Only one screen!

Only one screen!

Elon confirmed this week that there would be only one screen. Does this add weight to the speculation that there will be a HUD. If not, how does the one screen in the centre of the front passenger compartment satisfy Elon's comment that it will be like a spaceship?

Carl Thompson | 2 maart 2017

If I recall correctly the "spaceship" comment wasn't about the screen. It was about the steering wheel.


jamilworm | 2 maart 2017

It wasn't necessarily about the steering wheel, I think it was about the "steering controls". Though that most likely means the steering wheel.

gavinfaulkner | 2 maart 2017

This subject has been beaten to death with a wet fish. We all want a HUD but Tesla is being all coy and secretive about it. Until we get leaks from the first employee units its all speculation.

Like rattling a Christmas gift box to see if we can figure out whats inside, sometimes we're better off just distracting ourselves with something else before the big day so that we don't go completely mad with anticipation.

The way I see it, if you expect something disappointing and dull, you'll only be pleasantly surprised at the final reveal. Otherwise your imagination will just get carried away and you'll end up disappointed, no matter how fantastic it might turn out to be.

denkav2 | 2 maart 2017

I agree, gavinfaulker, that expectations need to be controlled. But I am still interested to try and find a way of making all of Elon's comments consistent, that is, one screen and spaceship like. It's just one more opportunity for people to comment on the HUD topic. It's probably only of interest to newer readers of the forum who haven't read the length earlier discussions.

scarface | 3 maart 2017

At best, I could see a small HUD display to show the current speed and some minimal information. I really don't see why we would need a spectacular HUD other than for the wow factor. As I can see, the S and X are the "wow cars" while the 3 will be the accessible one. Remember guys, Elon said a lot of exciting things about the 3 but he aslo said that its not gonna have all the bells and whistles that the S/X have. In fact, I wouldn't mind not having a HUD at all...I think that the speed will be displayed at the top left corner of the screen like we saw at the first reveal. Since the main objective is to create the first fully autonomous car, I don't see why we would need to see the speed all the time. Does it make sense?

dd.micsol | 3 maart 2017

While I agree with Scar-I don't want to look at the panel at all. S and X owners don't. Why should mdl 3 owners?
It's a basic thing in a car to have the info required without looking away from the window. I'm expecting hands free operation of -whether by voice or by motion. I do expect navigation to be on bottom of windshield and not where a 'radio' usually is. Speed is something that always needs to be displayed for the drive in a very convenient place. Look to a radio location over and over for speed isn't. Bottom line-we will all have to wait and see. Until then dream on. If profits will be as low as 13%-I will expect more from an entry model 3 than what was unveiled late March 31st.

jschnyderite | 3 maart 2017

I think it might have been during the reveal test rides that one of the engineers was talking about why they went landscape with the screen...the answer was about passengers having better access to the screen. I can't imagine they want your passenger watching youtube videos on the same screen you are to be looking to get vital info about your speed, other cars around you, etc.

dsvick | 3 maart 2017

@jschnyderite - " I can't imagine they want your passenger watching youtube videos on the same screen you are to be looking to get vital info about your speed, other cars around you, etc"

You can't play you tube, or other videos, on the Tesla screen.

3dwin | 3 maart 2017

I was thinking just now. What if along with a hud there would be some form of voice Ai that lets you know your speed and current speed limit. Eliminating the need to look anywhere.

dsvick | 3 maart 2017

@3dwin - "What if along with a hud there would be some form of voice Ai that lets you know your speed and current speed limit"

In my car I call that "my wife" :)

topher | 3 maart 2017

" I really don't see why we would need a spectacular HUD other than for the wow factor."

I am fine with reading the speed off the center screen. We need HUD for EAP display. That needs to be more than simple.

Thank you kindly.

scarface | 3 maart 2017

@topher,do we? What info do we really need about the EAP?

topher | 3 maart 2017

Well I won't trust it if I can't see all the other vehicles that it recognizes as such; that it is properly finding the lane markings; lane changing (auto or manual) benefits from info about cars in blind spots; recognition of speed limits signs. Look up the recent crash featured on reddit to see why these things are important.

For autonomous driving, I *might* get to the point where I no longer need to see these things, but I am not there yet with my spouse, so...

Thank you kindly.

vadamudala.gurunath | 4 maart 2017

Does the center screen play videos either via YouTube or USB/DVD drive when parked? That would be a great feature. My Mercedes Benz CLA 250 does that and my kids enjoy a lot! Looking forward to that feature very much in Model 3.

mntlvr23 | 4 maart 2017

@dsvick - (In my car I call that "my wife")
lol - I feel you

JeffreyR | 4 maart 2017

It's not just the screen but the computer that drives it. Elon mentioned that they will eliminate a lot of wiring too.

Ehninger1212 | 4 maart 2017

@topher. You have a point. With autonomous driving why would we need all that instrumentation?

I think controlling everything on a single touch screen is pretty "space ship like", also I think the hud could easily be projected from the back side of the screen. That would answer the whole no double computer less wiring confusion.

Carl Thompson | 4 maart 2017


"It's not just the screen but the computer that drives it. Elon mentioned that they will eliminate a lot of wiring too."

I'm not thrilled about that. I kind of feel like the computer that controls the car's driving (BMS, motors, steering, brakes) should be completely separate and isolated from the computer that controls the entertainment / information screen for security reasons.


Red Sage ca us | 4 maart 2017

Carl Thompson: They probably are... I'm pretty sure someone counted something like 12, 15, or 17 different computer systems in the Model S on a teardown. It was definitely more than just one, though they may have been speaking of CPUs. The Model ☰ will certainly be a similar, but more simple, installation of computer power. I'm sure there will be some degree of multiple redundancy, there just won't be unnecessary redundancy.

JeffreyR | 5 maart 2017

The whole point was to say one less screen means one less computer. Not that they have moved to a single computer approach. Remember the AP2 HW uses a massively parallel GPU setup, not a general purpose CPU.

Lots of controllers are on the CAN bus.

andy.connor.e | 6 maart 2017

The HUD is the center console touchscreen. Sorry if its different from every other car that has been made for the past 100 years.

PhillyGal | 6 maart 2017

I absolutely adore the not-main screen in my Model S. The one that's behind the steering wheel.
I constantly glance at it for the colored arcs that appear when my car is too close to other objects... which is basically my whole commute thanks to construction. Barrier to the left, tractor trailer to the right, me straddling to avoid anything more dark yellow on each arc.

PhillyGal | 6 maart 2017

*anything more than dark yellow.

(It goes white, light yellow, dark yellow, oranges, red.)

andy.connor.e | 6 maart 2017

thats racist

mos6507 | 6 maart 2017

"The HUD is the center console touchscreen."

Now we're redefining terms? HUD != conventional screen. HUD is a projection onto glass.

"Sorry if its different from every other car that has been made for the past 100 years."

Tesla's the one to be sorry if it barrels through without listening to the significant faction who don't like this approach.

"With autonomous driving why would we need all that instrumentation?"

Because the stock Model 3 won't have full autonomy enabled.

Really, the rationalizations going on with this topic have become truly insane.

Rocky_H | 6 maart 2017

@mos6507, I concur that some are getting kind of crazy with this.

Quote: "Since the main objective is to create the first fully autonomous car, I don't see why we would need to see the speed all the time. Does it make sense?"

Does anyone see how ridiculous that sounds? This is saying that because Tesla has a long term goal of making autonomous cars, someday, years into the future, once laws adapt to allow it, they should go ahead and remove driving controls from their cars now. That is stupid and insane and would be disastrous for their ability to sell cars in the near term.

scarface | 6 maart 2017

Rocky_H, we are just talking guys...calm down...

Otherwise, we could just create forums with only good/existing ideas and talk about why we all agree on everything. Come on! I wrote what I wrote to create a discussion and I don't think its stupid to speculate, thinks outside the box, (dream), and say all kind of stuff that won't happen in real life but that could generate a good conversation...

andy.connor.e | 6 maart 2017

If i cant control it, im better off taking a cab and never buying a car. Because i would have purchased something i have no control over.

gavinfaulkner | 6 maart 2017


With full autonomy you would have nothing but more control. After your car drops you off at work you can command it to go and fetch your family members and deliver them to work/school/terrorism practice. You can track by GPS wherever you car is and (if the functionality is there) see through its many cameras to observe what its doing. You could sit at home while the car does errands, picking up your groceries or the TNT igniter you purchased at It would open up so many more options.

Your vision is clouded by the ICE "can't-do-anything-by-itself" dumb car paradigm.

Carl Thompson | 6 maart 2017


Is that the MOS Technology 6507 CPU as found in the Atari 2600? Just wondering how you chose that nickname?


jefjes | 7 maart 2017

That comment about "terrorism practice" is kinda disturbing. No more suicide car bombings since they can just send the car full of explosives without a driver. Scary thought and one I had never considered. Hope it doesn't slow or stop the adoption of autonomous cars but I do see that it could be a problem. They may have to set up no autonomy zones around high risk targets like government buildings and large events. Guess my head was in the clouds and dreaming of a perfect world without nut jobs trying to kill us. Now I'm beginning to get paranoid and my day is ruined. Thanks for the reality check!

Haggy | 7 maart 2017

" I really don't see why we would need a spectacular HUD other than for the wow factor."

Because drivers need to see certain things at a glance such as what autopilot sees and whether it senses a car ahead of you. You need to know if autopilot is on or off. You need to see warning messages, and Tesla promised NHTSA that they took action with the Model S to have visible warnings that would get the driver's attention.

Tesla is a tech company and not known for doing a half-decent job of something. Tesla said that innovations will first appear on the S and X. If there's an HUD, Tesla will add it to the Model S shortly before the 3 is released. The software development will be the same for both, so the 3 might as well have a robust display. They can't do a rudimentary job on it for the higher end cars.

Haggy | 7 maart 2017

"No more suicide car bombings since they can just send the car full of explosives without a driver. "

Why spend an extra $20K above what a cheap car might cost when there are plenty of willing terrorists who will gladly die as martyrs to spend eternity in heaven with a harem of virgins. Of course there's the issue that if they remain virgins for eternity...

dd.micsol | 7 maart 2017

Calm down all-
Abuse of technology happens everywhere today. Hacking/cracking/bypassing/tapping the list goes on and on.
It is the abuser of the tech who is at fault not the tech itself. I have no worries about this, but that doesn't mean it won't happen.

skygraff | 7 maart 2017

I'm not a fan of the screen on a stalk but it might lend itself to dual HUD projectors (one on each back corner) to cover all those bases and, while keeping complexity low, maintaining flexibility for right and left hand drive configurations. Perhaps, the HUD will find its way into the S & X as OLED coated inner windshields which would be much cooler. Then, maybe the next version of the 3 will incorporate the screen into the dash and follow the windshield integrated HUD design using a single computer.

Maybe, instead of a HUD, all of the alerts etc. will be, as somebody suggested, directly on the steering "device."

Haggy | 8 maart 2017

Vehicle codes are strict with respect to the orientation of certain lights and buttons and knobs. Some, such as cruise control, can be at orientations other than vertical so they can be on steering wheels. The horn symbol can rotate. But most wouldn't be able to deviate from vertical so messages on a steering device are probably not going to be allowed.

skygraff | 8 maart 2017

Center of device could be stationary (assuming the device itself rotates - my preference but Elon said spaceship so...).

tnkplatoon18 | 8 maart 2017

I am not sure about a HUD, AI, or even a small screen on the steering wheel. I am eager to see the final product just like everyone else. I am sure that Elon will not disappoint us when the final product is revealed. We all we be like "Oh that is exactly what I would have done, great job!"

dman | 8 maart 2017

Let's not forget that the design of one screen (HUD or not) is the next step toward full autonomy.

SoFlaModel3 | 9 maart 2017

I have a thought regarding the HUD and it's possible usage in the 3.

Yes, Elon said new tech would first appear in the Model S and X, but it's possible that the HUD is not included in that comment as it is unnecessary in the S and X given the second screen and the information it displays.

That said, there still very well may not be a HUD and we may just have the one screen...

Badbot | 9 maart 2017

Can I swap the 15 inch screen for my old 46 inch flat screen?
it will be easier to reach and close to a heads up it might block some of my view but I have sensors for that.

mark | 10 maart 2017

Not sure if it has been mentioned already, but if there really is only the single central screen, apart from speed and EAP, what about the traditional warning indicators such as turn signal indicators, hand brake on, lights on, seat belts, warning lights etc that people are used to having in their line of vision?

Could these be all shown on the central screen, and does that meet regulations across various countries?

Ross1 | 10 maart 2017

Some Citroens have a stationary steering hub and rotating rim, oh, for the last 12 years.

Ross1 | 10 maart 2017

Citroen just bought GM Europe.
If they are so free with their cash why not a bid for TSLA?
Tesla is the most Citroenesque car: ask my wife, she is always right.

SoFlaModel3 | 10 maart 2017

I saw it posted above in here, but realistically the only thing you need to see quickly and in line of sight is speed.

You turned on your turn signals. An indicator right in front of you doesn't seem necessary. The clicking sound is all the confirmation you need.

The blind spot detection could be solved by doing what other cars do and moving it to the mirrors.

Headlights being on. Yeah good information. Not something I need to repeatedly check to confirm in line of sight.

SoFlaModel3 | 10 maart 2017

Sorry I should have included navigation in line of sight is important. When using navigation it is presumed you do not really know where you are going and thus looking down and to the right for directions may be unsafe. Of course there are voice prompts, but you still tend to look a few turns ahead and ideally prefer it in front of you.

Carl Thompson | 10 maart 2017


Agree about navigation. That mock up video was great where the direction arrows overlaid the actual street using a HUD. But of course we won't get something like that on the 3 unless it's introduced on the S and X first (possible).


Garyeop | 14 maart 2017

In games I play, you can light up a path. What if a HUD augmented the voice GPS by lighting the path on the road?

SoFlaModel3 | 15 maart 2017

@Carl, I disagree with the assumption that all tech must hit the S and X first. I know Elon said that, but that doesn't mean a HUD falls into that category. My reason for saying that is that the HUD solves for a "problem" that the S doesn't have given its 2 screens.

Now that said, yesterday I was driving I was starving at my dash and I said to myself how important is what's in front of me....

Tachometer - gone
Speedometer - huge, when all I need is a number
Fuel gauge - doesn't need to be in my face
Engine temp - gone
Central display - usually showing me fuel consumption and range remaining - doesn't need to be in my face

I was hard pressed to say anything but speed was truly important and as it turns out speed is of course on the far right of the dash no more than what would be 5 or 6 inches further to the right if it sat in the top left of a single center mounted display.

I'm not sure having a display behind the steering wheel matters at all.

I like it on the S, but I'm not sure it's a critical element t the car at all.

scarface | 15 maart 2017


Totally agree with you. This is why I don't think there will be anything else than the center display. People will be thinking that its gonna be hard to adjust but in fact, it won't. If it is, Tesla won't do it. Trust the company. They have a lot of "ergonomic expert" that will have tested every solution.