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Removable Center "Tablet"

Removable Center "Tablet"

A growing number of people have been suggesting a "removable" center tablet for the interior of the model ≡. I have a strong feeling that although this sounds great for many reasons, it will not be implemented, at least not this time around...

In present form, this screen is not only the brain of the interior, it's also the only input/output device for the entire UI (user interface), "It is the alpha and the omega". The tablet screen is the most critical element in the interior of the car, because it's essentially replacing everything but the cup holders, steering wheel and pedals. The car can't function without it (currently).

There are many ways for something bad to happen to this "tablet" once it leaves the car; without this UI functioning, the car becomes a brick.

Some potential solutions to this concern could be:

Employ a "duplicate monitor" feature, where users could have multiple screens paired to the UI. This would allow for some interesting entertainment possibilities inside the car, and could serve as a back-up in the event of some catastrophe that rendered the primary screen useless. Try to make it compatible with "most" android and IOS devices.

Allow Cellphones to be paired to the UI; this could work both for entertainment and as a worst-case primary UI.

Sell the cars with a "spare UI" in the frunk :) , the same way that we are used to having a spare tire and jack in our ICE equivalents. It could be ~9" display (think undersized spare).

There is potential for wonderful benefits from a removable UI; taking all of ones' interior preferences, audio/climate preferences, schedules, etc. around with you on the screen. It could also serve as a "key" in a Tesla network, where owners simply take their screens around and plug them into random cars throughout a city. This concept would compete with the user-sharing concept that Volvo has designed into the next generation keyfob.

tl;dr The Idea of a removable UI Interface is a great one, but humans break things and this car becomes a brick without it, so unless you have 3 or 4 types of "Back-up" for this primary screen, the risks far outweigh the rewards.

Thoughts?

Jng085 | April 3, 2016

Theft from autos would increase for the removable tablet. Anything that can easily be removed and sell at pawn shops would be targeted on the Model 3. For example, when Nissan maxima first had the option for HID headlights, criminals could easily detach the headlights from the wheel well, and sell it to pawn shops without any identification markings to the original car.

cephellow | April 3, 2016

Your assertion that the car will brick without the interface is flawed. If you have a model S or X, put a towel over the center and dash displays; you will notice that the car doesn't brick just because you can't monitor what's going on.

cephellow | April 3, 2016

I am currently designing a high volume device (along with my team of 50+ engineers) to replace our existing product which required a host computer interface. The current design uses a mobile phone, but will still operate without a problem without the mobile phone. Looking at what a car needs, there really isn't a problem here. I get a whole number of the same questions of 'theft' of the mobile device. If someone wants to steal something, they will. Not likely that the user interface will have street value since it can easily be traced since it is a connected device, as is the car. Tesla's don't get stolen for the same reason.

cephellow | April 3, 2016

Actually, skip the towels- just hold down the scroll wheels and reboot the systems-while driving- car drives the same, and it proves that those systems are not part of the essential controls systems in the car.

cephellow | April 3, 2016

Actually, skip the towels- just hold down the scroll wheels and reboot the systems-while driving- car drives the same, and it proves that those systems are not part of the essential controls systems in the car.

Edani65711 | April 3, 2016

You bring up a very valid set of points, I guess the same logic that can be applied to the dash (ie. it's not actually needed, we just think it is), may be the cause of my thought process here. The software can certainly keep up with us, and in many cases perform better, so I understand what you're saying.

However, from a functional standpoint, it wouldn't be drive-able without this screen. It's not morally or legally responsible for a human to operate a vehicle when you have no way to know your operating speed, fuel levels, turn signal status, etc.

I absolutely agree with what you are saying, but I guess my suppositions were based on the practical (and legal) ability of a person to drive a car without any visual cues from the machine. Obviously adding full autopilot, or any sort of HUD would completely rectify this "potential screenless-situation"

cephellow | April 3, 2016

I agree with you. Just because it doesn't need an interface doesn't mean that we don't want one. The single point I am asserting is that a fixed user interface is not required, and by decoupling the interface design from the cabin design, Tesla creates a tremendous strategic advantage in how they can build, configure, maintain and update the car.

Chunky Jr. | April 3, 2016

Maybe the center display is standard, but a dash display is an upgrade. There are lots of interesting ways they could innovate and cause people to rethink the driving experience.