Parking Sensors

Parking Sensors

I just reserved a new Model S but my only hesitation to purchase is the lack of front and rear parking sensors. I love everything else about the Model S but I can't figure out why they would not have parking sensors. All comparable (gas) cars have them as standard options these days. I currently drive a Maserati Quattroporte, which is very lacking on the tech side, and it even has parking sensors. I am really hoping it becomes an option on the Model S before mine goes into production. Front sensors make parking much safer and easier and rear sensors give great audible feedback if you are looking out the rear window. Is there some kind of technical reason why the Model S does not have them? Hopefully other drivers out there agree and if you do please voice your opinions as maybe we can get this added.

dborn | 30 December, 2012

I too hope you are all correct. However, it seems crazy if they are already there that they were not activated from the get- go. Especially if there is not control hardware to add...

BYT | 30 December, 2012

@dborn, Not that crazy, we have Internal Hard Drives that aren't activated yet, some features promised at signing not an option on my Model S yet, no parcel shelf or 3rd row seats. I'm not surprised at all if they have the sensors in place and haven't activated them yet. I just hope it's true!!

vouteb | 31 December, 2012

I don t believe it
I know they might have other priorities but if the hardware is in the car then surely they have or have thought about the software
The fronrt parking sensors are a must for this big car and nose cone

Velo1 | 31 December, 2012

Car Toys has a great compromise here. It can be mounted under the bumper or along the top or bottom edge of the license plate(s). No holes, no nubs.

I am thinking of this option as a temporary retrofit. If indeed TM has a long-term solution in mind, as someone here said the wiring is already in the car for future sensors, then this device from Audiovox can then be removed and the TM upgrade be installed.

Pungoteague_Dave | 31 December, 2012

I don't believe DrDon's source. DC sales says there are no parking sensors or adaptive cruise control provisions on the current car. Further, the mixing of parking sensors and adaptive cruise control in his post indicates the respondent was programmed to say yes (often the answer when talking to a TM rep, whether or not true). These are two completely separate technologies. Adaptive cruise control costs a bunch, as it requires a long range onboard active radar sending and receiving unit. I have this on two cars, a Benz and a Prius, and it is wonderful in stop and go beach traffic. The parking proximity sensors are much simpler radio technology and work only over the short range. High end luxury cars should have both but it seems we will have to wait for Gen 3.

BYT | 31 December, 2012

I love my Model S and think TM hit it out of the park! An experience at a traffic light yesterday was an example of that! ;)

I have to admit however that if the Gen3 comes out with more features, luxury or creature comforts beyond the Model S at the price point expected... I'm going to be a little upset.

Brian H | 31 December, 2012

says for back only, activated by reverse light.

lph | 31 December, 2012

If the harneses are in place, I wonder if Tesla is needing more time to integrate the software. Anyone who has done computer programing would know it takes a lot of effort to debug algorithums to get to acceptable reliability.

BYT | 31 December, 2012

That's what I was thinking Iph, it's easy to sit back as the customer and say, "there is no reason Tesla can't do this or have already added that..." when in reality, they have a lot on their plate and deadlines to meet. They have time to push it out later and have made no secret that the car will get better in time.

vouteb | 31 December, 2012

can t we just email TM or GB and ask if the hardware is in the car??

nickjhowe | 31 December, 2012

Or just ask the guys who fitted that hidden trailer hitch - they had to remove the rear bumper...

vouteb | 31 December, 2012

but thats the rear.....

one2mark | 31 December, 2012

I think a better solution might be to add a camera to the front of the car and have half of the screen display the front camera when in drive and the rear camera when in reverse, or as per user selection. This would be great for parallel parking. The cameras are cheap. I am going to put an aftermarket system in my Tundra.

brooklynrab | 1 January, 2013

Going back to the original message of this thread, I really, really want this company to succeed, but I will not pay a luxury car price for a car that does not provide features of the Toyota Altima (or a Kia for that matter). When my number comes up, I will not configure and will simply cancel my deposit and wait for version 2, unless they can give me parking sensors and blind spot warning lights. This is a big, wide car and its competitors virtually all offer these options. I am reluctantly willing to put up with an incomplete interior (no passenger compartment storage -- buy your own!?!) and no grab handles, but when it comes to these safety features, forget about it.

desiguy | 1 January, 2013

+1 brooklynrab we at least need an assurance from TM that this could be added later. I don't mind waiting for 3-6 months without it, but after paying nearly 100K on the car, if I cannot this technology hard to convince my wife this is an advance over my e350. re: interior - only thing I miss is the back seat handle.

vouteb | 1 January, 2013


GeekGirls | 1 January, 2013

Having worked extensively on high tech products (though not automobiles) I can assure you that telling a team that they have to do everything each of their competitors does is a disaster. Talented people don't want to spend all their time copying someone else, and compelling designs don't come from a committee. It's a delicate balancing act to see where you need to meet established expectations and where you'll invest in doing something legitimately new.

I was also disappointed that the Model S doesn't have parking sensors and I'd love to see a good solution make an appearance after the fact, but it didn't stop me from buying the car or loving it once I did.

tork | 1 January, 2013

Whats a Toyota Altima?

TeslaLABlue | 1 January, 2013

With or without I am getting. Can always go to someone like west coast customs aka pimp my ride for parking sensors and folding mirrors

Pungoteague_Dave | 1 January, 2013

GG, it is a car, so therefore derivative of all that came before - 4 wheels, doors, roof, headlights and steering wheel in the normal spots, etc. There is some original design at the margins, but the fundamentals are not much changed from EV's that existed 100 years ago. If the designers want to be creative purists or artists, let them do it somewhere else. Automotive technology is like a ratchet. Whenever a new technology is implemented at one marque, and then accepted by consumers as either necessary or desirable, the competition must follow or be lost in the dust. Adaptive cruise control, lane keeping and active parking assist were not well know nor understood a few years ago. Many on this forum have never experienced them so do not yet understand how much they add to safety and the drIving experience. But they are catching on fast and the word is getting out, and even the mass market is getting the message via Ford and Toyota putting these features on midrange cars like the Prius and Fusion. Like Apple, TM will be forced to add mainstream features that consumers adopt elsewhere first. Designers who resist will be pushed aside.

Volker.Berlin | 1 January, 2013

GeekGirls +1

Getting Amped Again | 1 January, 2013

Both GeekGirls and Pungoteague_Dave are correct; the former represents the thoughts of many of the Early Adopter reservation holders, and the later represents a realistic warning to TM about the inevitable competition from the Big Guys. It would be interesting to revisit these posts about three years from now.

dborn | 1 January, 2013

Have asked the question on the bulletin board. Since nkincaid only seems to answer when a "sufficient" number of queries are received, i suggest that as many posters here as possible pose the question on the bulletin board.

dborn | 1 January, 2013

Sensors and grab handles are both aids for the physically challenged - I include myself in that list - which is why I regard both as essential and not simply "following the herd" of other car makers. I therefore disagree with GeekGirls. External mirrors that adjust as well as fold automatically is also in this group. (i.e. external mirrors that tilt down when in reverse and restore in forward gear.). Some things are luxuries, others are safety/mobility aids with well established engineering not requiring reinventing the wheel. All that is really required from Tesla is the integration with the cars electronics. Those with neck problems will REALLY appreciate the mirrors as well as the sensors - the camera is not sufficient since the sensors also give audible warning, not requiring taking ones eyes off the road/mirrors.

GeekGirls | 1 January, 2013

I certainly didn't intend to dispute the value of the feature. As noted above, it was something I was hoping to find as well.

My point was merely that you can't simply do everything everyone else is doing. You have to choose what to prioritize. Starting a new car company from the ground up is a massively complex undertaking. I have no doubt that future Tesla vehicles will have some form of parking assist, in part because they've heard about it loud and clear from their customers ... but I understand and admire their willingness to challenge the status quo. If they didn't, they'd be making Yet Another Hybrid, and what fun would that be?

sergiyz | 1 January, 2013

Cameras on all four sides (rear, side mirrors facing down and front) would work great, like they do it on Infiniti's, although they have sensors too.
With the Tesla's huge screen I don't miss rear parking sensors at all.
Front camera would be a nice add-on, since most of the parking sensors I had couldn't notice a curb right in front of them if it was below the bumper or even slightly above the bottom edge of the bumper.

Volker.Berlin | 2 January, 2013

To expand further on why I agree with GeekGirls: Implementation of those features that all the others already have is (relatively) easy. But it's not free, in terms of time, work, material... If you start a new car project with those things, then you'll never get an interesting alternative car to market! By the time you need to market, or your resources are depleted, you haven't even started working on the aspects that set you apart from the competition. You'd have a car that is almost as good as every alternative, at higher cost (b/c you are new in the business, no scale effects, no cross-financing, etc.) and from a no-name brand. Who would buy your product? No way you could build a new car company around that model.

You need to start with the new stuff and quickly set yourself apart from the competition. And you have to put in enough resources to get it right, because otherwise it'll remain an interesting concept without real customers. Of course that means you have to cut some corners and make some compromises. No problem: If the car offers a compelling alternative for some focus customer base, you can build a sustainable business around it and add in all the other features one after the other.

It's no coincidence that the Model S has been brought to market in that very shape and form. And I don't think Tesla has many degrees of freedom in order to succeed in the long term. Sure, it cannot be everything to everybody, and we'd like it to. But in the bigger picture, it doesn't have to: At this very moment, Tesla could sell more than they can produce. That's all that counts, because this simple fact buys them time (money, work, however you want to put it) to implement the things they need to broaden their customer base in the long run. It doesn't work the other way around.

vouteb | 2 January, 2013

.......ok, but I still need the front parking sensors!


Volker.Berlin | 2 January, 2013

vouteb, you can have them! Later... ;-)

vouteb | 2 January, 2013


cerjor | 2 January, 2013

I think I will hang of picture of my wife and each day will pull the car up to kiss it. I also thought of a picture of my least favorite politician so I could pull in and hit it.

loewenberg | 2 January, 2013

Tesla should consider a software enhancement that shows where you are going when the car is in reverse. The extreme wide angle of the lens makes it difficult to tell where the car is tracking. Many luxury cars have had this software enhancement.

philco | 2 January, 2013

A camera to see where you are going is not enough if you live in a country like Belgium where it rains a lot. On my current car I can't see anything on my screen when it has been raining for a few hours or when I have been driving on wet roads for a while. So I appreciate a lot that on my current car i have both the reverse camera and the sensors. On top of that I want a decent working GPS. 3G in Belgium has very very bad coverage, not to mention we start having heavy roaming costs once we drive across the Dutch border (or French, or German) which is never far away in our small country. Without it I will also wait for the +100.000 euro car to be worth its price

JZ13 | 3 January, 2013

I just asked a product specialist at the Newport Beach store if parking sensors are installed in the cars and he said he has heard nothing of the sort. He said the only thing he knows of that is installed but not yet active is the wifi which we all know about.

Volker.Berlin | 4 January, 2013

He said the only thing he knows of that is installed but not yet active is the wifi which we all know about. (JZ13) the internal media storage!

Captain_Kong | 4 January, 2013

Guess one can always email GB and find out about the "hidden" parking sensors?

dborn | 4 January, 2013

Put the question on the bulletin board.

Brian H | 4 January, 2013

There are certain surprises which only Elon is allowed to reveal!

BYT | 4 January, 2013

"There are certain surprises which only Elon is allowed to reveal!" A hang over from Steve Jobs, "One more thing!" Cult of Mac Classical Moments? :)

Crumpit | 18 January, 2013

my Series S is 2 weeks old and i scraped the rear passenger side fender and bumper on a column backing into a parking space that never would have happened with sensors. i had parking sensors on my 2005 Mercedes that had 10% the technology that the Tesla does. Makes no sense.

Brian H | 18 January, 2013


Winnie796 | 19 January, 2013

Parking sensors are a must! Or my wife will never be allowed to drive it anywhere.

djp | 19 January, 2013

so that's why Elon didn't allow them

Brian H | 19 January, 2013

I think you just committed yourself to aftermarket sensors ...

ssuszka | 27 February, 2013

To those of you that are threatening to cancel your orders if there aren't sensors, I must ask whether you've even driven the car yet. Once you do, maybe the griping will end. If not, why don't you just use the money you save on gas to buy aftermarket sensors? I've never owned an expensive car before so I've never had them and could care less. You also seem to be forgetting that you are getting MANY things that you can't get from any other car maker.

Brian H | 27 February, 2013

Tantrums have always worked before; why not now?

mlaiken | 27 February, 2013


I have driven the car and I decided to go ahead with my order. I am still bummed there are no park sensors and I do plan on adding them aftermarket because once you have front parking sensors it becomes very difficult to park without them. I guess ignorance is bliss in this case, but since I already had a car a few years ago without sensors that I dinged in my garage, I feel it is a must have.

DanD | 27 February, 2013

Already scraped my front bumper in a very tight garage entry situation. Sure wish I had some parking sensor help or even "auto parking".

jat | 27 February, 2013

I agree -- if you can't avoid running into things without parking sensors, by all means you should get them installed.

I have never owned a car with parking sensors yet somehow I have managed to never hit anything while parking (including getting into some really tight parking spaces) in over 30 years of driving.

shop | 27 February, 2013

Careful what you wish for. My BMW X5 has parking sensors and the software is so messed up that it will randomly activate as I'm driving away from a parking spot (after I've turned the car on). Waiting to exit a parking lot, with someone behind me causing the parking sensor to beep beep beep is rather annoying to say the least. Another charming feature of the X5 is that the backup camera sometimes gets pre-empted by a stupid warning screen while backing up. Nice.

Whenever I read about the software glitches on the Model S, I think, well at least the company is working to fix them and we'll get software updates. With the X5, you're on your own!