The cruise control stalk sucks. Redesign it to this.

The cruise control stalk sucks. Redesign it to this.

With Autopilot feature, I am finding myself using the Cruise control stalk constantly: Enabling TACC, canceling TACC, enabling AS, canceling AS, increasing speed and decreasing speed...etc. More often than not, I find myself doing the wrong operations, either the windshield wiper came on or I pulled instead of pushed the stalk forward when I needed to cancel AP in urgent; or pulled instead of push upward to engage the current driving speed (as supposed to the last TACC speed used). I don't want to go as far as saying I hate it, but I have to say that with AP, this stalk is not simply a cruise control stalk in ordinary cars anymore, it is an AP control user I/F stalk and it needs to be redesigned to make it easier to control and much less tedious than it is today. My proposal: 2 tabs behind the steering wheel exactly the same as the triptronic transmission shifting tabs at the 9 O'clock and 3 O'clock position. pull both tabs to enable and pull both again to cancel. Each tab has 2 levels. Pull the left tab slightly once toward the driver will decrease speed by 1 mph. Pull it harder to decrease 5mph. Same for the right side tab to increase speed. Both hands on the wheel!!! In situations that you must change anything related to AP, you will most likely first need to grasp the wheel and all AP features are at your finger tips. All without having to step on the brake and canceling everything when you don't really have to (not emergency case here). In situations like this, I often find it very awkward to hunt for the cruise control stalk (and try to do so without touching the steering wheel so it can do its AS thing).

I think this change would make AP much more fun to drive/use.

poloX | 13. März 2017

Missing 1 feature, the 1s to 7s can be pushing the tab away from the driver: left tab to decrease to 1s and right tab to increase to 7s.

Saxman | 13. März 2017


I have had same mishap as you inadvertently choosing wrong stock. I'm more familiar with cruise stock since my ML350 had the same cruise system. And it also used the paddle tabs to downshift. Since Tesla used Mercedes cruise system, maybe they would consider their paddle system. never know.

Out of curiosity, no one has responded to my "theft" question post from this morning. Do you have any thoughts on why?

poloX | 13. März 2017

Saxman, I just responded to your thread. Yeah, the paddle tabs will be so much more fun. But of course, it won't happen to our cars even Tesla decided to do it. :o)

PedanticOne | 13. März 2017

I have no issues with the stalk, and I think the paddle solution seems more confusing to me.

lilbean | 13. März 2017

The paddles would be more fun. However, I have the paddles in my Jag and I frequently press them accidentally.

campusden | 13. März 2017

The only thing I have done is inadvertently turn on the high beams and not notice until a cop flashed me and then pulled me over. Luckily, I still had the temporary license tag on. It helps to not have had a ticket in 15 years.
I always use the "brake" pedal to cancel TACC or Autosteer.

MyXinTx | 13. März 2017

Honestly, not meaning to be disrespectful, but with reasonable intelligence, repetition, and human "muscle memory", it should only take a month or so to really get a handle on the genius of the AP control stalk.

I hate sounding like a "fanboy", but it is second nature to use all the integrated features that are very intuitively designed, downright genius.

It is far better than having the controls buried on the steering wheel, and it is clearly separated from the turn signal, especially from the wipers.

I personally felt the biggest challenge was going from a Cayenne with about 80 visible hard buttons lit up like a airplane cockpit to the virtual opposite in the X, and that also was just a matter of time.

To each his own I say, but I would not want Tesla to change a thing on the controls.. anywhere.

In fact, once i had a Model S loaner so old the ACC stalk was above the turn indicator, now that really threw off my controls... other allowing the volume of the AP chime to be variable... too dang loud and annoying, especially with sleeping passengers.

poloX | 13. März 2017

Wow, with a bit of intelligence too... required to operate the cruise control stalk. ha...

Turn the windshield wiper on when you rotate the tip to change the distances from 1s to 7s. Turn the high beam on when you try to turn TACC off, turn the signal lights on R when you try to engage TACC to the current driving speed. All with one left hand and 2 stalks next to each other to control and use it many times. I didn't list all of the potential mistakes out since it is just to prove a point.

To each his own, you are right there. I control the cruise control stalk for TACC and AS and change its speed all of the time so the redesign make sense to me. I would be able to change any of these setting quickly and safely than I can today with the current stalk.

carlk | 13. März 2017

It's fine the way it is. I never liked paddle control that you need to move your hands from natual position to reach it, not to mention that it moves with the steering wheel that makes it impossible to reach sometimes.

aesculus | 14. März 2017

If you want confusing controls:

lilbean | 14. März 2017


patswin | 15. März 2017

As far as always adjusting the speed goes I just set it to the max speed I am willing to go on a particular road. Then I just sit back and let other cars and my x determine the speed

mbirnie51 | 15. März 2017

Folks...please keep in mind that there is a better chance than not that the steering wheel will disappear in the modern automobile. Before I retired, I was driving 3 to 4 different vehicle a week, and I had trouble remembering which stalk controlled which function. At least we are concentrating our driving experience in the same vehicle on a daily basis, take the time to forget what your familiar with (your previous auto), and learn something new...exercise that grey matter.

poloX | 16. März 2017

@mbirnie51, I think you are right. I was not thinking far out enough. With the current TACC and AS situation and maturity, I think the change would make it way more fun to drive. But as these 2 features are matured, we probable won't have a need to touch this stalk much at all and as you said, for FSD, there won't even be a wheel.

PedanticOne | 17. März 2017

I don't know that there wouldn't be a wheel. I mean, I'd expect some sort of manual backup. How do I know? Because I watched Demolition Man. :-P