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!

Brian H | 30. April 2012

I stood near a busy city street a while ago, and paid close attention to what vehicle sounds I could hear (traffic accelerating away from a light perhaps 200 yds/meters away.) Almost all the sounds were just road noise. Exceptions were mostly "deliberate" -- tuned noisy mufflers, motorbikes, etc. -- and large trucks and much older cars.

A BEV wouldn't have been any quieter than the modern passenger cars.

jerry3 | 01. Mai 2012

- A BEV wouldn't have been any quieter than the modern passenger cars.

Yes, but you can't make political points at the expense of a minority that isn't big enough to vote you out of office by taking that position.

BYT | 01. Mai 2012

"Yes, but you can't make political points at the expense of a minority that isn't big enough to vote you out of office by taking that position."

So sad but so true! How can a person have piece in their life when there is so much wrong with the world around us? I guess only ignorance truly is bliss?

Volker.Berlin | 02. Mai 2012

I venture to say that it is very hard to tell road noise and engine noise apart for a modern ICE car, with the few exceptions mentioned (tuned mufflers, motor bikes, large trucks, any ICE car accelerating above a certain rate). I have seen and listened to a lot of electric (or hydrogen, for that matter) powered cars at trade fairs and similar opportunities. Let me just say that you can't even hear the "road noise" at low speeds (or that road noise actually sounds quite different from what you think it sounds like, because you have rarely experienced isolated, pure road noise).

Brian H | 04. Mai 2012

True, it's hard to get a "clean" sample! I was noticing again yesterday, at a different even busier intersection near a large shopping mall, that vans and similar account for a large % of the engine noise. And of course delivery and semi trucks. I think big diesel is a major component of real-world traffic sound pollution.

Brian H | 04. Mai 2012

And I live perhaps ½ mi. from a major intra-city stretch of an inter-city throughway, also used for intra-city commuting. The noise level (when I attend to it) difference between a Sunday and Friday, e.g., is considerable. No distinct components, but a continuous "rushing" sound. How much of that is road noise and how much muddled frequencies from engines is very hard to say.

P.S. It's interesting that an efficient muffler converts sound energy into heat, thermodynamics being what it is.

brianman | 04. Mai 2012

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

Flash, not HD.
"Flash memory storage for up to 500 songs."

Teoatawki | 05. Mai 2012

But seriously, flash memory is CHEAP! 500 songs should mean about 2GB. You can get an excellent 32GB flash usb drive for $25.

Timo | 07. Mai 2012

SSD disks are not much more expensive either, and those are in completely different durability category. $100-$200 for one small SSD in a car that costs $50k+ is not much.

BYT | 07. Mai 2012

I'm hoping the HD's are user replaceable and not proprietary so that I can otherwise outfit my Model S with a 2TB drive for my entire collection on the car, and hoping we can even play some video on the 17" Infotainment screen when parked/camping/ect.? Maybe an SDK for user removable screens placed on the rear of the Model S headrests for younger passengers?

gjunky | 07. Mai 2012

50" in the trunk for tailgate parties.
If you put it in the frunk, would it become a frailgate party ;)

mbcaffe | 23. Mai 2012

Has anybody suggested a lane change warning system or accident deterrent system? How about enhanced night vision? I agree with everybody's post regarding heated/cooling seats.

Alex K | 24. Mai 2012

Unless it's patented, a system like the Nissan Easy Fill Tire Alert System would really help in keeping proper inflation pressure:
"Nissan is moving to make its Easy Fill Tire Alert system standard equipment on its 2013 model year vehicles. Taking the federally mandated tire pressure monitoring system to the next logical step, the Nissan system honks the car's horn when you've inflated your tires to the correct pressure. No more reading the tire pressure placard on the door jamb and hunting around in the glovebox for a pressure gauge."

jerry3 | 25. Mai 2012

The problem with that is it's a "one size fits's all" solution (unless you can adjust the alert). The tire pressure recommendation on the vehicle placard is based on a set of assumptions. If you vary from those assumptions the pressure needs to be altered to suit. Two of the main ones are that the ambient temperature is 65F (18C) for the high of the day and that you perform a daily pressure check before driving. Running the placard pressure in places like Texas or Arizona means that your tires spend most of their life underinflated.

EdG | 29. Mai 2012

For those who wanted an optional extra clear coat to protect the sides of the Model S from scratches, you've got it.

For just under $1000 you can have a protective layer added at the end of the paint process.

Reminds me of the wax option at the car wash.

EdG | 23. Juni 2012

The Tesla rep (in the GigaOM test drive ) said the car acts as a WiFi hot spot, and the 17" screen is about the size of two iPads.

That got me thinking... There should be a place on the back of the front row headrests to put an iPad for the rear passengers to watch online 4G fed videos. The thought of everyone having to hold their own... blechh.

flar | 23. Juni 2012

Instead of honking the horn when filling the tires, how about a live readout of tire pressures on the mobile app. Much quieter and allows custom pressures (though the app may want to show a status indicator when you are in the recommended range for the common cases and customers that want to stay with the stock specs).

mklcolvin | 23. Juni 2012


Now THAT's a great idea that I can get behind!!!

mikeadams | 24. Juni 2012

Not sure if this has already been mentioned... but instead of the graph showing watt hours per mile, have an alternate option of showing a graph of energy cost in cents per mile instead. All you would have to do is have it ask you how much you are paying per kilowatt hour on your electric. Or better yet, since the car has a GPS, it should know how much of a charge you put in your car at specific locations and be able to find the cost of electricity at each location.

Brian H | 24. Juni 2012

the car exploiting enhanced reality? KITT would approve.

bsimoes | 24. Juni 2012

As I was looking at "my garage" I was contemplating people's comments about extra storage. I noticed that the seats have quite a bit of wasted storage space under them, and was thinking that it would be cool if they could lift up like a hinged chest. While we're at it, perhaps the passenger seat could be insulated to act as a cooler! It would be equivalent in size. Obviously, there would have to be some sort of locking mechanism, like seats that fold down; when returned to the upright position they click into place.

foto | 25. Juni 2012

I don't know if this has been suggested yet but a petit refrigerator would not be a bad idea other than the fact that it would consume a lot of battery.

bsimoes | 25. Juni 2012

I was thinking about how storage under the back seat bench would provide for winter gear such as long and short handled scrapers, blankets,hats,mittens and shovels as well as shopping bags, emergency first aid and other "stuff" that's necessary but which clutter up the trunk space. I think if one of the under seats were capable of being used as a cooler/refrigerator, it could be shut off and only used as such when needed. The more I think about this untapped storage potential, the more I think that it's rather ingenious!--Are you reading this, Tesla?

phb | 25. Juni 2012

Ummm, the motor and drive inverter are under the back seats. I don't think that there is a whole lot of room leftover.

Brian H | 25. Juni 2012

On the axle, between the rear wheels, actually.

And bsimoes, the 2nd row seats fold individually AFAIK, so it's not really a "bench". Or is that the X I'm thinking of?

Schlermie | 25. Juni 2012

The back seat has a 60/40 split.

Brian H | 26. Juni 2012

60/40 seems odd; same as 3/2, which doesn't match any seating pattern.

Mark E | 26. Juni 2012

60/40 is very common for split fold rear seats. It's actually quite handy for when you have long things in the back and 3 people to carry.

bsimoes | 26. Juni 2012

Brian, I didn't make myself very clear; I guess I was thinking that below the individual seats, the space would be continuous, subtracting out for the motor and drive inverter. It would be more than enough for the odds and ends that I mentioned above. As a kid, we went camping in an Apache pop-up camper, and it always startled me how much would fit below the bench seats. If all of the seats in the Tesla had accessible storage, it would be amazing!

Longhorn92 | 26. Juni 2012

I believe that the charger(s) are located under the back row seats, so I'm not sure how much space there is.

ThorensP | 28. Juni 2012

One of the handiest things I had on my Lexus LS 430 was a slot on my visor that I could put by parking permit cards in (example: Office Parking, State Park annual permit, etc.). So when I went to park, all I had to do was flip the visor down and the permit card was easily viewable through the windshield.

This was one of the handiest features of the LS. I would love to see this on the Model S.

MandL | 29. Juni 2012

@akimball - I will be selling Tesla branded, color coordinated rubber bands for $250 ($600 for a three-pack!) in order to help pay for my Model S.

kingkong | 29. Juni 2012

@ MandL - you got a good point(funny one)

@ Everyone to reduce blind spot try turn both mirrors outward so the right of the driver mirror meets the left mirror of the rearview mirror; same for the passenger side(the left of the passenger mirror meets the right of the rearview). This will pretty much reduce your blind spot, but you need time to get use to it.

EdG | 29. Juni 2012

re: Blind spot removal

1) If you opt to have the rear view camera on while driving, this shouldn't be a problem.

2) Most people adjust their side mirrors so they just barely see the side of the car. This makes for too much overlap with the center mirror, and wastes precious viewing angle. I turn my mirrors away from the car so that a car that is passing just barely disappears from the side mirror as it becomes visible out of the corner of my eye. This effectively gets rid of blind spots. Once you try it, you won't go back.

Brian H | 29. Juni 2012

Does anyone still use the stick-on spherical mirror to widen the side-mirror view?

jerry3 | 30. Juni 2012

Not me. Adjusting the mirrors using the "head wobble" technique eliminates the blind spot in every vehicle I've ever driven so I've had no need for extras. What I'd like is a supplementary camera on each of the side mirrors so I could see the surroundings while looking straight ahead. Even better would be a "Battlezone" display showing a 360 degree view of the area surrounding the car.

Vawlkus | 02. Juli 2012

Brian: My Mustang came with that standard, and it took a while to get used too. Trouble is I can't scrape that thing clear in the winter, and it's unhappily not a heated mirror (not available as a dealer option). I'm looking to see if there's an aftermarket heater I can lay my hands on, but nothing's turned up yet.

NJS1207 | 02. Juli 2012

My ML450 Hybrid has a 115V 150W AC outlet that has come in very handy at times. It is a small thing but would be nice if Model S had one as well.

stephen.kamichik | 02. Juli 2012

I have written several engineering/hobbyist books. A power converter circuit is described on P.113 of "Advanced Electronic Projects For Your Home and Automobile" by Stephen Kamichik. The transformer current rating will determine the power (current) output.

digitaltim | 02. Juli 2012

I would have opted for more USB outlets and NO 12V plug...the 12V is so old school...

Teoatawki | 02. Juli 2012

If you only have USB ports you cannot power an inverter, a laptop, or other accessories like a small fridge or food warmer.

EdG | 09. Juli 2012

At that Crusoe said "An odd dynamic I noticed was rollback with no resistance. Any incline with no foot on the brake or accelerator caused the car to roll back at a very quick pace."

Perhaps a "hill lock" feature would be nice. Without a clutch it might be a bit touchy at a stop light on a steep uphill.

Given the lack of buttons, and that it seems Tesla thinks much of the steering wheel button functions should be for audio controls only (?), I suggest overloading (computer science term for using an otherwise unused language function in a new context) the cruise control stick.

Since cruise control is generally disabled under about 20 mph, when stopped it is unused. So, if the car is stopped, a flick of the cruise control stick to the "Set" position should attempt to hold the car in a stopped position until the goose (accelerator) pedal is used, at which time the feature lets off. Maybe safety concerns which I've not considered will say that you can only enable this mode when the brake pedal is held.

Perhaps this could be set as default use via the screen.

I'm assuming, of course, that the car can tell it's rolling back via some sort of motor or wheel sensor or fine accelerometer.

Volker.Berlin | 10. Juli 2012

AFAIK the Model S does already support "hill-assist" (automatic electronic hand brake). Unfortunately, that's only hear-say, but it would be very weird if it didn't. Thus I think your desired feature is already in place, although I don't know how exactly it is engaged. Probably not by way of the cruise control stalk, but honestly I don't know.

Teoatawki | 10. Juli 2012

At two points in my test drive when I had come to a halt and let off the brake the car rolled, once forward and once back. My handler said the car should roll just as any other car would in neutral.

Brian H | 10. Juli 2012

EdG | July 9, 2012
Since cruise control is generally disabled under about 20 mph, when stopped it is unused. So, if the car is stopped, a flick of the cruise control stick to the "Set"

Smart! It's even an analogous 'overload' (extension of the basic concept: cruise at 0 mph!)

Timo | 10. Juli 2012

AFAIK the Model S does already support "hill-assist" (automatic electronic hand brake). Unfortunately, that's only hear-say, but it would be very weird if it didn't.

If the car otherwise acts like stick drive and it doesn't have actual handbrake hill stops and getting back to move would be very hard thing to do. You would need to drive with both feets, left onto brake and right onto juice, which is just abnormal.

I'm actually surprised that there is no handbrake, I would have expected that to be in some of the car regulations as required control. It also makes toying with the car a bit more fun, which makes it disappointing (one minus to car design in my book).

Volker.Berlin | 10. Juli 2012

Timo, there is a handbrake, just not a manual one. Similar to most recent Audi and MB models, it's just a button. Therefore, the handbrake cannot be used for toying with the car the way you have in mind, but it's still a handbrake (or at least serves the purpose of a handbrake).

In the Model S, the handbrake is engaged by putting the drive lever into "P"(ark). It works with two additional (dedicated) calipers on the rear wheel discs. As I said, I'm sure there will be some hill-assist function (as is the case with the electronic handbrake in the Audi and MB models I mentioned above), I'm just not sure how it is activated in the Model S.

BYT | 10. Juli 2012

Hill Assist will not be available right away but will be a software upgradable item down the road. This was a rep. at the Fremont test drive event that told me so.

Timo | 10. Juli 2012

@Volker.Berlin, where is that handbrake-button located? I hope not in the touchscreen, that's the last place you want anything you need for driving.

BYT | 10. Juli 2012

Here is more on the subject on TMC,

In the Model S, the handbrake is engaged by putting the drive lever into "P" or Park. is what V.B said above and I also have never seen a "button" or lever in the Model S dedicated to that feature. At this point I feel that I have visually covered every inch of the Model S in person.