Questions before buying

Questions before buying

Hi all - I just test drove a Tesla and am seriously thinking about buying one, but I have some questions/thoughts that I've gotten inconsistent (or non existent) answers on.

1) Is there a features poll site being planned similar to Sonos ideas hub on their site? It would be great to have that type of social community beyond this forum.

1b) Is there any published roadmap of features and/or what's being officially considered? I recognize nothing can be promised, but would still be great to know what's in the pipe.

2) Are the nav maps stored on disk in the car? I'm told they're over 3g and that's why they're so slow....but then it's not clear what happens when out of 3G range and/or offline. And if they are stored locally, what is the process to update them and why are current versions so slow?

3) Is there a feature planned to store places for quick lookup?

4) When the right thumbwheel is on "all" and you drill in to a category, it would be nice if there was a defined "back button".....I haven't fully thought it through, but while I know it disappears after ~2s, there's something satisfying about saying "I'm done". Right now it takes a double tap of the bottom right button to dismiss.

5) Was there any thought to making phone just another option in the all list, vs. making it a top level nav?

6) Will Tesla guarantee that a new software update will never lock out screen functions while the car is moving? And/or that there will always be an option to disable that?

7) When closing the frunk, why does it always take a second "press" to fully get it closed?

8) Just out of curiosity, has anyone looked at inductive chargers (i.e. you drive over them in your garage and the car starts charging)? I realize right now power transfer isn't there, but I'd be curious how far away the tech is. Of course unofficially.

9) Is anyone else annoyed by the placement of the blinker vs. cruise control?

10) For voice commands, it would be nice to have a quick reference of what can be said. For example, when holding down the voice button, would be great for a future software update to pop a list of possible commands either in the HUD or on the screen.

11) Will the car read txt messages back that arrive and/or display them on the screen?

12) If I plug in a USB stick with mp3s, can I make playlists out of the mp3s? I couldn't figure out the UI in the car to do that. Can I use voice to play these mp3s?

Thanks much. Apologies if some of these have already been asked.....links are fine for follow up.

KendallPB | November 5, 2013

1) Tesla occasionally informally mentioned things coming up, but who knows when they'll actually surface. ;-)

2) The NAVIGATION maps are on the car (that's the turn-by-turn with the tech pkg). The large GOOGLE maps come from Google, over the internet, i.e., yes, 3G. So if you're talking directions, it's on-board; if you're talking the Google map that shows the "big picture" of your route, it's 3G. Two different things.

3) No idea; you'd have to ask Tesla. ;-)

4) I forget just how this work; I thought the menu button went 'back' but I guess not?

5) Again, you'd have to ask Tesla; this isn't a support forum, but just a public forum. No one here could speak to whether Tesla designers had ever thought about X before implementing Y.

6) Again, you'd have to ask Tesla. But since it's such a centerpiece to the car, I can't imagine they'd disable the screen. ;-) Some things are easier through the screen and not everything's on the steering wheel, plus the passenger can operate it if the driver's, you know, driving.

7) Mine doesn't. (shrug)

8) If you mean "has anyone at Tesla"...again, ask them. ;-) If you mean has anyone here looked at it--I think I've seen a thread or two about it. Use to search the public threads here.

9) Use to find other threads about this. It doesn't bother me, and almost everyone agrees one gets used to it in days or weeks. (And if you're coming from...BMW? Mercedes? whoever makes the stalks/wheel...then you are already used to it--whichever carmaker it is, their stalks are the same way, apparently.)

10) There is no HUD. BTW there's a software wish-list thread you can find and chime in on things like this. I only know a couple of commands (I think there are only a few); I wouldn't want a list popping up every time I pressed the button, but if it were configurable--sure. It'd be good initially, for learning the commands, I guess.

11) Nope.

12) You can't make playlists via the car's interface.

Hope this helps--again, check out to search public threads here. :-) And welcome to the forum.

CC | November 5, 2013

1a) You can check out
1b) Things "rumored" to be in the pipe line are small refinements, like possible motorized side mirrors, 4G LTE connection... Again, it's all speculation, don't quote me on it.

2) The map is stored in the on-board flash memory and will still come up where there are no 3G connection. A friend drove his S to Canada and was still able to use the nav. But when it has 3G connection, it will pull the most up-to-date map from Google.

3)Nav features are being worked on, at least that's what i was told when I asked regarding storing favorite places, or press on a location and you can nav there. So far they have added Superchargers and recently charged locations, so you can just tap on it and go.

4) The button right below the scroll wheel IS the "back" or "ESC" key. Try it out next time you are in the car.

5) You can hit the button right below the scroll wheel to access the phone. So your hands doesn't have to leave the steering wheel.

6) Locking out screen functions will probably cause a riot :)

7) The first click is actually a safety feature, in case the hood somehow opens while the car is moving, it will prevent the hood from being ripped off. Anyhow, the hood is very light (all aluminum ) so it doesn't slam down like heavy stool hoods, therefore you need to press it down. By the way, the hood is held up by 1 hydrolic tubes on each side. They pretty much prevent you from trying to slam the hood also.

8)Not sure how far along the tech is. But Toyota had a demo unit in a car show recently. Koreans are trying to make inductive asphalt roads :)

9)It's a matter of getting use to the car. I was fine with the position of the blinkers after 1 week.

10)Pretty sure Tesla can program an update to show a list of voice commands on screen when the voice command button is pressed.

11) No, the car doesn't read incoming text right now... Would be nice as a future feature via app or update.

12) When an USB with MP3 is plugged in, on screen it will allow you to select by Song title, Album, artist, or by folder. It can't make a play list (while in the car), and I don't think it recognize playlists.

chrisdl | November 6, 2013

This is the most advanced investigation done so far (done in Belgium, obviously ;-)

I'm quite impressed with the charging rate. Would be great to just park your car and it automagically charing.

larry.waldman | November 6, 2013

Thanks much -- WRT the answers that say "ask tesla"...I thought this was the official support forum that Tesla monitors?


jcaspar1 | November 6, 2013

9) I was worried about this as I rarely drive european cars (only my mom's CLS55AMG rarely) and found the design strange. Now that I have the car I have never once hit the wrong stalk.

Captain_Zap | November 6, 2013

No. This is a forum for owners and enthusiasts as is TMC

I can try taking a swing at some of your questions.

1) There is a thread here that is dedicated to feature requests for the Model S and it is prioritized by forum participant's votes. Tesla has been responsive to feedback. (I hope that is what you meant by your question. I am not familiar with the items that you used as examples.

1b) Nothing is officially announced. Sometimes new features just arrive in your car with an update. Hardware updates can sometimes be done later at your expense if there is adequate demand and there are no technical obstacles.

2) I believe that nav maps for GPS system are stored on the disk in the car. When you are not on 3G, only the GPS navigation and maps on driver's cluster (on the left hand side) will work. The 17" screen maps are 3G dependent.

3) Yes, you can now store "places" with the new updates.

Skipping ahead. here. I either didn't understand the question or I didn't have an answer.

9) I was for a month or so. It is a Mercedes set up.

10) I made a note card. I didn't need it anymore after a week or so.

11) No.

12) I can't answer this one either for certain. I only use lossless FLAC and only use "album" recordings, not playlists. So far, 5.1 discrete and other discrete formats are not recognized by the system.