What other features would you want on an S?

What other features would you want on an S?

Looking at the nice photo of the full glass roof (go to, click on "Model S", click on "Learn More ->" just above and to the right of "300 Miles per charge") made me wonder as others have: will it be too hot? Can you see the information on the touchscreen?

How will you "close" the view above?
Is switchable glass possible for automotive and curved glass applications? (LCD built in to the glass makes it electrically controllable to be clear vs. "frosted" (translucent) or "mirror" (opaque).

If it's possible, there would be no significant weight or volume difference from standard glass. Instant control from the dash. (Fresh air is done the old fashioned way...)

That's (1) for me.
While I'm brainstorming (fantasizing?), someday I'd like to see some other electronic features:
(2) How does Google Maps get their traffic information? Internet connected cars could easily periodically report their position and average speed for wherever they are, thus enabling intelligent re-routing of other connected cars around traffic, whatever the cause.

(3) I'm used to backup cameras. What I'd really like is a simulated view of my car seen from above, showing all the cars nearby. This might be done with front, back and side cameras and real-time stitching, or with ultrasonic or laser scanning around the car. The view would show on a display, preferably one that can be seen easily while driving. No need to look over your shoulder as you're about to cut someone off with a lane change when you already know they're there. Not a replacement for good driving, but nice.

(4) Skype application in the car. Mobile ISPs don't like it, but it would be nice.

(5) Social mode: detect other nearby cars with local connectivity (Bluetooth auto-pairing? Wireless access point from your car to others?) and talk to them over your Bluetooth mike and speakers! "Man, did you see that guy cut off the ambulance!" "Do you know any good restaurants around here?" "Do you know what's causing this traffic?" "How 'bout them Yankees?" :) "Nice day!" "I like the color of your Tesla S - wanna get a cup of coffee?" It would make driving more like walking with others in public - more personable. But you could just shut it off!

I'm sure many of you have ideas, too!

Brian H | 6 mei 2011

Urk. Unfortunately, the socializing/chatting parts of the brain are the same ones that assess the immediate environment and navigate you through it. Crashing is a crude way of interrupting a conversation.

Volker.Berlin | 6 mei 2011

At this stage of development, I do not waste a single thought on apps or software features. As soon as the hardware is finalized and available, all sorts of apps will pop up out of nothing, and the useful ones will quickly become popular. In particular I do not worry about Google maps, which has been furiously evolving during the last few months, and it seems that Google wants to keep that pace. Not to mention the inevitable but potentially useful official Tesla software updates.

I assume that hardware for wireless and GPS, probably also accelerometer and ambient light sensor, and access to that hardware by custom apps, can be taken for granted -- just as with any recent smart phone.

Sure, for a bird-view feature you need additional hardware, i.e., multiple cameras (at least). I do not know if Tesla will have anything like that ready for the Model S 1.0, but at least it is not totally unlikely. I think I read that BMW does already offer a system like that, that generates a virtual view from above your car where in fact there is no camera, using data from sensors/cameras placed around the car. I think that's cool, but I could easily go without that.

Volker.Berlin | 6 mei 2011
Heinz | 8 mei 2011

I'd like to have a 12 volt outlet on the ceiling near the rear view mirror. That would make it easier to plug in a radar detector.

Timo | 8 mei 2011

A very good reason not to put one there.

divine | 9 mei 2011

id like vertical lifting doors, not just because they look cool, but because i think the function better than doors that swing out. have u ever came out of store and go to your car only to find out someone parked too close to your car and u cant get in on the drivers side cuz the door wont open enough for u to get in.

VolkerP | 10 mei 2011

did u ever enter an underground parking lot. maaaan they can have really low ceilings. Wud like to see u crawl out from under ur door.

Supergreekster | 10 mei 2011


For car firmware upgrades, CDDB look-up for stereo


HD integration for scanning in CDs
Or good iPod interface through touchscreen...

Car control:

Possibility of App control (from iPhone, android, etc)
- AC
- charge/range status
- remote unlock

Supergreekster | 10 mei 2011

Also, surround cameras would be awesome... I think it is GREAT for highway blind spot safety...

Thumper | 10 mei 2011

Definitely want blind spot sensing and back up cameras plus front bumper proximity assist. BMW seems to be out front on this. I would really like to have similar abilities.
For interior sound, many car companies work with an audio company. Tesla could not do better than Bill Duddleson at Legacy audio in Springfield, Illinois. He makes super award-winning speakers. Legacy is here in the US and is not currently affiliated with another car company. I have no idea if he would be receptive.

Supergreekster | 11 mei 2011

Need some awesome steering wheel controls for radio, climate, cruise, phone... See other posts by me...

I am scared that 17" touch panel will be hard to use while vehicle in motion...

I also like the idea that a single button can do mutiple things: for example:

A quick push-release (click)
A long push (click-hold)
A double click
A click then a click-hold (beginning to get challenging)
Triple click starts to get too hard...

This was pertaining to steering wheel mounted controls...

dashrb | 12 mei 2011

@divine, and @VolkerP: We need Pocket Doors! :-)

jkirkebo | 13 mei 2011

Another vote for a power outlet in the trunk from me. Obviously 230V for the european version. And make it a proper 16A (3600W) capable outlet, not some "125W max" useless thing...

Such an outlet could also be used for emergency charging of other EVs.

msiano17 | 15 mei 2011

The problem with the buttons is having too many buttons on your steering wheel. The new Maseratis have the typical buttons on the front and then I believe 12 on the back of the steering wheel. Over complication of the steering wheel at that point ...

Need a few buttons for simple controls and then voice control for the rest.

Volker.Berlin | 16 mei 2011

I said this once but I cannot find the thread any more... I love the Audi steering wheel buttons. There are only a few buttons, and there is a "thumb roller" on each side of the steering wheel, that can also be pressed, similar to a mouse wheel. Those rollers are great for adjusting volume or selecting items from lists (like when setting up navigation or choosing a radio station). If done right, it is equally easy to enter steps of one (clack, clack, clack) as it is to jump ten steps at a time with a zippy stroke (brrrrt!). Those rollers are so much better than having to repeatedly push a button!

Brian H | 16 mei 2011

Nah. A skull cap that lowers from the roof and reads your brain waves. Train it with a few hours voice and button and display examples, and then just think your wishes and they will be fulfilled!

Clarke's Third Law: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

mnx | 16 mei 2011

I'd love to see adaptive cruise control and a heads up display. Got to see a HUD in my friends BMW X6M, it's totally awesome.

msiano17 | 16 mei 2011

+1 Brian H ... love the ingenious sarcasm

Timo | 16 mei 2011

Those mind reading machines do already exist, so it isn't quite that far fetched idea. Just might be tiny bit immature tech for this car...

Tiebreaker | 16 mei 2011

Right on, BirianH and Timo.

Not science fiction, just science...

By the time we have a 1000 miles battery, Tesla may be offering this as an option... ;-)

EdG | 24 mei 2011

As computers get faster, we all tolerate response delays less and less. Likewise, I think it would be nice if the handles pop out either (a) when I approach with my key or (b) when I push a button on the key within 50 feet of the car, rather than having to touch the handle every time and wait. While it's great the first few times, I think it might get "old".

I already unlock doors on my old car when I approach, hop in, start and belt up and shift with minimal time. It seems reasonable to allow for us to do this much faster with a car that, in some sense, doesn't need to "start".

While the handle is popping out, other things might happen, too, perhaps only when those options are previously set:
1) get the car's cabin temperature going
2) if the battery-motor system needs some multi-second pre-charge, start that up
3) turn on the dash and 17" screen, etc.

It's been almost 20 years since I could impress the kids with minivan doors that open by magic. A little magic goes a long way.

TJK | 24 mei 2011


Check out this video. Elon states that in the production model, the handles will automatically open when you approach the door with the key fob.

If the embedded link doesn't work, try this one...

Nicu | 24 mei 2011

This video answers another question : the glass top will open :)

DanD | 24 mei 2011

I'm concerned about shipping a car with 3G wireless connectivity in 2012. Verizon says they may stop shipping phones with 3G in 2013. In other words, 3G is dead by the time the Model S ships.

Rather, the car should use a PC Card type communications capability so we can upgrade. Model S needs to start out with 4G.

We don't want to have a car that lasts 5 years dependent on a communications technology that's good for 2 years.

Supergreekster | 24 mei 2011

+1 for 4G!

However, most/all cell phones are backwards compatible... For instance my 3G iPhone can also get on EDGE network...

But I think use highest spec for the time, this is 4G!

DanD | 24 mei 2011

We don't want a backwards compatible car. We want a forward compatible car.

What happens in 2015 when 4G gives way to 5g. Or, should it use femto cells and access Wi-Fi in the garage?

It always struck me that for such a high tech car, the assertion that the Model S seemed, well, backward.

mnx | 24 mei 2011

Another reason to just be able to share you phones data plan with the car via wifi or whatever.

sojourner | 24 mei 2011

Variable DC voltage (12-24V) plugs build into armrests so that any passenger has the option of powering a laptop, accessory or other electronic device efficiently without using an inverter.

EdG | 24 mei 2011

After writing a web page on the subject, I'd like to see both UVA and UVB protection from all the glass without having to go aftermarket for a coating. Reduce those tans, burns and skin cancers. Thanks in advance! :)

speedmind | 30 mei 2011

Integrated child seats.

Mercedes C-Class

Mercedes E-Class

VW Passat

The really cool thing is that you can use the space in the middle for a 3rd baby/child seat...

And btw, the user's manual should be online as well...


mnx | 31 mei 2011

carbon ceramic brakes.

Brian H | 31 mei 2011

Latest on child seats is that they should be rear-facing, since strap-restraint can be harmful in an accident.

EdG | 3 juni 2011

I'd like an app that would allow me to lock the car while I went shopping, but still have the car stay at a set temperature inside for a set amount of time. Two scenarios: it's really hot outside and 1) after making a ten minute stop somewhere that you've parked in the sun, you hop in a nice cool car and 2) you've just bought some ice cream and you don't want it to melt too fast while you stop by elsewhere on the way home.

I guess this could be controlled by phone, too, allowing you to turn on the air conditioning as you're leaving work but before you reach the car.

cablechewer | 3 juni 2011

I just want the ability to choose to open all the windows as the door handle extends. On a sunny day I hate getting into an oven on wheels. I also figure opening the windows is less energy intensive than running the air conditioning remotely (besides I prefer driving around with the windows down when I can).

EdG | 3 juni 2011

For what it's worth, driving a car with the windows down is generally more energy wasteful than using the A/C. You'd get a lot of turbulence instead of smooth air flow over the closed windows. That said, opening the windows a minute before getting in a hot car uses less energy than using the A/C to drop the interior temperature down toward outside air temperature. I'm not sure how much you can expect to cool the car down from the time the door handle extends till you actually open the door.....

Perhaps an option: from a phone or the key (at a distance), allow the car's fan to go to maximum to bring in outside air while you approach the car, thus blowing out the oven air.

cablechewer | 3 juni 2011

I know driving with the windows open consumes more energy, but if I am going to put the windows down running the air conditioner to cool the car before I get in seems even more wasteful :)

Well - the logic makes sense to me at 2am :D Not sure it will work equally well after a night's sleep. :)

stretchrunner | 8 juni 2011

What will make this car's option that is most imperative to have is a solar power roof where the car is air condition while you eat or parked.

check out Fisker Automotive electric cars. there cars come with a solar powered roof to keep your car cool while sitting in the sun .you never get into a hot car from sitting in sun while working.

what a fantastic idea..this should be on all cars made electric or not.

Fisker has a dynomite looking car with gorgeous interior, but sure has some of Telsa's body design.

Volker.Berlin | 8 juni 2011

What will make this car's option that is most imperative to have is a solar power roof where the car is air condition while you eat or parked. (stretchrunner)

(I should have posted this only here instead of in the Q&A thread. Unfortunately, I read the Q&A thread first. I apologize.)

Volker.Berlin | 8 juni 2011

There is a "look mum no hands!" solution for opening the trunk in the new Volkswagen Passat. The only source I found right now is in German, but the pictures tell the story very well:

It's a nice little revelation. If it works well, I'd love to see it in the Model S!

markp1950 | 8 juni 2011

Ok, a SMALL 120V outlet, maybe 60W at the most to recharge cameras, laptops, shavers etc etc.
built in wifi+ cell receiver for charging station updates built into the GPS with real trip planning that includes charging station.
Have onboard charger send a text to your cell when car is fully charged.
Make sure that the built in GPS will allow you create your own waypoints.
Allow you to enter lat/long as waypoints.
Google maps streetview?
Flash memory chip socket for your own music, map updates etc etc etc.
Personal Emergency Beacon for extreme emergencies.
With all these electronic gizmos, some sort of privacy guaranty that every move is not tracked for the rest of your life!

GarySV | 8 juni 2011

I'd very much like to see a front-wheel-drive version of the S. I live in snow country and FWD cars have 3/4 of the snow mobility of four-wheel-drive cars. There's also the advantage of tuned FWD handling, which Lotus proved in their FWD car of years past.
Still, the compelling reason for FWD is for snow country residents. The front-luggage-space issue would be simply moved back. THere are other advantages I've heard but can't articulate. I know it's a big deal to move the drive system to the front, but I believe Tesla could sell more cars that way.

Volker.Berlin | 8 juni 2011

GarySV, the pros and cons of RWD have been discussed in and out:
(There are more related threads, but this is the most recent one.)

In a nutshell: You may be lucky with the Model X, which has been announced for 2013. The Model S is designed for people who like RWD.

gjunky | 8 juni 2011

I know this is a pretty simple one: Homelink, from the touch screen or physical button on the visor / ceiling.

ncn | 12 juni 2011

In a different nutshell, many of the advantages of FWD are down to having a car with the weight in the front, and with Model S having the weight underneath the chassis spread evenly from front to back it will handle a lot better than the average RWD. I don't like ordinary RWD and I think I'll be happy with the S.

daniel1948 | 13 juni 2011

I'm a bit of a nonconformist. I want a Model S because I like driving electric and my present EV is slow speed and short range. But I don't care for fancy bells and whistles. I'd like a 400-mile Model S with bare-bones everything. Basic one-disc CD player, hand-crank windows, heater for cold weather but I can live without A/C (my first car didn't have it). I'd like an SoC meter for the battery, by way of a "fuel" gauge, but no GPS or range estimators or cameras or telephones or apps. Basically, a car like my old 1989 Honda Civic, but electric instead of gasoline, and with enough range for a full day's driving. Oh, I do want all the safety features that my old Civic didn't have: ABS and stability control and air bags.

Brian H | 14 juni 2011

a pure semi-purist! I like that ...


Volker.Berlin | 4 juli 2011

Update to my own post above (June 8, 2011 - 10:49am): Now BMW offers the same hands-free tailgate opening feature that was first introduced in the Volkswagen Passat:

I wonder why this was not invented 30 years ago... Well, the technology was not available then, but imo this feature stands out as really useful. I would like to have that on my Model S!

Aleksandyr | 14 juli 2011

I want a SPORT edition that has upgrade tires, adjustable shocks and upgraded motor that gets under 4.0 seconds on 0-60.

Mdobro | 15 juli 2011

Seat cooling please!

Slindell | 15 juli 2011

Tesla coils. Of course.