Its not 'the safest car' if you have a greater chance of a car accident due to distracted driving...

Its not 'the safest car' if you have a greater chance of a car accident due to distracted driving...

Just saying.

A huge screen next to the driver, & with browsing capabilities is just not a good idea.

frmercado | 27. august 2013

Yeah, because people would not otherwise drive and text on their smartphones...

Don't blame the car or its technology, blame the stupidity of the operator.

Now, if you find it to tempting to drive and browse or otherwize be distracted by the car's screen, don't buy a Model S get yourself an analog car with a radio with knobs and maybe a CD player!!

Just don't blame the car or the car manufaturer for the driver's shortcomings. Guess you are the type that blamed McDonalds and other hot beverage vendors for not warning the consumer that the beverage is HOT and may burn... Duh?!

Yeez, there is definitely no substitute for common sense...

ian | 27. august 2013

+1 frmercado.

No substitute for common sense and no sense of personal responsibility.

LionPowered | 27. august 2013

That might true for other countries, but here in the US there's no common sense and every problem is someone else's fault.

cloroxbb | 27. august 2013

Yeah, cause other cars don't have infotainment screens that could potentially be distracting as well...

Morons will be morons regardless of the car they are in.

Brian H | 28. august 2013

Dozens of buttons are better?

Btw, frmercado, you might want to drop the coffee comparison. The woman was served coffee at 185°, capable of producing 3rd degree scalds, instead of the 155°F which their own policy dictated -- overheated for the convenience of the local serving staff. Details matter.

dz4 | 28. august 2013

Lets review the facts:
Doesn't Tesla present itself as the safest car, at least in America? Yes.
Do they have an exceptionally large screen & capability of browsing while driving? Yes.
Does having such a screen & browsing make it easier to be distracted while driving? This is not a definite answer since a rigorous research is needed, but lets say it is not an outrageous claim to say this is likely.
Is distracted driving a major contributer to car accidents? Absolutely. The body of research on this is quite convincing at this point, just google it.

I rest my case.

Brian H | 28. august 2013

TM combats this by making the screen controls large, obvious, and easy to access. Once learned, they are not distracting.

But video is blocked on the system for this reason.

PorfirioR | 28. august 2013

I guess a lot of those distracted drivers will be getting tickets from this guy:

ian | 28. august 2013

@dz4 - Don't browse while driving. Take personal responsibility for your actions. Put the smart phone away and drive your damn car!

I rest my case.

Timo | 28. august 2013

Anything related to driving that you can control from touch-screen is at least duplicated on steering wheel. Don't mess with other controls if you are in place where accident probability is high if distracted.

Don't browse while driving.

bonaire | 28. august 2013

Browse? How about web telecons? Any way to play youtube videos while driving? Movies? Etc.?

Timo | 28. august 2013

No videos.

frmercado | 29. august 2013

@ Brian

Interesting fact. I had no idea...

Anyways, in this case common sense is the solution. Having a big intuitive screen doesn't make a car unsafe, just the opposite, its the use the person opertaing the car gives to it that makes it unsafe.

dz4 | 30. august 2013

Tesla is in an uniquely vulnerable position on this front, partially because they are already in the news all the time and present themselves as being very safe. They need to show they actually do stuff to try to address this issue. Having large buttons won't cut it, IMO.

To leave this on a helpful & optimistic note, it is a very good thing to have an API for developers despise the risks involved around hacking & some in this forum already alluded to those risks...

I'm sure there could be some smart ways to address the safety concerns (even if not to eliminate completely) & if a third side developer could come up with a good way to tackle it why not.
It is important to have solutions ready in advance when (not if) there is a lethal accident caused by distracted driving.

Mel. | 30. august 2013

dz4, have you been doing a little angel dust?

dz4 | 30. august 2013

I'm suggesting perhaps a kind of 'Mobileye' system that shuts off the screen and radio to prevent an accident.
These things already exist and I'm sure nothing said here is so outrageous. Its just people trying to show they are fans by dismissing any constructive feedback.

Anyway, someone in Teslive mentioned something very much like what I'm talking about (~30 minutes into the video),

And they said they will do it.

In the absence of any such solution, I see a significant risk going forward that Tesla will be seen as unsafe due to distracted driving (that is a reasonable argument regardless of if you believe they are).

cloroxbb | 31. august 2013

Its not "fans" dismissing your "contructive feedback," its because you are offering a solution to a problem that doesn't exist right now. And the fact that you are singling out the Tesla as the problem, when its people that is the problem.

Even if Tesla did the "mobileye" system, the people that WANT to browse while they are driving, are going to do it. Shutting off the screen and radio doesn't directly correlate to "preventing an accident."

I think THAT is why people are against your ideas.

Timo | 31. august 2013

Does cars have windows that can be lowered? yes.
Climbing out of the window while driving can be distracting.
Distraction causes accidents.

I agree.

aleks | 31. august 2013

Dz4@ the point many people are trying to make is, no amount of Mobileye in a cars infotainment system, even if every light and screen is shut off, retracted and covered with an im penetrable cover will ever stop people from simply pulling out their phone to look up what they wanted or to just cruise Facebook on the highway.

As a matter of fact, the way the car is designed is; nearly everything important can be controlled from the steering wheel which is far less distracting. This in it self is already "safer" by your standards than every other car ever produced that had all the controls in the center below the radio, which is probably true for the car you drive.

Reaching and diverting your eyes to the center infotainment system is far more dangerous and distracting as you remove the road from your peripheral vision. Whereas by changing things on the steering wheel, you keep the vehicles and your surrounding in the outskirts of your focusable vision. To put simply, you will see a car slam the breaks in front of you if you were changing something on the steering wheel, not so much in the center console area.

ian | 31. august 2013

+1 cloroxbb

jackhub | 31. august 2013

@DZ4 Have you ever driven a Model S, are is this armchair speculation?

GeekEV | 02. september 2013

> to have an API for developers despise the risks involved around hacking

@dz4 - Tesla does not have an API for developers. The API you see being referenced is for Tesla's own use, but others have reverse engineered it. The vulnerability isn't with the API itself, it's caused by giving third parties access to your username/password to access an API that was never intended to be public and lacks a more trusted third party verification system.

Vicelike | 03. september 2013

One step in the right direction would be to allow the voice command "navigate to Lucy's bowling alley" to be acted on without having to choose between the navigate and call choices that now appear on the touch screen as an additional step.

Less distracting

Eryx | 03. september 2013

I think frmercado said it the best right from the start:

"Don't blame the car or its technology, blame the stupidity of the operator."


dz4 | 04. september 2013

@GeekEV, you're right. my mistake.

there is even a forum on it here -

@Vicelike, totally.
Although I think ultimately you want more than one solution since different driving habits. This could work for some situations and some drivers but not all drivers in all situations.

On the whole 'it is not the responsibility of the maker of the technology or product, its the responsibility of the user'. Its never that black and white. Especially if the business selling the product knows that the product is being misused.
To take a somewhat extreme example – guns, do you really need background checks? I mean, guns don't shoot people, people shoot people.
I'm not saying this is anywhere near the same level of responsibility in the case of large touchscreens in cars vs. guns. But the basic idea is comparable – the manufacturer of the technology has some responsibility, not just the user.

On the claim that the problem doesn't exit yet – well, does that hold because the car is so safe it can never have a serious accident? Or that its drivers are so responsible they won't browse and text while driving? Not likely, as great as the car is, I don't think it breaks laws of physics or human nature.
It might have much more to do with just stats – there are relatively few cars on the road & not for a long time.

There are many great solutions to this, & ultimately the solution is driverless cars IMO. That could be as soon as 2020 if Ghosn keeps his word. I think as far as responsibility goes, you should recognize this is a problem, and have options for consumers. This is not too different from what is expected from car manufacturers when it comes to electric cars and the global warming problem, ironically.

Marty1234 | 04. september 2013

Well, are there any figures on tesla accidents and there causes? I haven't heard of any yet..I think it's a legitement question. And if it were to become some type of problem I suppose tesla has the ability with updates to modify its use..I won't be selling my tesla stock over this issue...Although I may be tempted to see how it's doing on that big screen..oops...

cloroxbb | 04. september 2013

I was talking about DRIVERS browsing while driving. I would imagine they are enjoying the drive so they don't feel they need to browse. Honestly, I dont know anyone who actually wants/does browse the internet while driving. Texting, yes, browsing, no.

I would like to think that the people that buy the Tesla Model S, aren't that stupid. My point was, that its not Tesla that needs to "fix" the problem, it is individuals who need to NOT be distracted while they are driving.

leon.gelernter | 05. september 2013

@ DZ4

Lame just lame... Are we still driving our own cars or has google already released a fleet of self driving cars?? No the haven't!! All necessary information during driving is displayed on the screen above the steering wheel. Using the steering wheel buttons you can control almost all functions necessary while driving.

We are responsible how we drive and how often we look at the big screen. Same thing with texting on our phones while driving. Maybe the should stop selling mobile phones to people who own cars.

Stop to trying to find stupid flaws on an almost perfect car. Maybe you can't afford it? Then go work harder.

"Just not a good idea"... Incredible.

Let me tell you whats not a good idea: You posting BS on this forum.

I also rest my case cause there is no point discussing stuff with you

dz4 | 06. september 2013

some of your response is a misunderstanding of the nature of the critique.
I'm not saying 'Tesla should make its cars autonomous'. I was clear on this IMO. There are things they can do today, and should look in that direction.

To make things clear: going with both a large screen, browsing, presenting themselves as the safest car in the US, and having so much media exposure creates a risk for the Tesla brand going forward. I have a great appreciation of what Tesla is doing and would not like to see them stumble on this issue.

The idea was to be a little provocative to bring up a discussion, but it seems to have somewhat missed the point. I won't try that again here.
People here get so overly emotional its like I offended the Gods. Wow.

Here is where I think your comment really falls short however -
“Stop to trying to find stupid flaws on an almost perfect car. “
That is a very unproductive mindset. Any product should have iterations of improvement over its entire lifetime. If you can crowd-source the process with people bringing up ideas for free that is a great thing for the product. This is regardless of if you think my specific critique is fair.

dz4 | 06. september 2013

sorry, that was really unintentional...

Brian H | 06. september 2013

Completely wrong-headed. The large screen in practice is easier to use than dozens of little buttons, and it doesn't do video. Surfing while driving is so obviously impractical that no cases of it have arisen, or are likely to. Fail.

bareyb | 08. september 2013

Yeah. All it takes is for one idiot to get in a crash and blame it on the screen... then all the features will be "grayed out" just like it is on Lexus Cars. You can do almost nothing unless parked... Why do we always have to cater to the lowest common denominator?

Having said that, I do think there are some things about the display that could be improved, but dumbing it down and putting "Parental Controls" on it is not the answer. This can be solved with technology, but unfortunately if history is any lesson, the Government will get involved (I'm sure at the urging of the Big 3 Auto Maker and Big Oil) and try to shut it down. Be very careful what you pray for, you might just get it...

Timo | 08. september 2013

If the problem is browsing while moving, it should be simple task to disable free browsing while moving and leave car controls running.

olanmills | 08. september 2013

So dz4, do you have any evidence that the Model S infotainment system is somehow more distracting than the systems in other cars? Accident statistics? Experiments? Experience using the car?

Timo | 09. september 2013

Beauty of touchscreen is that it is software-controlled and can be modified to match drivers preferences. If Tesla finds out that there is something people want there it is just matter of software update to get it there. You can't change knobs and buttons that easily. Also you can have a lot more controls there. And I mean a lot. Screen after screen after screen...

Problem with touchscreen is lack of feedback. You need to look at it to see what you are doing. That's the reason why steering wheel has pretty much all common controls that are related to actually driving the car.

So it is two-edged sword. I think pros wins cons in this case.

Brian H | 09. september 2013


rmitchum | 09. september 2013

If it came down to it, audible or haptic feedback would be an easy user selectable option. Still, once one learns the controls of ANY vehicle, controlling it will become second nature . . . just don't get ahead of the curve and you won't become a statistic.

Brian H | 10. september 2013

The console screen is user-selectable, too, and can accommodate many of the core functions, not just the defaults.

Roamer@AZ USA | 10. september 2013

Now you ruined it for me. I was so happy to not have to click a, I am too stupid to function button, every time I start my car. Tesla treats me like a real grown up and let's me operate the car.

I am sure starving attorneys looking to demand tribute will file law suits on behalf of brain dead fools who should not have survived to reproduce. We have interfered with Darwin to the point that people on this blog are just sure some smart person needs to decide what level of freedom you should have.

Brian H | 10. september 2013

Do you know the origin of the word "progressives"? Think Eugenics; the more evolved ones who will displace the previous versions. Fabianism, Technocracy, watermelonism, etc. Different guises for the same arrogant bunch.

bareyb | 11. september 2013

Why do we always have to cater to the lowest common denominator? I hope they leave it as is. It's not a distraction for me.

jeffsstuff | 24. oktober 2013

I'm replacing my Lexus with a model S. I've hated the Lexus, in part, because many of the navigation features I paid for are disabled when the vehicle is in motion. They did not disclose this (salesmen often lie and say you can turn that feature off) until after the sale.

While it may well be unsafe for me to input an address while driving, it is certainly safe for my passenger (and much safer than pulling over on a highway for them to do so).

Check out and ask yourself which company you want to deal with, tesla or Lexus. It's about attitude more than anything else. Tesla is treating us like adults and recognizes that the safe operation of my vehicle is my responsibility not theirs. Lexus, on the other hand, wants to be my nanny!

Roamer@AZ USA | 24. oktober 2013

We don't have a screen size problem we have an over production of attorneys and under production of common sense problem.

I definatly feel much safer every time I have to accept the warning notice before I drive in all my other cars. Without that warning I might die before I got out of my driveway.

The car warnings should say, because we live in a world of starving Barbary pirate attorneys you may be sued for being alive.

Brian H | 24. oktober 2013

As they say, one lawyer in a small town starves. Two both get wealthy.