More active safety features coming to Model S!

More active safety features coming to Model S!

Page 33 of the European Model S manual includes a screen shot showing a toggle for "Blind Spot". Implementation of this and other features must not be far behind... here's to the retrofits being affordable, hopefully Tesla will try to keep the costs down in the name of safety so more existing owners can add these to their cars. I read a few months ago that Tesla was partnering with Mobileye to develop autonomous features, I wonder if this is the fruit of some of that labor?

Apparently the manual also includes a fuse listing, one of which is for "vanity lights". Is Tesla finally going to make good on George's promise?

jordanrichard | 15 July 2014

Where in that screen shot of a nav screen do you see anything related to park assist or blind spot?

AmpedRealtor | 15 July 2014

Look at the large screen shot of Settings, then the second row of Active Safety sliders...

jordanrichard | 15 July 2014

Ahhhhhh duh!!! my bad. I was looking at the "buttons" along the top of the screen.

AmpedRealtor | 15 July 2014

Looks like someone over at TMC magically received an "Ionizer" feature after his car was in service...

Link to TMC thread

cchouston | 15 July 2014

I also noticed that the euro spec MS has rear fog lights.

jordanrichard | 15 July 2014

rear fog lights are a requirement over there and personally I think they should be on all cars.

jdb | 15 July 2014

Good to hear and it would be nice if those features are on the Model X when get delivered next year but personally would not pay to retrofit either feature to my Sig Model S. Have had blind spot warning in Volvo XC60 for past 5 years and it is useless to pick up a car quickly accelerating from behind in the adjacent lane which is the real danger when changing lanes. Lulls one into false sense of security, I no longer even bother with it, you really need to actually turn to look over your shoulder before changing lanes as taught in driver's ed. The parking assist is nice in cars for backing up but with the rear camera in Model S showing the edge of rear bumper I find not needed.

johncrab | 15 July 2014

Instruments make life easier, but don't forget how to fly.

sberman | 15 July 2014

My Model S, which was delivered on June 25 in CA, has park assist chimes. I ordered the Park Assist and the chimes are included. They are also referenced in the current (V5.9) U.S. Owner's Manual on page 52. | 15 July 2014

What's new about "Park Assist Chimes"? They come with the optional Parking Sensors, on top of the optional Tech Package, and aren't a Future Feature at all. Our car has them, and the exact same on/off setting for them shown in the screen shot.

Now, blind spot warning would be a nice addition. It'll be interesting to see how Tesla implements it - some kind of warning on the outside mirror, or just on the dash? Audible as well as visual warning? And why would anyone want to turn off blind spot warning?

DTsea | 15 July 2014


GuyDormehl | 16 July 2014

Surely the long term solution to all these 'problems' - ie blind spot; parking; rear view etc - would be to have a 180deg rear facing camera at high level displaying on a long strip monitor above the windscreen (where the normal mirror is).

This would give an uninterrupted view of the whole area behind the drivers line of sight with a swift glance like we use for rear view mirror - no blind spots at all. A low level rear camera could still be used for clarity directly behind the car for garages; kids; animals etc when reversing.

I saw a preview of a Nissan (?) proposal for using such a monitor and camera instead of a mirror but stupidly it only displayed the normal mirror view!! Waste of a good opportunity which Tesla could grab. Would actually make the rear window 'redundant'...!!!

J.T. | 16 July 2014

@GuyDormehl Would actually make the rear window 'redundant'...

Redundant but not obsolete. Redundancy is critical when dealing with safety systems.

GuyDormehl | 16 July 2014

OK JT I was being provocative.....the passengers may want to peer out too. And it lets in nice light.

I only mean that if the system worked well the driver would never need to 'look over his shoulder' or out of the rear windows/back side windows. They would have complete visual clarity of all in front and all around behind by looking forward and shifting the eyes.

I'd like that - I hate guessing whether I have missed something in an awkward spot!

J.T. | 16 July 2014

@Guy OK JT I was being provocative.. It worked. Mark me down as provoked! :-)

One early iteration of Model X had cameras for side view mirrors. I thought that would have been a good first step to what you would like to see implemented. Didn't seem to pass muster, though.

GuyDormehl | 16 July 2014

Don't think side cameras instead of mirrors would work anyway as there would still be the same blind spots as with mirrors - that is why I suggest a high level central camera with a 180 deg view over the car. The car may still need (now redundant!) side mirrors (of minimal size) to comply with legislation!

LEvans | 16 July 2014

@GuyDormehl: I agree. This would also help immensely in tight parking garages. This may not be that important for those in areas that are not as built up but in congested cities with tight parking garages and curbs all over the place the 360 view would be really useful.

@J.T: Unless I am mistaken the e-mail sent from Tesla for Model X reservation holders recently still shows a Model X without side view "mirrors." Maybe they are still hoping for a change in law by the time the Model X comes out?

J.T. | 16 July 2014

@WEB_SRFR Thanks for the info. I certainly hope they get to build the car they way they want. At this point I think a lot of us trust them more than some regulatory agency.

chrisdl | 16 July 2014

"here's to the retrofits being affordable"

Yeahhh.... about that... | 16 July 2014

While slightly off topic - side view cameras in place of mirrors runs into a US requirement issue that all cars must have side mirrors. Likely some regulation created 50 years ago or more. Tesla and others have been trying to get this changed, but so far, the regulations are still in place so Model X with mirrors is likely.

Rear fog lights on the European Model S just means one of the back-up lights is re-purposed for the the fog lamp. There is no additional lights added.

carlk | 16 July 2014

@GuyDormehl Side camera can have much wider angle than side mirror to cover any blind spots. A dummy side mirror? I wonder what the regulation says about minimum size.

lak_ers | 16 July 2014

Typically how long does it take after the features show up on the owners manual for them to be put into production?

I'm waiting on the blind spot detectors before ordering my Tesla.

(yes I know how to turn my head and yes I know not everyone likes/needs this option...)

Tiebreaker | 16 July 2014 - Rear fog lights are meant to make the car more visible to the drivers behind. They are red, much brighter than the regular rear lights, or even stop lights. They can be a pair, or a single one, but always additional.

Backup lights are white, illegal to use while moving in the forward direction.

GuyDormehl | 16 July 2014

Carlk - by logic (?) and definition two side mirrors will always have blind spots and, unless the whole image is displayed, it is fragmented and 'difficult' to read accurately.

One still constantly worries that there is something hidden. Although I have my mirrors set so that there is (theoretically!) no blind spot, I still cannot emotionally rely on it and still turn to look.

One would grow to trust a full continuous 180 deg view.... | 16 July 2014

@Tiebreaker - Thanks. I've tried to find a photo with the Model S rear fog light on, but after 10 minutes of searching I couldn't find one. Maybe a European owner can snap a photo of what it looks like!

GuyDormehl | 16 July 2014

By the way talking about antiquated legislation - I understand that Taxis in London - ie Hackney Carriages - were required by law for many years (still?) to carry a bale of hay and to have less than 5w side lights (so they didn't frighten the horses...)

Lawmakers seem to either get stuck in the past OR spend an inordinate amount of time thinking up useless legislation to justify their existence!!

LEvans | 16 July 2014

@GuyDormehl: Imagine what those 5W can do now with CRE lighting :)

The regulatory agencies in the US really need to get with the times. I remember when Mercedes came out with adaptive headlights that automatically adjust continuously to prevent oncoming drivers from being dazzled by the glare even that was not allowed for a while.

thranx | 16 July 2014

@Pettifogger; blind spot warning: car will announce, in Billy Crystal's voice, "HEY STUPID! THERE'S SOMEONE IN YOUR BLIND SPOT!"

LEvans | 16 July 2014

@thranx: It's not as much of a trivial feature as some make it out to be. You could check your blind spot move you attention elsewhere and just as you are changing lanes, someone out of nowhere can occupy what you thought was a clear spot. The benefit of the blind spot system is not just to inform you when you check but to constantly keep an eye out for you. I hope when this feature is added it is added with an active collision prevent assist system like what Mercedes has. Basically if you try to switch lanes and a car appears where you are going, the car will physically break one of the wheels to yank you back into your lane to prevent a collision.

Again this is not because people don't necessarily know how to drive or are not paying attention but in the two seconds after you check your blind spot, another driver may make a reckless lane change and be where you thought was a safe spot to change lanes. An active system with collision prevention would be useful in such a situation.

JAD | 16 July 2014

I believe the rear fog lights are actually one brake light on in most vehicles. Everyone tells me I have a light out when I use them on my other cars. (Though use is VERY rare in San Diego...)

jdb | 16 July 2014

@WEB-SRFR, not to needlessly debate blind side warning, which I think is good marketing tool, it does have one redeeming feature, it can save driver the energy of actually looking over shoulder to check other cars if light is lit. But rule number one of lane changes is never to rely on absence of warning light to change lanes, always look over shoulder immediately before commencing lane change. Or so I was taught in drivers ed. OTOH, I believe that a blind side warning light should be mandatory for those goofy drivers who change lanes without looking and without signalling, and for those I like the @thranx modification.

jdb | 16 July 2014

Of course I meant blind spot warning light, not blind side. It's what I meant not what I say that counts.

jcaspar1 | 16 July 2014

Nice to see new features coming but this would be near last on my list. Mirrors work fine for me.

jcaspar1 | 16 July 2014

Nice to see new features coming but this would be near last on my list. Mirrors work fine for me. Could certainly see where this would help less attentive drivers, and if it keeps them from hitting me I'm all for it...

Brian H | 16 July 2014

... Basically if you try to switch lanes and a car appears where you are going, the car will physically break one of the wheels ...

How can you drive with a broken wheel? \8-/

Brian H | 16 July 2014

jdb |
... It's what I meant not what I say that counts.

But if you didn't say what you mean, you didn't mean what you said. So how can we believe you mean what you meant to say, if you had said it? <9-/

LEvans | 16 July 2014

@jdb: I guess you didn't get that bit I said about someone moving into that area from another lane after you have checked your blind spot. But it seems you are an exceptionally great all-seeing all-aware driver but for the rest of us mortals the blind spot system when combined with an active collision prevent system can be useful :)

It is capable of braking (Hello Brian!) a single wheel to tug you back into your lane if you ever try to switch lanes onto the path of another vehicle. The passive blind spot warning lights I see not much of a use as I always check my blind spots but the active system that takes action could be useful for that 1 in 10,000 time where someone unexpectedly appears.

GuyDormehl | 17 July 2014

However I look at it I'd far rather have an 'all-seeing' rear view mirror so with a look forward and a glance in a screen I can be all- seeing and then make a decision on what to do.

Do I want electronics nagging me and will I believe it enough? - 'nothing in your blind spot - you can move' hmmm - not comfortable with that. Let me see rather.....

lak_ers | 17 July 2014

Just following up on a question I posted earlier... from past experience how long does it normally take for a product that shows up on the owners manual online to make it into a production car.

I'm asking specifically about the blind spot detector... I'm waiting to hear about this before placing my order. I can wait a bit if it will be on in the next month or two but anything after that I rather just order now and hope to get it retrofitted later.

thanks | 17 July 2014

It's an obvious manual goof, but it could be a day or years. Tesla rarely states how long a new feature will take, and from past history, a safe assumption is at least a year.

There is a list of features shown on a service page on a Model S in 2012. Most of these features are still not available. They were likley just placeholders for features they were considering, but those features may never be offered.

lak_ers | 18 July 2014 thanks for the info... I guess I should just pull the trigger now and just retrofit in the future if it makes sense to.


Tesltoronto | 18 July 2014

Has anyone used the rear camera for blind spot checking? I was playing with it and it definitely clearly shows the vehicles on both the sides of the car till they actually are side by side. If I place the camera screen at the bottom of the screen it is less distracting!

sbeggs | 18 July 2014

Yes, you are right. We have also found the rear camera on bottom of screen to be helpful in monitoring the car's perimeter.

Only one friend has requested we turn it off while she rides in the back seat. Makes her queasy.

AlMc | 18 July 2014

To the topic of new features: Someone was able to hack to the 'service screen' behind the front page that we all see on our cars about a year ago. It showed all kinds of features as I recall. Park assist (available now), 'blind spot' alert system and
'adaptive cruise control' as I recall. He posted pictures and was asked to remove them by TM.

Over the next year or so I believe we will see all these things, and perhaps more.

Thanks AmpedR for sharing.

Brian H | 21 July 2014

Especially dangerous are those sneaky MSes that silently appear, with their sudden accel and twitchy drivers. They can really mess you up if they hit you, too!

EdwardG.NO2CO2 | 21 July 2014

Unfortunately the backup camera is not always useful for blind spot monitoring. Wet or snowy weather can make it nearly useless so a reliable (any weather) method should be your first line of defense! I leave it to each of you to make your choice. I find the blind spot monitoring on my MB S is way to conservative but I only override it occasionally. I hope any adoption by Tesla will be more realistic or smarter.

David Trushin | 21 July 2014

I don't like the active braking on my wife's xts. It always gets frightened by the large hosta behind it as we're backing out of the garage and jams on the brakes.

mgboyes | 21 July 2014

The EU and UK versions of the Model S manual have had the "blind spot" button shown in them I think since the first version (August 2013).

I don't think we should infer anything from it other than the obvious fact that it's a feature Tesla are considering for their cars at some point in the future...

wrinkledoc | 7 September 2014

I never had blind spot monitoring until I had my Audi A7. It is one of those things that once you have you would never want to be without. If you don't like it, it can be turned off. It makes no sense for Tesla not to offer this feature.

Jolinar | 7 September 2014

it makes all the sense for Tesla if they don't have the technology yet...