screen, placing the Model S as avantgarde and technically superior, while conserving money on the assembly at the same time.

The computer itself is required in any case, the only difference is whether it is interfaced through hard buttons or through the touch screen. If you put it this way, the touch screen is just a single knob to be mounted into the dash.

It isn't immediately obvious which is the cheaper alternative, but I'd venture saying that Tesla would not have gone with the touch screen if that would have increased their production cost on the bottom line.

wbrown01 | 12. Dezember 2011

I think we all would want a smart phone holder, like a cup holder but a small slim slot about 1 inch deep that you could insert the phone in and that would keep it upright so you can see the screen. I understand you can link the phone but there still is a need for this. These aftermarket add-ons are just dump. Of course this would work well with the center console that this car also needs to help it flow better and have a place to put all our stuff......Wayne from Philly

olanmills | 13. Dezember 2011

I will really really really really really miss the standard, two-pronged 120V outlet I currently have in my car (and yes, it's a car, a sedan, not a van, SUV, or something like that) if the Model S doesn't have it.

It's one of those things that you don't think you need, but find it invaluable once you get used to using it as part of your everyday life.

It's so convenient that I don't have to mess with buying special car chargers for everything. Now me or my passengers can charge/power their phones, gaming devices, MP3 players, etc using their normal chargers.

ncn | 18. Dezember 2011

OOOH, yes, another vote for a standard 120V 10 amp outlet. The number of things I might want to plug in.... just requires a small inverter, Tesla, just a little low-powered one....

EdG | 14. März 2012

With Volker's description of the rear visibility challenge due to the aerodynamic shape, I become more and more sold on the benefits of side and rear cameras, with images available on the dash. I've always been amazed at how many cars are designed with terrible blind spot visibility built into the rear side windows and roof line. Volker has given a reason for that.

The software cost is already going to the Model X. It's just a matter of getting the hardware in place.

I'd like to see blind spot cameras on every Model S off the line, as per the Model X dashboard feature.

EcLectric | 14. März 2012


I don't think you will get your wish. Engineers focused on efficiency have a hard time justifying turning DC into AC, knowing that someone will just plug a 'wall wort' into it that will waste charge 24/7. Even when some device is charging, you are wasting lots of energy turning it into AC and then immediately back to DC. If your list is comprehensive (phones, gaming devices, MP3 players, etc), then there is a better solution. Many apple devices come with an AC adapter that is just a little box (a switching power supply) that plugs into the 120 VAC and just has a USB (type-A)female connector on it. This USB connector provides 5 VDC to charge devices. If the car just has such a USB port (or a few of them) strategically placed, we can charge all of our devices with them. Even if you need an adapter from USB to 'mini USB', it would be slicker than plugging in an AC charger. Just don't try plugging in your hair dryer or coffee maker...

Volker.Berlin | 14. März 2012

I'd like to see blind spot cameras on every Model S off the line, as per the Model X dashboard feature. (EdG)

It has been said that the Model S will offer some kind of blind spot notification, at least with the Tech Package. It's not mentioned on the Options & Pricing or an the Facts page, though. I'll try to clarify in the aftermath of my Geneva visit and will post here (or in the Geneva thread).

prash.saka | 14. März 2012

@EdG and @Volker, the blind spot monitoring option is available as part of the Tech package. A Tesla rep at Boston event earlier this month confirmed it.

~ Prash.

EdG | 14. März 2012

The question has become "How is the blind spot monitoring implemented. Is it some indicator or a video feed from external cameras?"

I'm hoping for the cameras à la Model X.

Jason S | 14. März 2012

If cameras, I want those displaying next to the speedometer on demand. In preference to displaying on the console screen.

Both is fine too. =)

David70 | 14. März 2012

I've always wanted a periscope on a car. It would only have to be raised at low speeds.

olanmills | 14. März 2012

@David lol

EcLectric, you're right, my current phone charger happens to have a USB connection that I should be able to use with the Model S's USB ports. My MP3 player has a similar charger, so I guess I won't miss the standard outlet that much. (I made that post before I knew about the USB ports btw. The Options & Price page did not exist at the time). I want be able to charge my 3DS though, and who knows if my next phone will have a similar charger.

Here's another thing I would like: power adjustable gas and brake pedals.

brianman | 14. März 2012

"It has been said that the Model S will offer some kind of blind spot notification, at least with the Tech Package."
Was that on the web-facing data or from a rep. I don't recall the confirmation in written form.

I recall them saying it would be available in a 1.5 or 2.0 or somesuch.

Volker.Berlin | 15. März 2012

The car does have a blind-spot indicator. However, it comes with the Tech package. (prash.saka | February 25, 2012)

That's my only source so far. As I said, I will try to confirm since I will clarify a couple of questions anyway, debriefing my visit at the Geneva Motor Show. It'll take a week or two, but impatience aside, time isn't the primary issue here... ;-)

prash.saka | 15. März 2012

@EdG, the blindspot indicator is a small blinking warning icon on the rear view mirrors. If you are asking, how this icon is triggered, I am not sure.

~ Prash.

EdG | 15. März 2012

@prash: Did you get that from a Tesla representative? Or are you guessing because that's what it is on some other car? I've seen it implemented as indicators on the left and right side interior of the car in an Acura.

prash.saka | 15. März 2012

@EdG, I saw the indicators on the Beta when it was displayed in Boston. I asked the rep what the icons on the rear-view mirrors were. And, she replied by saying that they are blind spot monitors and come with the Tech package.

Brian H | 16. März 2012

Even better, an agile goose-neck one ---

<8-0 !!

Brian H | 16. März 2012

The above was a response to David70's wish for a periscope!

EdG | 16. März 2012

Elsewhere "valet mode" has been mentioned. The idea is to limit the speed available to, say 25 mph (40 kph), making the Ferris Bueller valet problem moot. Others have also wished for some sort of governor app so that we might not have to think about our kids doing high speed runs when borrowing the car.

It would be nice if some sort of maximum speed/acceleration app were available for these reasons and one more, hopefully coming to all of us soon:

When taking a Model S out for a test drive, it would be very nice if the store allowed us to drive a Performance model, and, while on the test drive, could limit the performance to that of a non-Performance version. This would allow us to get an immediate feel for the difference it would make in our driving, if any.

Larry Chanin | 16. März 2012

I would like to see Tesla develop a CHAdeMo fast charger adapter as an option. (I think it is unlikely Tesla will be able to roll out their proprietary SuperCharger network at anywhere near the number of CHAdeMO fast chargers that others will be deploying.)

I would love it if Tesla would offer 19" turbine wheels.

Like others I also vote for the inclusion of ventilated seats. (I think this might help reduce the air conditioning load and therefore aid in extending range.)


ddruz | 16. März 2012

It has been mentioned many times that people would like either a console and/or door pockets and that without such storage space the interior or the car seems greatly lacking. Tesla must realize this and will eventually make some type of storage space an accessory. What I'd like to see is that when this feature finally appears it does not cost extra! To charge extra for something so basic that it is standard in even cheap cars seems like an ill considered business decision in trying to attract the next wave of buyers following the early adapters.

Filipe Portugal | 17. März 2012

Solar panels on the roof...

brianman | 17. März 2012

@Filipe - watch the Fisker review video. You won't want solar panels.

EdG | 17. März 2012

@Filipe: As has been mentioned several times in these topics, solar panels on a car, under optimally sunny conditions, would only add a few miles of range per week, and are generally regarded as a waste of money.

They could be used to power a fan to circulate fresh air into a sunny cabin. Presumably you could do the same thing with a car like the Model S by telling the car to use its own batteries to blow out the hot air. You could easily decide to do this if you were charging the car daily, as is recommended. Instead, many will opt to use a phone app to tell the car to come to a comfortable temperature some minutes before getting into the car.

brianman | 17. März 2012
Originally $5,000 option....

Would only take you 500 years to break even...assuming you live in the right place and you leave your car outside for 500 years [and it's sunny full-time].

ddruz | 17. März 2012

A small solar panel could, however, provide just enough trickle charge to completely obviate the concern of bricking after a natural disaster that takes down the grid for a prolonged period of time. Just pull your car outside while you still have some charge left if the grid isn't back up when you get your warning signal. Presto.

brianman | 17. März 2012

@ddruz "A small solar panel could, however, provide just enough trickle charge to completely obviate the concern of bricking..."

If that were truly viable, then that would be a convincing application.

But going from the numbers in the Fisker video, I don't think "small" would characterize the panel that puts out enough juice for that.

ddruz | 17. März 2012

@brianman, How large would a PV panel need to be to compensate for the daily battery loss which is supposed to be miniscule if the car sat outside all day? I do not claim to know the numbers. It's probably something the Tesla engineers could figure out in a second. But if the numbers work, why not? It would totally eliminate any residual bricking fears in the public eye and it's a green solution to boot.

stephen.kamichik | 17. März 2012

The model S will have a twelve volt power outlet. One can plug a solar panel into it to trickle charge the model S.

ddruz | 17. März 2012

@stephen.kamichi: Wow, really? That is fantastic. Are you sure it would work? Would current actually flow backwards through the 12V outlet to recharge the battery pack? What a brilliant idea.

Soflauthor | 17. März 2012

@ddruz wrote: "A small solar panel could, however, provide just enough trickle charge to completely obviate the concern of bricking after a natural disaster that takes down the grid for a prolonged period of time. "

If a disaster (natural or man-made) take down the grid for 10 - 12 months, I suspect that bricking of the Model S will be the least of our worries :)

Teoatawki | 17. März 2012

I wouldn't get my hopes up. I heard that there's a 12 volt car battery to run the 12 volt systems. At best, you could trickle charge that battery.

Brian H | 18. März 2012

The only place a solar panel makes sense is on your garage roof. But the payback period (ignoring subsidies--i.e., your neighbors' money) is quite lengthy.

EdG | 15. April 2012

I'd like an app that records what's seen on the backup camera - and any other cameras installed - into memory.

The app would be active only when the car is parked, and could be programmed to record only when motion is detected.

It would be good for security to see who has been walking near the car, and it could be very entertaining coming back to the car after leaving it in a public area to see how people reacted.

Of course, like the need for larger storage for music, even at low resolution recording much more in-house memory would be necessary.

Brian H | 15. April 2012

Yep; TM needs to add a 0 to the HD. Storage is getting sinfully cheap; there's no reason to skimp.

Kallisman | 15. April 2012

I would like to have an app that record travel distances and where I park to make a travel log with dates and times. I should be able to specify text for the locations. Ability to export to a spreadsheet once a month.

BYT | 15. April 2012

@Kallisman, I can see that coming in handy for folks who need to record their mileage for work reimbursement. Just keep it an option for those with privacy concerns... :)

@EdG, The rear camera recording it a great idea, especially if the car can sense that someone hit it in anyway, door slam, driver parked too close and smacked the bumper, ect. Then maybe you have a case to take it to the insurance to get it fixed perhaps?

I the following the TMC site after a suggestion Prezpat to have the Model S act like KITT from the 80's show Knight Rider: Hopefully as part of the Software SDK for the car (Model S) you can program a name to the KeyFob to make this happen, along with maybe a quick update on news important to you, for example: "Welcome Prezpat, TSLA is up another 5 points for its 3rd 52 week high of the week and traffic on your way home appears to have a 5 minute delay so we should take the scenic route past that coffee shop which has a 50% off through Groupon offer today."

If the Model S has an SDK that would allow us to do so, anyone want to help me make it a reality? :)

Discoducky | 15. April 2012

SDK availability is the question, I'm already building quite a long list of items that *could* be done, the question is how items *can* be done with the exposed API's.

gjunky | 15. April 2012

Not sure if this is possible but can we use the car's outer body shell as a giant touch sensor? We could then use this to trigger the rear camera to record or to warn people that are getting a little too close to "stand back". :-)

CurrieG | 15. April 2012

FYI... The Leaf has a small solar panel on the roof at the back to help keep the battery topped up... Interesting idea!