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"Wait until you see the real steering controls...it feels like a spaceship" - Elon Musk

"Wait until you see the real steering controls...it feels like a spaceship" - Elon Musk

Part 2 of the Model 3 reveal can't come soon enough. What could these features be, Elon? Stop teasing us.

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georgehawley.fl.us | 14 April, 2016

As long as Mr. Hubris doesn't show up again.:-))

jordanrichard | 14 April, 2016

I don't know enough about holograms other than I thought they needed set lighting conditions to work. A car's interior lighting is constantly changing. Also, if they did indeed come up with holographic displays, you can expect the reservations to go further out into space. Which BTW, they are now nearly 400,000 reservations.

EVino | 14 April, 2016

@george, aren't you glad hubris brought you the features you'll now enjoy on your X?

JAD | 14 April, 2016

The only problem with controls on the wheel is they constantly move and switch sides. Not great for spirited driving, will be interesting to see how this all works. I am ready for phase II reveal :) !!!

jordanrichard | 14 April, 2016

Also I don't see them going away from the simple interior. Look at the dash of the concept. Now picture a steering wheel with a bunch of buttons or mini touch screens on the spokes. Remember, there has to be an airbag.

EVino | 14 April, 2016

Maybe an EV1 Throwback Edition?

Red Sage ca us | 14 April, 2016

Elon Musk writes, "FEELS LIKE A SPACESHIP" and is quoted as "LOOK LIKE A SPACESHIP". Journalism. Why bother?

jordanrichard | 14 April, 2016

So, that's where Tesla got their idea for cup holder placement........:-)

Nothing like trying to read displays that are 3 feet from you.

JeffreyR | 14 April, 2016

@jordanrichard If you cannot read a perfectly contrasting LED display three feet away, how are you going to read the street signs?
;^)

dbullard | 14 April, 2016

Perhaps a control wheel, like an airplane, instead of a round wheel?

Ross1 | 15 April, 2016

More spaceship than his own SpaceX spaceship?
Is he getting confused?

Ross1 | 15 April, 2016

There has been a lot of work on holographic displays which you wouldn't know about as it isn't released yet.

dd.micsol | 15 April, 2016

Recent Tesla hire might have spoiled one of the Model 3’s biggest surprises
bgr dot com front page.
skully helmet info on wind shield and cameras

Gesturing for car controls.

dsvick | 15 April, 2016

If it looks like this spacehip I'm cancelling ....
http://www.visualnews.com/2013/03/30/a-peek-into-the-control-room-of-spa...

carlk | 15 April, 2016
Haggy | 16 April, 2016

If it feels like a space ship instead of looking like one, that's an issue for me. I don't have a clear idea of what most space ships look like, and if it's any particular one, it would meet the criteria. But I have no idea what a space ship feels like. So the tweet is comparing the feel to something that few people have felt. Where can I go to feel a space ship?

Red Sage ca us | 16 April, 2016

What it feels like to drive Elon Musk's car... Uhm... Starship...

"'It's the wild colour scheme that freaks me out,' said Zaphod, whose love affair with the ship had lasted almost three minutes into the flight. 'Every time you try and operate these weird black controls that are labeled in black on a black background, a little black light lights up in black to let you know you’ve done it.'" -- Zaphod Beeblebrox, 'The Restaurant at the End of the Universe' by Douglas Adams

cephellow | 16 April, 2016

dd.micsol,
Good article then link to the Skully helmet technology. That probably answers why they didn't show the real display in phase 1. I wish I had one of those helmets in my 15 years of street riding, especially the rear view function.
I now am hoping that the model 3 will get rid of the side mirrors and put those up in the HUD- saving a lot of aerodynamic drag. The prototypes may only be wearing the mirrors because the display is not there

elguapo | 17 April, 2016

Here's what I don't get, after driving in several cars with HUDs. The visibility of the HUD isn't 100%, especially with bright light/sun glare. Same is true of holo tech, as far as I can tell. As a supplement to typical dash data, a HUD is helpful, as a replacement, I don't think it is there yet. By maybe in 18 months.

Also, would it require further regulatory approval?

michelcolman | 17 April, 2016

Why does he keep getting misquoted? He didn't say that the steering "wheel" will look or feel like a spaceship. He said "steering controls". Not wheel. Controls.

I'm betting on a joystick. A few companies, including Mercedes, have already shown prototypes with joysticks but never a real production model. I just hope the stick will be for steering only. One of the Mercedes prototypes was trying to combine everything into one stick. Forward to accelerate, backward to brake, left/right to steer. I don't think that's a good idea, pedals are much better for accelerating and braking. But for steering, sure, it's about time the steering wheel went the way of the dodo.

Why do we even control cars with a steering wheel? Because it used to take a lot of effort to turn the front wheels with a mechanical linkage, and a steering wheel was the most efficient method to get enough leverage back in the 1800s.

But it's getting more and more clumsy now, especially with autopilot. The autopilot has to feed into the traditional steering system, making the wheel rotate whenever it does something. Why not do it the other way around? Let the electronics control the car, and let the driver use a joystick to control it directly! This would actually make the car cheaper to produce, which is important for the $35000 target.

It's totally obvious: incredibly cool, easier to use than a wheel (especially when parking), and cheaper to boot! It makes perfect sense.

And it will be just as reliable: there have been way more flight control problems in airplanes with classic flight controls (broken cables,...) than in fly by wire aircraft (if I'm not mistaken, none in commercial aircraft, ever?). You just need enough redundancy.

And the electronic stability system won't just have the brakes to play with, but the steering as well. So when braking on a road that's iced up on one side, it could combine heavier braking on the dry side with corrective steering to keep the car straight. Much better han just reducing braking on the dry side to match the icy side which is what ESP systems currently do.

I would actually be disappointed if the Model 3 still had a steering wheel :-)

carlk | 17 April, 2016

@michelcolman

Everything from steering to acceleration and braking is controlled electronically already. Without that you would not be able to have the autopilot. Steering wheel is just an input device and I agree it's a clumsy one that has passed its usefulness. It can be changed anytime the designer wants but I don't think that will happen any time soon. Too much learning curve and user resistance there will be.

Red Sage ca us | 17 April, 2016

michelcolman: At the 10:00 mark in the Tesla Model ☰ Reveal Part I (YouTube -- Q4VGQPk2Dl8) the three dimensional schematic of the Prototype shows a steering column. The guys that spent hours upon hours of engineering expertise figuring out how to do that would likely be rather peeved if all that hard work were tossed out. Besides, the original interior design sketch by Franz von Holzhausen shows a steering wheel -- though it is pictured as having an open top.

michelcolman | 17 April, 2016

They wouldn't show a schematic of a prototype without the steering column if they weren't ready to unveil it yet, would they? It doesn't take that much work to add the column for the presentation and the demo cars all had relatively crude steering wheels. The stick may be a relatively recent decision. If Elon gets something into his head...

As for the learning curve and user resistance: I initially thought they might try the joystick but keep the steering wheel as an option. However, now that they have about 400,000 pre-orders, it may be feasible to just go with the stick. Don't like it? Get a Bolt then.

Then once a couple of thousand hit the road, nobody will want a steering wheel anymore. Certainly not after a test drive.

I must admit that right now, my wife is not at all happy about the thought of not having a steering wheel. But I suspect it would just take one test drive to convince her.

cephellow | 17 April, 2016

I don't think we will see a stick anytime soon. This is a mass market car.
Although modern cars are largely 'by wire' there is a required mechanical back-up for all steering and braking functions.
@Redsage, dropping a Model S steering column assembly into the Model 3 Cad model for purpose of a reveal event is no big deal- like 20 minutes of work. That said, I believe that is the actual column in the model since model does show symmetric panel openings in the tub wall for left and right hand drive configurations.

Red Sage ca us | 17 April, 2016

cephellow: Sorry... It's been a long time since I used Autocad 13... Computers were SLOW back then...

;-)

carlk | 17 April, 2016

Perhaps Tesla could put a stick control for steering, acceleration and braking in the future super car and let people who are venturous enough to try it first. Just a thought.

zs6rxy | 19 April, 2016

Delete the steering wheel and insert a joystick. One control for direction, acceleration and braking. One model for left and right-hand drive countries.

cephellow | 19 April, 2016

Red Sage-
Funny!
last time I used AutoCad was12C4, just before 13 was released. SLOW, only if you were lucky, crashed if you weren't. My first AutoCad was AutoCad 8, where you would go to lunch and hopefully it was regenerated by the time you got back.
Been using Solidwkrks since, but now that is becoming an over-bloated turd of a program and apparently Autodesk has a decent new package which I may move over to.

Red Sage ca us | 20 April, 2016

The fun thing about AutoCAD was that it was marketed as being 'highly customizable'... Which was true, but... They didn't tell anyone that out of the box, it was essentially useless -- until it was highly customized to whatever purpose you'd be using it for... I always got the impression that AutoCAD was built by a bunch of programmers who never talked to each other, but were just given assignments to write code modules for graphics primitives CIRCLE, LINE, POINT... There was never any cohesion in the program itself between those lines of code, unless someone wrote custom code to bring them together.

By the way? I came across something earlier... There was a General Motors concept car called the Hy-Wire... It was GM's 'skateboard' design for a Hydrogen Fuel Cell concept car with drive-by-wire technology. The idea was that you could just drop a different body on it as needed for different applications. Also, you could simply pass the steering wheel from one front seat position to the other, and there were two sets of foot pedals inside. Here are some photos:

YouTube -- GM Hy-Wire automobile concept

Ross1 | 20 April, 2016

Sage: Wait for the idiotic cries of VAPORWARE VAPORWARE

Red Sage ca us | 20 April, 2016

On closer examination... I think the GM Hy-Wire didn't have foot controls at all... It seems the grab bars on the steering wheel act as throttle and brake... The driver does a slight twist of the wrist to pivot those hand-holds one way or the other. Do a search for the video to see what I mean...

YouTube -- GM Hy-Wire automobile concept

If this is what Elon Musk has in mind, it will be yet another point of hatred against Tesla Motors for 'ripping off' GM for design ideas. The Hy-Wire also features a very cab-forward seating position, with minimal dash, and low leading edge to the windshield... Also as seen in Tesla Model ≡.

rxlawdude | 15 April, 2019

@roman, go away asswipe. FLAGGED!

weluvm3 | 15 April, 2019

What "feels like a spaceship?"

mos6507 | 16 April, 2019

The internet has short attention spans. Elon is counting on it. Kudos.

jimglas | 18 April, 2019

spam flagged

Magic 8 Ball | 18 April, 2019

Same guy comes back to same thread. Flag him and flag me to bury this thread.

jimglas | 18 April, 2019

I would never flag you M8B

andy.connor.e | 18 April, 2019

@mos has returned, on a topic just right for him!

jimglas | 18 April, 2019

ITS ALIVE !