Parking Sensors

Parking Sensors

I just reserved a new Model S but my only hesitation to purchase is the lack of front and rear parking sensors. I love everything else about the Model S but I can't figure out why they would not have parking sensors. All comparable (gas) cars have them as standard options these days. I currently drive a Maserati Quattroporte, which is very lacking on the tech side, and it even has parking sensors. I am really hoping it becomes an option on the Model S before mine goes into production. Front sensors make parking much safer and easier and rear sensors give great audible feedback if you are looking out the rear window. Is there some kind of technical reason why the Model S does not have them? Hopefully other drivers out there agree and if you do please voice your opinions as maybe we can get this added.

Electron | 20 dicembre 2012

Priorities probably. Knowing how development usually goes, they dropped off the list for 1.0
to get production going. There have been lots of requests for this feature, I'm sure TM knows
people want it. I've also heard there are hooks in the wiring harness for sensors, so it might
even be a retrofit feature for current owners if they do it.

Having said that, the rear camera apparently does a nice job for the backing up case, so it's
really just the nose that is an issue.

dborn | 20 dicembre 2012

Multiple previous posts on this. We NEED front and rear sensors as well as the camera with guidelines.

BYT | 20 dicembre 2012

I find with the great backup camera and now that I have learned to gauge the distance, I can back into spaces with no fear of scraping the bottom of my bumpers.

I also would love the sensors in the front however... :)

cmadsen | 20 dicembre 2012

Same boat as you, except I currently drive a BMW M5. The parking sensors plus a few other options would be great - especially on a car that costs $95K. I may be withdrawing my deposit and wait for the 2.0 generation to be produced.

However, with the cost increase coming next year, this would boost the cost to $101K, and now you are at a price point that requires the additional options.

Would be interested if you are going through with it now or waiting.

SMOP | 20 dicembre 2012

Sensors in the front would be real nice. The Model S is quite a large vehicle and it is sometimes tough to judge how close you are to an object. I wonder if a front camera behind the nose cone is possible to implement.

FLsportscarenth... | 20 dicembre 2012

If they make people happy, have them as a add on, I have no use for such things but do want the volume sold on MS so TM is more successful. As long as they do not come push up the base price!!!

olanmills | 20 dicembre 2012

"need" is a strong word, dborn. I don't need parking sensors. I would welcome the addition and I would use them if available.

Well, except for one thing, if having parking sensors means having those crappy little plastic nubs on the front and back of the car, then I am very glad they're not there. I'm always surprised to see when expensive luxury cars have those stupid ugly blemishes aall around the front and back of the car. It might seem stupid, but I honestly wouldn't buy a car with those. I hate those things.

The Model S is only 5 inches longer than my current car. I'll manage.

jat | 20 dicembre 2012

It seems weird to me that the people who are used to buying really expensive cars are pickier than those who this car is double what they ever spent before.

I have never owned a car with parking sensors, and I have never missed them. Sure, when you first get the car you park cautiously and get out and see how much room you had left, but within a week or two you know the boundaries of the car.

Likewise for many of the other "must have" things people keep listing.

For me, I would never buy a car in this price range if it was an ICE (well, maybe if I was wealthy enough it was pocket change). Heck, buying the LEAF at $28k after tax credits was a lot. So, I am buying it because I want to vote with my money for a world-changing car, and get an EV that is capable of making out-of-town trips with ease. After that and the basic features of a car, the rest is just gravy -- and there is plenty of gravy in the Model S, such as the big touchscreen, massive storage space, great acceleration and handling, etc.

sthornton | 20 dicembre 2012

The S is only 4 inches shorter than my garage is long. The City of Seattle wouldn't let me enlarge my garage during a recent remodel, so I really do need the front sensors. My interim solution is the old "hang a tennis ball on a string from the ceiling" trick. Less than elegant.

jat | 20 dicembre 2012

@sthornton - what about the pads on the floor?

olanmills | 20 dicembre 2012

Joanne fabric sells this big foam padding of various thicknesses and they will cut to size.

I know this because I used it to make a good bag for Guitar Hero controllers when the game first came out and before any tailor made cases were available. lol

I am thinking about going and getting more of this padding because the way my garage is, there is this vertical pole that encroaches into the parking space a bit; its purpose is to protect the furnace which is positioned such that if the pole was not there, it would be possible to crash into the furnance. I've just been careful these past few years to not hit it, but with my Model S, I want to be more careful, so I think I'm going to wrap the pole in a few layers of foam padding.

DouglasR | 20 dicembre 2012

Yeah, I use one of those stick-on "speed bumps" on the floor. Works great.

sthornton | 20 dicembre 2012

Where did you get that? I was also thinking of chock blocks stuck to the floor. I have very little room for error. Damn City of Seattle rule makers...

Brian H | 21 dicembre 2012

Aha! You need the more advanced technology with a ping-pong ball.

vouteb | 21 dicembre 2012

I tell you guys, with the massive price bump in Europe, we do expect these 'luxury' items as some call it.

The European pricing will cost TM quite a bit of sales, since its probaby way more expensive than people thought.
speaking for myself.....


siskogmo | 21 dicembre 2012

Just buy a mirror, mount it to the front wall, and tilt it 45 degrees
down. Then you can park within an inch of your wall with no problem.

Volker.Berlin | 21 dicembre 2012

Well, except for one thing, if having parking sensors means having those crappy little plastic nubs on the front and back of the car, then I am very glad they're not there. I'm always surprised to see when expensive luxury cars have those stupid ugly blemishes all around the front and back of the car. It might seem stupid, but I honestly wouldn't buy a car with those. I hate those things. (olanmills)

I seem to remember a rumor that said that this is precisely the reason why the Model S does not have parking sensors: Because Elon hates those "stupid ugly blemishes". Based on what I know about Elon, I find this very believable. I also believe that Tesla will figure out a way to do invisible parking sensors, but it takes some additional time.

Norbert.Vienna | 21 dicembre 2012

if you look at Mercedes S class cars they dont have crappy little plastic nubs
but they have parking sensors kind of radar device (?)
I am no technican

dborn | 21 dicembre 2012

@volker look at parking It has already been worked out. Not very costly either. I really don't know why they left this out.

Vawlkus | 21 dicembre 2012

It was either parking sensors or a working drivetrain. I think they made the right call.

I'm another of those people who has never wanted or needed all those fancy gadgets on a car. Admittedly I drive a muscle car, but my reluctance to rely on tech comes of working with high tech gear a lot. I prefer to do things myself. When I'm parking, I use my own senses & judgement rather than rely on something someone else put together. IMHO if you rely too much on technology, you can't function without it. I'd rather not loose my edge thank you.

nickjhowe | 21 dicembre 2012

@Vawlkus - "...parking sensors or drivetrain..." - most of the things that people are asking for have been standard on cars for years and are a 'solved problem'. No reason why TM couldn't have bought them from Mercedes. Yes there would be some integration costs, but I think it is clear that many owners would have paid another 4 or 5 k for an enhanced tech package.

Brian H | 21 dicembre 2012

10% import duty, 29% VAT - the "bump" goes to your governments. Ask them for the luxury add-ons. I'm sure they'll oblige!

DouglasR | 21 dicembre 2012


I'm not sure where we got it. But just Google "parking bumpers." It's about 2.5' long, 4" wide, and 2' high, with angled sides and adhesive on the bottom. My wife will know, but she's not home now.

sthornton | 21 dicembre 2012


After some research, that type of solution looks like a winner! Many come with lag bolts to hold them to the concrete. Thanks for the tip!

olanmills | 21 dicembre 2012

"No reason why TM couldn't have bought them from Mercedes."

There's no way you could possibly know this, unless you work for Tesla in the appropriate position.

On the other hand I can think of several reason why Tesla either could not, or might not have wanted to include parking sensors on Model S 1.0.

This sort of question has come up before about other possible features that were not included in the Model S.

Either you can believe that Tesla was simply ignorant of the feature possibility, that they were too incompetent in some way to make it happen, or that they had other reasons for skipping the feature.

There's no way to know unless you work there or unless the publicly tell us.

mlaiken | 21 dicembre 2012

@dborn. That looks like a great solution. Is that available in US, or only Europe? Also, would love to hear if anyone has installed anything like this on a Tesla.

dborn | 21 dicembre 2012

@ mlaiken. They ship all over the world. If you write to them, they will answer. I asked if they were planning a kit for Tesla, and the reply was their universal kit was just that. My guess is that once the car is released in Europe there will be pressure for a custom kit.
Indeed, I believe that at least one kit has been fitted to a model s. it was over in TMC. The same person had modified his car with radar detectors and the mobile eye system. I am in Australia, but I understand that Ed & Al's in California do this kind of work.

mlaiken | 21 dicembre 2012

@dborn thanks for the info. I will certainly consider taking my MS to a a place like Al & Ed's if Tesla doesn't add sensors prior to my config. I knew there would be ways after-market but am hoping Tesla will offer these options from the factory. Thanks again for the suggestions as I will certainly keep them as potential options.

BorisT | 21 dicembre 2012

I asked about sensors as well and they told me they were prewired but not yet installed. I likewise hope they make a retrofit kit available to us 1.0 customers. The MS feels like a big car - in many ways it feels bigger than my Porsche Cayenne so parking sensors are a must. It's especially important because I want to be able to get close in front parking without scraping/ramming the lower part of a front bumper on a curb.

DouglasR | 21 dicembre 2012

@sthornton, my wife thinks she bought it at Schucks (now O'Reilly Auto Parts). The adhesive seems to be holding quite well, even on a fairly uneven concrete floor. Of course I did stand on it with the Tesla. :)

lph | 21 dicembre 2012

Since it had been said that there is already wiring for sensors, could Tesla be gearing up a super sensing system? Just guessing here, but maybe they are working on something much better than anything seen before on any car. I think I remember Elon said somewhere that he would like to work with (already working with?) his buddies at Google which already have more experience with self driving cars. Google's cars have many more sensors than anything out there and they have to dynamically sense many more situations. The spin off would be things that we could barely dream of today.
Just wondering if we need to be patient. Who knows what Ver 1.5 or 2.0 will have.

sthornton | 22 dicembre 2012


Please thank her for me for the info!

smoothoperator | 22 dicembre 2012

@iph what will happen to customers who already spent a lot of money on 1.0. It would be horrible to have to spend even more hard earned money on options that are standard on 20k cars. Hopefully Tesla rethinks this and upgrades all early RES holders to the basic options spec of North American vehicles at this price point.

dborn | 22 dicembre 2012

If they are prewired, you can probably install a third party product, but only if Tesla gives out that info, and enables software on the screens. It must be said that all products evolve, and that earlier models do not have what later ones do. That is a fact of life and a penalty for being an early adopter. If the wiring harnesses are subcontracted out, it makes for economy of scale and future proofing to allow various circuits to be built in but not for immediate use. There may well be other circuits available but not currently used and even fuses which currently have no function.

July10Models | 22 dicembre 2012

The car has Bluetooth, they should just release the SDK already. The aftermarket will take care of the rest. Tesla should spend their effort in bringing BEV to mass market.

nickjhowe | 22 dicembre 2012

@OlanMills - obviously they had a reason NOT to source those features from a third party and put them on the v1 MS (Mercedes was an example; if not Merc I'm sure they could have licensed the technology from someone)

My comment was in response to the statement ( train or features...) and the fact they didn't HAVE to spend R&D money developing features that are standard from virtually every other manufacturer. They could have sourced the technology elsewhere.

Clearly they had a reason why they didn't.

snowmass4 | 26 dicembre 2012

This might be a solution:

Disclaimer: I have never used this product and certainly have no connection to Blinder. I currently use a Lidatek Le-20. This was one of the first laser jammers on the market. It has amazingly lasted through three cars and a decade of service. It is somewhat primitive in that it sees any IR signal and then blankets the the front of the car in a massive 5 sec laser pulse. No shifting, just jamming.

Laser range finders are ubiquitous and it does not surprise me that Blinder could multitask the jammer with parking assist. I would be curious to hear from anyone who has used their products.

sthornton | 29 dicembre 2012

I was told at the Bellevue, WA store this morning that not only are the cars wired for sensors, but that the actual sensors (at least in front) are in place, and only awaiting the activating software. That would be fantastic news, if true. Take with a grain of salt, but....

DouglasR | 29 dicembre 2012


I'd be more inclined to believe it if it came from one of the service guys in Seattle rather than the Bellevue store. In any event, that's the first I've heard of it.

Drdon220 | 29 dicembre 2012

@Sthornton & @DouglasR - I was also told the same thing at the Bellevue store, on multiple occasions.

Electron | 29 dicembre 2012

I'd like to believe it, but I am skeptical. Why wouldn't they have said anything publically?
Then again, it's not like a couple of ultrasonic transducers and some wiring are all that expensive.
The support electronics (A/D and D/A convertors plus interface to the computers) would have
to be there as well though.

Drdon220 | 29 dicembre 2012

I was told the sensors, wires and harness were all there and was seen on recent vehicles. What I didn't find out is if it was on all, or just tech package. Said possibly for parking as well as adaptive cruise control.
Didn't know if it would be a software update or a "to be purchased" App available at a later date.

Ohms.Law | 29 dicembre 2012

If the above rumors and statements have any truth to them (and I hope they do) it means that TMC likely has an entire bag of tricks up their sleeves that we have no idea about. They have proven to be quite successful at keeping secrets until the right time. So if something as enormously important as proximity sensors (to some of us) can be kept secret in spite of all the clammering then I suspect we're all in for quite a ride. For all the other car makers on earth it is: what you see is what you get. For TMC it seems to be: we're setting out to make the finest car available and if don't (yet) believe that, stand back and watch.

Brian H | 29 dicembre 2012

Some of Elon's statements about the enhancements coming in the new year could certainly be taken to be an indication of surprises to come! It's as though there's always a new pony in the straw when a boost or headline is needed.

Volker.Berlin | 30 dicembre 2012

Sensors for parking and adaptive cruise are different technology. There isn't any one sensor technology that I am aware of that would serve equally well for both purposes. Just sayin'.

jchangyy | 30 dicembre 2012

For the time being, how about a mirror attached to the garage wall. I attached a small, baby mirror--the one I used to see my infant in the back seat. Works great for my mdx. $5 fix for now.

vouteb | 30 dicembre 2012

If sthornton proves to be correct it will be the best upgrade and will move me from lokely to can el to definitive buyer(UK)

TeslaLABlue | 30 dicembre 2012

Any way to tell if they r there for current owners?

Captain_Kong | 30 dicembre 2012

This is a big news indeed!

After a recent test drive of a MS, the CC comes off themust have list for me, if they can "activate" the front parking sensors, the MS will be perfect for my need!

BYT | 30 dicembre 2012

I hope you are all right about this! :)