30 NOV 2018
Model 3 Improvement Ideas
As a manufacturing engineer I find myself examining everything in our world and asking myself how it was designed, manufactured, distributed etc. I also ask myself how stuff could be better all the time and if I can fix it, I fix it. If I can customize it, I do. I’m known in the family as the guy who always says “Your modern life is fully customizable and if your gripe is with technology, there’s a setting for that”. In the spirit of continuous improvement I’d like to pass along my ideas from one engineer to a bunch of other engineers. I’ve always heard Tesla is one of the best companies for valuing feedback and always working to improve so I hope this doesn’t fall on deaf ears! Either way thanks for the amazing car!
1. Slow down the windshield wipers when dispensing fluid
When you hold the left stick in so the car will dispense wind shield wiper fluid, the wipers move at too fast of a pace. It results in fluid being thrown off the left side of the car and all over the drivers side window. If the rate was slowed down not only would it reduce this but I believe it would make the fluid more effective.
2. Have more windshield wiper speed options.
The default speeds are not enough variation. The slowest speed isn’t slow enough and the steps between speeds are too big. Add two more speeds in between the existing speedsand everything gets better.
3. Do not display the pop up that warns that you’re on automatic windshield wipers if you press to actuate them once.
Sometimes the automatic windshield wipers work great but there are times they do not actuate often enough and you need to manually activate them by pressing the left stick in. When you do this the bottom left of the screen automatically shows you that you are in automatic windshield wiper mode. I’m assuming it’s a “what are you doing, you don’t need to press anything we got this”. While that is true, its annoying that this pops up everytime you hit the button.
4. Make scroll wheels customizable
This would be huge! We live in a world of customizable everything and I thought Tesla was the fully customizable car. While it’s a huge step in the right direction, this would be awesome. What if I wanted the right scroll wheel to control the wind shield wiper speed? I should be able to change that in settings.
Ideas for Customizable wheels
a. Either wheel scrolled up/down changes windshield wiper speed
b. Wheel scrolled up/down changes climate control temperature. Wheel pushed left/right adjusts air speed. Pushing wheel inward turns climate control off
5. Create quick access tool bar on left side of touch screen as well
Why can’t we have a quick access bar on the left side of the screen too? It wouldn’t take up that much space but could allow for a lot more buttons which is way better than having to click into a menu to change things. Especially while driving and especially to move buttons closer to the driver. Just like with my iphone, I move all the buttons I use often closer to my thumb at the bottom of the screen. Why should I have to reach all the way to the top right of my screen to open the garage? Moving all buttons closer to the driver is ideal. See the list below in number 6 for buttons to add.
6. Customize the easy access buttons.
Just like all technology I think the easy access bar should be fully customizable. If I never use the passenger seat heater, why do I want it taking up space on my control bar? I should be able to change where buttons are, what they do etc. Just like the apps on a phone screen.
The easy access buttons are the best part of the screen but there could be so many more!
Here are some ideas:
• FAVORITE: Air flow. Just like the temperature control just an up/down button would be great
• FAVORITE: Feet/Face/Windshield climate control toggle. Just like a standard car where I don’t have to open the climate control menu. I can just click it until it toggles to the setting I want
• Voice command. Moving it to the side/bottom bar opens up a space in the more useful bottom left
• Windshield wiper button. Press it to change speed. One press = slow, two = a little faster. Press and hold for auto wind shield wipers. Eliminates the need for a big pop up menu with four settings in it.
• Media switch quick button. One click changes from phone, to radio, to slacker etc. Press and hold to pop up the larger menu
• Seat heater button compressed. One displayed button like now but if you press and hold it pops up a mini menu that shows the five seats in the car. Again, don’t need a full screen display for this
• Quick Toggle for screen display mode. This would toggle between normal display and “clean” display mode. But also can we have a middle ground? Like a middle display setting that darks the screen and reduces clutter but keeps essential controls visible?
7. Detect if the car is in the garage at home. Then the walk away lock is disabled so my car is unlocked in the garage
8. Display supercharger statuses and idle fees in tesla phone app
This would be really nice from a transparency stand point. Tesla doesn’t seem like the typical corporate company but the way it hides the fees and the status of the chargers isn’t very transparent. I should have a way to check how many cars are at the charger, how much I’m being charged, if there is an idle fee etc. from my phone. That way if I’m far away from my car I don’t have to sprint for the fact that I have no idea if I will get an idle fee or not.
9. Can you create an external lock button on the car? Maybe swipping the card or phone on the frame to lock?
I really miss how I could unlock/lock my car from the outside with the keypad that other vehicles have on the outside of the driver door. That way you can keep your key in the car and just unlock the door with a pass code. I don’t know if something like this is possible for the Model 3.
10. Customize the small left corner access window which usually shows windshield wipers, push to talk etc.
I think the bottom left section could be one of the most useful but it isn’t being fully utilized at this time. It all comes back to being able to customize what’s on my screen and where. I would prefer the bottom left of my screen to be a quick climate control access panel. I live in Colorado where we have cold winters. So while driving I may want the car super hot at first but will adjust the temp/air flow throughout the ride. Right now that is difficult and distracts me from the road because I have to open the menu.
Other Ideas for bottom left:
1. Quick Access for adjusting mirrors, steering wheel
2. Rear view camera display. Don’t think this needs to be the full screen I think it could fit in the bottom left
3. Display of 5 seat heaters in the car for quick access/changing
11. Make a driver profile default so the car always returns to it. But will keep another profile active until arrival and locking of the car
I’m not sure if the car does this currently the times I’ve changed the profile to a friends for them to drive I’ve had to manually change the profile back the next time I drove the car. I know I’ll be the only regular driver of the car so having the profile always default back to me would be nice.
12. Allow heated seat access on phone app
Straight forward. Then I can preheat the seats too.
13. Allow rolling up the windows on phone app
Same thing. Would be nice and it would show me if I left the windows down.
Over all I love the car and everything the company is about! If you’d like to speak further about any of the items above do not hesitate to reach out to me. Thank you for everything you stand for and do every day!