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!

BYT | 15. April 2012

I don't want Tesla Motors to add solar panels to the Model S as its too late at this point, however, there maybe a market for someone to come up with super efficient solar panels that can inlay under the pano roof for trickle charges for those who need to leave the car parked at say the airport for a month or more? Maybe panels are not efficient enough today for this but in a couple years?

Timo | 15. April 2012

Brian H | April 15, 2012 new

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

That small HD might actually cost more than larger one very soon: Nobody just makes disks that small, so you need pay extra to get them. Larger disk might be cheaper for Tesla too in long run (disk size stays relevant).

Brian H | 16. April 2012

Roof solar has been beat to death here. It's a tiny trickle charge, available only when out in the sun, and VERY expensive hardware, compared to any other source of watts. Just a showpiece hook for those who don't grok arithmetic.

ddruz | 16. April 2012

I would like to see a height adjustable rear seat, one you could lower 1 to 2 inches, or an optional fixed lower rear seat. I'm wondering how much Model S' minimal rear seat headroom will discourage would be luxury car buyers after the first wave of enthusiasts like us is exhausted.

Brian H | 16. April 2012

Someone commented that having the headrests in on the rear seats improved clearance considerably, even for quite tall passengers. Something to do with the slope of the roof and positioning, I guess.

Volker.Berlin | 16. 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. (EdG)

I love this idea. That makes it quite likely that you can discern the number plate of a car that was parking next to you, when you discover a new ding or scratch. Once you have a suspect, it's easy for the insurance to prove that the suspect was actually the one that hit your Model S' paint just a little too hard.

Volker.Berlin | 16. 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! (CurrieG)

This question keeps popping up in these forums. Here are some threads that may be worth reading:

To summarize: The opinion here in the Tesla forum is that solar panels (as can be found on the Fisker Karma) are merely for coolness and (pseudo) green image. The amount of electricity generated by a photo voltaic area as small as the roof and/or bonnet of a passenger car is so small, that a) it is not really good for anything except maybe running an additional fan while the car is sitting in the sun, and b) if you want to run an additional fan you could as well draw the power from the main battery which would not be affected much. Photo voltaic cells need to be produced, integrated into the car's electricity, and maintained -- at the current state of technology, it does not seem worth the cost and trouble.

mvbf | 16. April 2012

There are way too many posts to read through. Would someone more diligent than myself tell me if anyone has suggested a sophisticated on board wireless diagnostic system to problem solve mechanical and especially electronic maintenance problems from afar.

prash.saka | 17. April 2012

I'd like to see this Take a hikeflight

~ Prash.

EdG | 17. April 2012

Great video embedded there. Pretty funny.

MandL | 18. April 2012

This one would be a much more appropriate complement to your Model S:

Vawlkus | 18. April 2012

You know what I want? I want two water cannons in the front end. Then when I pull up behind some polluter, I can clean his exhaust up some so I don't have to smell him.

abadasp | 18. April 2012

Heated and cooled seats, Video dvd player in trunk seats, Front and rear cameras for parking, Home link, folding mirrors, Charging ports on both sides of car, Seat massage option,All wheel drive, Notice to pick options on my model S signature car.

jerry3 | 19. April 2012

I'll second the charging ports on both sides.

Mike_ModelS_P457 | 20. April 2012

I would also like the charger on both sides. An auto eject of the charger when you start the car would be nice as well. I'm a volunteer on my towns fire department and all of our trucks have this for the shoreline. It is massively convenient when you are in a bit of a rush.

As to the release of the SDK, I have to assume it is a matter of time before that comes out. I'll be at the NYC reservation holders event this Sunday and will ask about that. Minimum I would like to understand what can and can't be managed via a user. I have a hope there are simple things a non-coder can do, as well as something for people like me who can code to some extent, but not well enough that anyone would pay me for my work.

I would love to know if the HD is SD or a more traditional disk drive. I hope it is SD because a, fewer moving parts are always good and b, then it can be swapped out for a higher capacity unit at a later date. Basically, it would make the Model S a Mac Book Air on some serious steroids!

I'll miss my cooled seats from my Lexus HS, but given the S's ability to self cool (at least we assume, via an app on the openers handheld device) it is probably not really needed.

steven.maes | 20. April 2012

Heated seats, indeed, very comfortable in winter according to my wife :-)

joesontesla | 20. April 2012

120 volt 15 amp output in frunk or plug in charging port adapter can be very usefull to some.

dborn | 20. April 2012

Heated seats are really good for those of us with bad backs. In hot climate, cooled seats are great because although the car can be pre cooled, you get sweaty under the thighs in fairly short order on a long drive.

petero | 21. April 2012

I am going to lose points on this one. I prefer back-up sensors over cameras! Yes, they are a ugly (not as ugly as a big dent) and old school. The rear visibility in the “S” is not outstanding , especially at night, for the few of us who parallel park.

Brian H | 22. April 2012

Here's the trick that means you only have to see the rear tire of the car you start "beside" (about a yard away).
1. When your rear wheel is even with the other car's, cut in hard, and continue moving.
2. When your front wheel passes the same wheel, cut back hard. Stop when you reach the curb; you're perfectly parked.

It takes a while to get over the nervousness of your car's nose just clearing the other car's rear by a few inches, but it works with every size from mini to delivery van to V8 monster.

petero | 22. April 2012

Brian H.


BYT | 22. April 2012

I like petero's suggestion as well, not for parallel parking but for all the other objects you might bump into. I have trouble judging a backup camera's distance from the object, but the audible "beep" the get's faster as you get closer then the flatline sound when you are just too close is perfect for me. Maybe with time I will get used to the backup camera as well and I am just currently so used to the backup sensors in my Rav4. Time will tell.

Timo | 23. April 2012

There's a 1.5 in Brian H parallel park advice:

Aim your car rear to only slightly off to car behind you at the curb side. (the amount do you say behind your rear wheels determines how much off you need to aim, if they are at the very corner of the car, then there is almost zero aiming correction to make).

I have seen far too many cars making that "cut in hard" way too hard and ending up to the curb. If your car fits to the opening at all you don't need to turn much (but you still need to do it sharply, if the space is tight).

Anyway, it is good to just plain practice and learn the dimensions of your car until you know exactly where they are. Brian H advice might not work if you have very long nose at the car (you hit the car if front of you if you turn in too early), or you leave big gap in there if there is almost no nose. Model S has very round nose which helps avoiding the hit.

Brian H | 23. April 2012

Your English has failed you (us) here; "Aim only slightly off to car behind your rear wheels determines ..." is grammatically and syntactically incomprehensible. What is "off"? Why two verbs in the sentence? Pls try again ...

As for the nose clearance, the distance between front wheels and bumper is the only variable, and the car geometry tends to compensate for even that (long wheelbase = larger turning circle, etc.) In any case, a few practice 'runs' will give the right degree of "cutting" needed for a given car.

Fitting in small spaces is part of the benefit, btw. It's amazing how little space is needed with the "hard cut".

steven.maes | 23. April 2012

I was sitting in a friends Merc last week. This car parked itself. It scanned the area, distance between the cars, etc and parked it smootly between the car.
Since Tesla and Daimler are cooperating, perhaps this would be a feature to think about ...

Volker.Berlin | 23. April 2012

Brian H, may I suggest that you teach yourself some Finnish, such that you can properly explain to Timo what you think he might have missed.

Timo | 23. April 2012

off target. Don't aim directly to the front of the other car. Slightly as in don't aim at the curb either. Miss the exact center from the curb side. I realize I have left some words out again...

"to only slightly off to car behind your rear wheels determines"

I don't see that sentence in my writing though. That's mixture of two different sentences. Did your eyes jump the line?

Brian H | 24. April 2012

Must have been a display glitch; my quote was copy-pasted.

As for "aiming", properly done, no aiming is necessary. Parallel to the car beside, till rear wheels align, cut in, then cut back when front wheels reach the same point.

So "aiming off" made no sense to me.

Timo | 24. April 2012

How do you define "cut in"? If your car is long one with a very tight turning circle and you don't do that aiming you easily end up at the curb by just turning. Also hitting the other car (front one) is actually quite likely if the turning circle is very small. You need to do a bit more than just use the wheels as reference points. Some Mercs turn on a dime, for car of their size they are very agile, and Model S looks like it too can turn very sharply (turning circle is just 37 ft based on specs, which is rather small for car that has 116.5 inch wheelbase).

wbrown01 | 24. April 2012

Storage compartment under the rear seat (or seats).

The floor is flat, there are no parts I can think of in that space. It should be large enough to fit my laptop bag plus some. That would work to get all these things that collect on the floor and on my seats now. I know mine is not the first request for this great idea.

BYT | 24. April 2012, Not enough room unfortunately. I sat in the drivers seat and the range that is can go up and down is fantastic, unfortunately because of that range it also practically can lay as down flat as the flat floor itself so storage will not work there I am afraid.

Volker.Berlin | 24. April 2012

Storage compartment under the rear seat (or seats). (wbrown01)

+1, that's a great place to hide things that you want to leave in the car without tempting would-be thieves. Actually quite similar to the frunk, except that it is not so obvious to potential observers when you access the hidden storage before leaving the car.

Volker.Berlin | 24. April 2012

BYT, he is (we are) suggesting storage under the rear seats.

BYT | 24. April 2012

@Volker.Berlin, Ahhh, sorry, I read what I wanted to read there. I don't see much plus side to storage under the rear seats. I think the space there is limited and combine that with all the open storage space the Model S already has, there isn't all that much utility. Maybe a little for rear passengers but that's about it.

olanmills | 24. April 2012

I'm sure I've mentioned this somehwere before, but i would like to be able to control all of the windows on the touchscreen. I would like to be able to open them all or close them all at once, or any variation in between.

petero | 24. April 2012

olanmills. I don't mind being able to control the windows from the touchscreen. I prefer to have the window control buttons on the door. I am a bit 'old school and I like 'press and play' on certain functions like windows and side mirrors. Quick and easy.

I was sitting in the Newport Beach CA Beta and noticed the dash's simplicity-only two buttons (emergency flashers and the glove box release).

Brian H | 24. April 2012

"Cut in" means begin turning the rear of the car towards the curb.

Anyhow, it just works. One thing to avoid, of course, is stopping the car's motion to force the wheels to turn. The whole operation is a single smooth flow. One-step perfect parking.

olanmills | 25. April 2012

petero, I know what you mean. I would still want window controls on each door as well. And certainly, something like 'all down' and 'all up' could also be implemented at the driver side switches, but, I still think it would be awesome to use the touchscreen to tell the car, "All windows open %25" for example.

I find it really annoying in my current car that I can auto-down or auto-up the driver side window, but not any of the other windows.

I like the functionaily of the pano roof controls, and I wish the same existed for the windows.

Really, I wish everything in the car could be controlled by computer. Once the capability is there, then it opens up so many possibilities via software.

BYT | 26. April 2012

@olanmills, that would be awesome to open all the windows from an iOS app or when in the car just press then Voice Commands button on the steering wheel and say, "open all windows and the sunroof." I love doing that on the warm summer days here in CA and usually on the remote for my Honda Accord would hold the unlock button down to do just that before I even reach the car. It's fun to have people walk up with me and say, "has the car been sitting here with the windows all rolled down like that?"

Teoatawki | 26. April 2012

Now if you could get it to do that in response to, "open the pod bay doors, Hal!" you'd really have something impressive. XD

EdG | 26. April 2012

We will be able to see the rear camera's view on, say, the bottom half of the 17" screen while driving. That's great. Better, I think, would be to replace the background (solid?) color of the dashboard screen with the rear camera's output.

The information (speed, charge remaining, etc.) could be set in some two-tone contrasting colors so they'd be readable no matter the signal from the rear.

End of blind spots. No new hardware needed?

BYT | 26. April 2012

Neat, rear camera video feed as the background for everything but the navigation map if setup that way as an option?

Brian H | 26. April 2012

Hm, probably there'll be an app for that, forthwith!

I can imagine there'd be quite a list of "personalized quotes" people would like to use as alternate Voice Command wordings for this and that. "Warp 9, Scottie!" etc.

olanmills | 27. April 2012

Speaking of personilzation, I'm really hoping we will be able to skin the UI (especially the guages) and customize any sounds the car may have. And by 'skin the UI', I mean more than just skin with color or static graphic changes. I think it would be awesome, if for example, you chose a completely different way to represent and animate the speed guage. Obviously, there are practical and safety concerns. So maybe, at the very least, Tesla could provide different pre-canned options to choose from, rather than just letting it be completely customizable.

jkirkebo | 29. April 2012

Yep, I second that speed gauge suggestion. I would definately not want anything resembling an old-fashioned analog speedometer after driving the Leaf with it's digital one. I find the digital one much easier to read/use.

cybercop | 29. April 2012

I so want a KITT package. Maybe I can rentacoder.

ThomasN | 29. April 2012

Or a Cylon package... "by your command"

Slindell | 30. April 2012

Some are concerned that electric cars are too silent. Therefore I want to be able to upload different sounds to broadcast from the front. A short list:

- Harley motorcycle reving sound
- Saturn rocket
- Jetson flying car
- Star Trek warp "woosh"

Teoatawki | 30. April 2012

Some ICE vehicles are practically silent at slow speeds, so I'm not too concerned.

However, if I'm forced to have an added noise, I want a Dalek voice saying, "Exterminate, exterminate" to let pedestrians know where they really stand.

Timo | 30. April 2012

+1 to daleks. :-D

Maybe Cylon humming red light as a little bit more serious?

There exists also a kind of sinister humming sound that automatically triggers me to be more alert. Something that interacts directly with instincts. Hard to describe, but it does exist. I believe those musicians that work on blockbuster films do know what I'm talking about. It is something that could maybe be found using mathematics behind theory of music. If you could get that as sound to warn people it would not need to be loud to trigger sense of danger, and it isn't just simple annoying "beep beep".

OTOH if enough of cars emit that sound it could suffer an inflation quite fast. Or make people crazy. "mass panic in busy intersection". :-)