Physical Buttons

Physical Buttons

Yes, I understand Tesla want to look simple and keep it futuristic, but sometimes still prefer a physical button for some functions. For example, a physical button for launch / ludicrous mode without have to stop or be distracted to look and touch the screen. I want a button somewhere convenient, somewhere where I don't have to be distracted while driving, somewhere where I know where it is, such as the on steering wheel or the dash near the steering wheel. I can just seamlessly click and activate or deactivate the launch / ludicrous mode. Also a button for the battery savings mode. What do you think? Are there any functions you would like to see on a physical button?

David N | 10 agosto 2016

I too prefer a few old fashioned buttons. Unfortunately I think we better get used to the buttonless future.
How many buttons are on an iPad?

DTsea | 10 agosto 2016


mntlvr23 | 10 agosto 2016

"Ejecting Passenger" should really be a physical button that takes some ummph to activate - I definitely do not want to accidently do that on the screen. But then again, if you touch that area on the screen, it will probably come back with the confirmation prompt - "Do you really want to eject the passenger?"

JeffreyR | 10 agosto 2016

He's the man, the man with the Midas touch
A spider's touch
Such a cold finger
Beckons you to enter his web of sin
But don't go in

Or you could have a bunch (don't forget to eject backseat drivers too).

Red Sage ca us | 10 agosto 2016

"No, Mr. Bond! I expect you to DIE!"

justinmk3 | 11 agosto 2016

Hahaha. This reminds me of the conversations when Apple decided to absent the Floppy drive on computers. Again for CD's. Oh my. :D

dsvick | 11 agosto 2016

@cchui396 - "...Also a button for the battery savings mode. What do you think? Are there any functions you would like to see on a physical button?"

The whole battery saving mode arguement has been discussed quite a bit in several different threads - hopefully there won't be one, so no need for a button.

I won't miss buttons, the only physical controls I need to have would be for door locks and windows. A physical trunk release would be ok too.

mathewjoseph1993 | 11 agosto 2016

we could expect a button on model 3 steering . there is a talk about secret project in tesla , project "goldfinger" . i am sure it must be about the button on the steering wheel !!!!!!

mntlvr23 | 11 agosto 2016

One day we will have a similar discussion when voice activation replaces all virtual buttons

topher | 11 agosto 2016

It would be nice to have physical controls for things you might want to do when the car isn't activated. Manual overrides for the windows and doors, glovebox and trunks.

Functions that you need to access often without looking could also use tactile feedback and a permanent location. For example, emergency flashers. and music pause.

Rare things that can be set when standing still, like ludicrous or battery saving modes, not so much.

Thank you kindly.

PhillyGal | 11 agosto 2016

Perhaps you are misunderstanding ludo/insane mode. This is something you enable in your car (or not), not something that has to be pressed each time you use it.

The only thing you have to do if you want to launch is jam your foot down on the go pedal.

Also - No. The Model 3 will have very few physical buttons. There is no need for them except where required by law (eg: to open the glove compartment, turn on hazzards) or where it's still practical (eg: on the door to control windows - but even this may be absent on Model 3.)

jordanrichard | 11 agosto 2016

Well after over 2 yrs, I have yet to hit anything or nearly hit anything while operating my MS, so I don't see where is concern of "distracted" driving comes from. I can changes radio stations/songs without taking my hands off the wheel and I can operate my phone and sunroof without taking my hands off the wheel. All the windows, at least on the S and X are one touch up and down. Just what is you are trying to do while driving?

Also BTW there is a lever/pivoting device for the Battery save mode, it's called the accelerator and your foot.

jbunn | 11 agosto 2016

PhillyGal and Jordanrichard just nailed it. The battery savings and ludicrous modes are controlled by your foot.

3-1/2 years in, I don't miss physical buttons. And the controls I do want to use can be assigned to the steering wheel.

Rocky_H | 11 agosto 2016

Headlights. That is one of the main complaints from my wife. The AUTO mode works well for the two extreme cases: (1) LIGHT and (2) DARK, but it does not do well with fog, dusk, light rain, etc. etc. that are also reduced visibility conditions that should have lights, but the car will not turn them on. It takes at least two separate presses on the touch screen to get the headlights turned on. That's not very good. It would even be OK if they could add voice recognition for "headlights on".

PaceyWhitter | 12 agosto 2016

I was surprised that the auto setting isn't linked to the wipers. In many states it is mandatory to have you lights on if your wipers are on. Even if it isn't mandatory, it is a good idea.

Hawkwind | 12 agosto 2016

A separate button would be nice to be able to hit recirculated air button quickly when a polluter pulls in front of you so you don't have to smell nasty exhaust, etc. (maybe have the Model S' feature for a Medical grade HEPA air filtration system in the Model 3 with a button) However, fresh air is nice when one can get it.

Hawkwind | 12 agosto 2016

speedracer DOT wikia DOT com SLASH wiki SLASH Mach_5
Some of these would be awesome! LOL
(obviously no spaces)

Hawkwind | 12 agosto 2016

The previous post using actual URL was blocked by spam filter on this site. Can't post URL's?

Anyway speaking of being blocked, a button in the Model 3 to unblock traffic jam would be great LOL

CC396 | 12 agosto 2016

@PhillyGal, yes I understand, but sometimes I may want to deactivate Ludicrous mode while I am driving. Activating it via display means I have to look at the display making multiple taps (time consuming) instead of looking at the road. That is dangerous! Most likely when I need to deactivate ludicrous mode, I will need to stop the car. With a physical button, I can just press it while driving on the highway. Much more convenient at times.

topher | 13 agosto 2016

"sometimes I may want to deactivate Ludicrous mode while I am driving."


Thank you kindly.

JeffreyR | 13 agosto 2016

@cchui396 once you drive w/ it you will understand why people wonder about you asking for it. It's not a problem at all. Want to launch, turn Luda Mode on and smash the go-pedal. Want to start normally, just ease into it. Luda or not does not matter.
Don't forget that physical buttons, hard-coded to one purpose take up space and cannot be updated by OTA updates.

Red Sage ca us | 13 agosto 2016

tousterd: It's all about the 'G' button, Baby!

[ YouTube -- ZJFBFQxO9pQ ]

mknower | 14 agosto 2016

Your wish may be granted?

dsvick | 15 agosto 2016

@cchui396 - "...but sometimes I may want to deactivate Ludicrous mode while I am driving. Activating it via display means I have to look at the display making multiple taps (time consuming) instead of looking at the road."

I do not own a Tesla right now, let alone one with Ludicrous mode, but I think what PhilyGal is saying is that (someone correct me if I'm wrong) activating it is not something you, the driver does. It's an option you buy and it is enabled in the software by Tesla, you can't turn it on and off. There is no need to, want to use Ludicrous mode, stomp the pedal to the floor and hold it there until your vision goes blurry. Don't want it, then don't floor it, just apply normal pressure and stop applying it when you've reached whatever speed you want.

Just like the paddles to control regeneration or the battery conservation mode button, this is a solution in search of a problem. People want the software to control how and when the car goes slow, you want to control how and when the car goes fast - everyone just needs to learn how to control the car on their own, you'll get much better control, you'll more in tune with car, and you'll enjoy it more.

mntlvr23 | 15 agosto 2016

Here might be one source of confusion regarding "deactivating" Ludicrous Mode (and cchui396 would have to say if this might be the source - if he has this impression from taking a test drive) -

I believe that some of the vehicles used for test drives - do indeed have special software that is controlled on the display that can change the way that those particular vehicles perform. You can make the car perform as a 75D or a P90D - and perhaps can similarly make a car that has LudMode simulate a car that does not (by deactivating it). This is a feature that is strictly on test drive vehicles, and is not available for the general public (my understanding from the adviser that I was set up with a while back).

topher | 15 agosto 2016

Ludricous mode IS an adjustable setting on the center console:

Thank you kindly.

topher | 15 agosto 2016
PhillyGal | 15 agosto 2016

@cchui396 - Others have covered it. You never have to turn it off - just don't punch pedal to floor.

When my husband was going to buy his first (and last) motorcycle he had wanted a GSXR-6.
He found a 1000 (cc) version for a steal but was afraid of it. I reminded him that just because it goes really fast doesn't mean it also can't go slow. He bought it and only drove like a bonehead once (courtesy of him following my boneheaded little brother.)

carlk | 15 agosto 2016

There are programable buttons on the steering wheel for some most used functions like making a phone call or changing audio and AC. I don't think you need to change ludicrous setting often if at all. The same goes for battery saving (range) mode.

JHB10 | 17 agosto 2016

Maybe 5 physical buttons, that you can assign to whatever you want (like mute the radio, etc)
Other than that I prefer the touch screen.

CC396 | 17 agosto 2016

@JohanH.Botha agree, should be some customizable physical buttons!

Badbot | 18 agosto 2016

I think that Tesla could allow "Macros"

A macro is each and every click/choice to do something via menus recorded into a software button for a one touch jump to the thing you want to enable-disable.

This would be simple and inexpensive.

Rocky_H | 18 agosto 2016

@Badbot, Oh, I like that. It's three touches to turn on headlights. It would be nice to shortcut that.

Haggy | 19 agosto 2016

After two years of driving a Model S, I don't miss physical buttons, but partly agree with Rocky. Headlights are an issue. It's not something you can do by feel using the screen. It is something that you would be able to do easily with the rolling button on the steering wheel, and it would be easy with a voice command.

I've had only one occasion when it was foggy and I needed to turn the headlights on manually, but I couldn't think of where it was on the menu off the top of my head. Now I know, but it's still more work than it should be, and perhaps dangerous if I lend somebody the car.

edruberton | 21 agosto 2016

I also have problems with virtual buttons. Especially a windows-like interface while driving? I have to go through a menu to turn on the lights? Oh no...

edruberton | 21 agosto 2016

One big question: Are they going to keep the computer display hanging on the middle of the dash? Please tell me that they will integrate it into the dashboard - and that they can put a smaller one where the speed/tach should be behind the steering wheel?

More smaller displays in appropriate places would help alleviate the windows/menus problem.

Badbot | 21 agosto 2016

I was hoping for Tesla to include a macro recorder to create your choice of shortcuts that would be voice launched.

three lights on !
three valet mode on !

JeffreyR | 21 agosto 2016

@ebrubert the layout is pretty much as displayed in the first Reveal. You can see videos online where the VP of engineering states this. The reason is that it allows folks easier access to the screen from both sides, and they pushed the dash so far forward to make more space.

The reason they eliminated the dash in front of the driver is probably to save cost. Elon's quote about the driving experience being "like a spaceship" has people guessing they might add a Heads-up Display (HUD). We'll see more at The Model ≡ Unveiling, Part 2 soon....

freifallspoiler | 21 agosto 2016

I would prefer physical buttons for some elements as well. Well designed buttons can be pushed without having to look at them. A touch screen always asks for more "eye attention" than a physical button.

topher | 22 agosto 2016


I Agree. At some point however, too many buttons would require that 'eye attention' anyway. So we need a limited number of physical buttons, arranged in such a way as to be easily shifted to muscle memory.

Thank you kindly.

danCE | 22 agosto 2016

I believe Tesla has already said that they will significantly improve the voice interface in the next major release. Software improvements like that are much easier and cheaper than physical buttons. As Google, Microsoft and Apple have shown, powerful voice interfaces are the wave of the future.

Macros are a nice idea but I can't really see anything I'd need to do with a macro that I couldn't also do with a well designed and comprehensive voice interface.

Badbot | 22 agosto 2016


"The reason they eliminated the dash in front of the driver is probably to save cost."
I think they were making room for the HUD projection equipment hidden in the dash.
Moving the dash forward allows the display of the HUD to be lower on the windshield.
I would not be surprised if the lower 1/4 of the windshield is tinted or frosted to improve the readability/look of it.
A HUD is less than a gage panel to make. and you could change it via software.

Haggy | 22 agosto 2016

Headlights on is an issue, but don't forget that it's an exception, unless you live in an area with frequent fog. The car has no problem turning on lights based on ambient light or based on whether or not it's raining. And if there is frequent fog where you live, you will likely get used to the location on the screen very quickly. I'm not saying that Tesla should leave it as it is, but I don't see the need to add one more stalk that will get used on average 0% of the time.

CC396 | 22 agosto 2016

@freifallspoiler, EXACTLLLYYY!!! Thank you!
@topher, thank you, agree. Not talking about having a physical button for everything, but they should physical button for some features. @JohanH.Botha suggested customizable features button, I agree with him and think it is a great idea. Everyone have different preference and creating customizable physical buttons will benefit more people.

zephyr12 | 22 agosto 2016

Only physical button I would really love to see is a big red Ludicrous Mode button. Other than that I think having fewer physical buttons is very much in line with Tesla's style of making a car that IS more futuristic, tech focused and stands out from any other car or competitor.

jamilworm | 27 agosto 2016

The ting that worries me about voice commands is that most of the time I'll be listening to music or an audiobook while I'm driving. Should I really need to interrupt what I'm listening to just to do something normally simple like turn on headlights? I hope you don't need a voice command to adjust the volume because if the volume is too high then it can't hear your command and then you can't lower it and you are stuck. Or when I listen to the song "Pump up the volume" and then the car turns it up really loud and hurts me ears :-). | 28 agosto 2016

@jamilworm - Voice control requires pressing a button (on the steering wheel), which mutes the audio.

For those that have never used the Model S/X touch screen, it is nothing like screens in other cars. Most common functions area always available, with a single touch (like temp, defrost, lock/unlock doors, etc.). The next level of less-used functions is often accessed with just one extra button (Controls). Since this button is at the lower left corner, you can tap it without even looking at the display. It's position never changes.

Most (all?) non-Tesla cars use tiny screens that require many levels of nested menus that make it painful at best to get to something. Then when you get there, some may be "locked" out while driving adding further to your frustration.

If Tesla were to offer one or two macro buttons (which would be cool), I'd suggest it be another display button that's on screen all the time. The trick would be finding some usable real estate on the display - perhaps optionally replacing some button that is rarely used.

For me, I never use the volume up/down on the display (as the steering wheel control is far easier), but would love to have a dedicated large homelink button. In 3+ years, I've never needed to switch the headlights on or off manually, but I don't encounter snow or fog. I can see how some would like a headlight button.

JeffreyR | 28 agosto 2016

@Badbot countered, "I think they were making room for the HUD projection equipment hidden in the dash."

Remember the entire dash is pushed forward to give more interior space. The HUD gizmo would not need any room that a digital dash takes up. They are not that big: think iPad vs. old analog gauges. I agree that a cool HUD would replace a dash and possibly cost less. It would also likely be easier to switch between RHD and LHD since the dash screen is not symmetrical and you would need different ones for each version. The HUD would just change in software.

Tiebreaker | 28 agosto 2016

@zephyr12 - you can keep Ludicrous mode on all the time, just don't stomp it.

jefjes | 29 agosto 2016

Not being an owner yet, is the turn signal stalk not used for anything other than activating the turn signal? Being able to flash high beams or go from high and low beams seems normal functions for that stalk that I hope remain. Is cruise control activation a touch screen item? Starting with my first hybrid and now a Leaf driver, I find I use cruise control much more frequently than I ever did/do on ICE vehicles since maintaining constant speed gets me better range when the computer is in control than my foot. Voice controls and Bluetooth interfaces have not always been user friendly for me and having button alternatives have been great many times but time will tell if that holds true for Tesla M3 in my case. How about a charge timer over ride button? I know on my Leaf I have the charge timers set for TOU and 80% so when I plug in at a public charger, I have to press a button on the dash that overrides them to begin charging. Real simple but done while the car is off. How does it work on a Tesla?