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Appreciating Tesla's Simplicity!

Don't know if anyone has ever noticed, but I just had to comment...
I took my MS in for service and they gave me a rental car to use, a MB C300 4Matic. The MB is a nice car, although is is certainly no Tesla. I immediately noticed when I got in the car how busy the cockpit was. Seemed to be numerous gadgetry, knobs, shift paddles, and control points. Outside of the dash, it has a single information panel that looks like an externally mounted iPad mini that is controlled by various clicks, pushes, and turns of a hand module in the center of the console. While the controls are handy from a reach and normal positioning standpoint, there is a lot of fiddling to do to get things done, and it doesn't seem very intuitive. Just a busy place to be. Not hating on the MB, it is a nice car, but I immediately recognized just how simplistic and intuitive the Tesla MS is to operate and drive. Oh, and I felt a bit awkward when I had to pull into a gas station to fill it up...haven't done that in a while! Very much appreciating my decision to own a Tesla.
 
MB (and BMW, amongst others) seems to anti-touch screen, making simple tasks tedious with rotating knobs and buttons. If they could just make it a touch screen, a lot of the functions can be reached via soft buttons on screen.

Tesla on the other hand, went to the other extreme trying to put as much controls into the touch screen as possible. While this is great for certain functions, I still prefer physical buttons for tasks like unlocking door and opening sunroof. But I still much prefer Tesla's minimalistic design to the overly clutter design of MB.
 
...no pockets, funny you say that. My daughter asks what's wrong with Tesla, no seat-back pockets? I'm thinking that's a good thing...oh the things i've found in seat-back pockets over the years in our other cars. No pockets?...I'm fine with that!

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Thanks for the tip..ha ha. Now if I could just remember to turn the car off before I get out...did that three times this weekend.
 
...no pockets, funny you say that. My daughter asks what's wrong with Tesla, no seat-back pockets? I'm thinking that's a good thing...oh the things i've found in seat-back pockets over the years in our other cars. No pockets?...I'm fine with that!

Ah yes … that remnant of a tuna sandwich "saved for later" gets a bit rank after a while. :)
 
I totally agree with this. Once you get used to the clean interiors of a Model S, all other cars look cluttered, confusing and overdone. Truly an iPhone moment.

dsc_0172.jpg
 

S4WRXTTCS

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
6,836
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Snohomish, WA
I don't think we've really found the ideal control interface for cars.

For me personally I don't really like touch. Sure I have a Tesla, but most of the time I don't have to touch the screen. I just use the scroll wheels, and the buttons on the steering wheel.

I wish there was a sunroof button, and a lock/unlock button (aside from the park). Sure I can map the sunroof to the wheel, but 90% of the time it's raining where I live.

I do like the configurability of the touch screen though, but touch screens are annoying while driving. Any little bounce and you've pushed the wrong thing.

What I would like it haptic feedback. Kinda like on the new MacBook's.
 
I don't think we've really found the ideal control interface for cars.
For me personally I don't really like touch. Sure I have a Tesla, but most of the time I don't have to touch the screen. I just use the scroll wheels, and the buttons on the steering wheel.
I wish there was a sunroof button, and a lock/unlock button (aside from the park). Sure I can map the sunroof to the wheel, but 90% of the time it's raining where I live.
I do like the configurability of the touch screen though, but touch screens are annoying while driving. Any little bounce and you've pushed the wrong thing.
What I would like it haptic feedback. Kinda like on the new MacBook's.

Indeed. I think we'll eventually end up with a combination of haptic touchscreens, configurable steering wheels, and voice control. Depending on your accent, the existing voice recognition is fantastic. I can read off an address in natural language and it sorts it all out. That's great. Buy why can it only control navigation, search for a song, and one or two other things? It's not entirely clear to me why what seems like minimal additional work to fill out the keyword set was left undone. I'd use it pretty frequently.

Regarding the wheel, I think they could probably add two configurable buttons, one on either side of the backside of the wheel, without compromising usability. AC up/down, whatever.

Add some feedback to the touchscreen and we'd be in good shape. The one thing I thought about adding myself is a couple tiny braille-like dots below the controls on the bottom row of the screen. That'd make it pretty easy to hit the right thing without looking. If the rumors of v7 are correct, it sounds like they're averse to changing the layout of those. Might be relatively safe to do.
 
... the existing voice recognition is fantastic. I can read off an address in natural language and it sorts it all out. That's great. Buy why can it only control navigation, search for a song, and one or two other things? It's not entirely clear to me why what seems like minimal additional work to fill out the keyword set was left undone. I'd use it pretty frequently.
x2 why the heck are the voice controls so limited ??? I think one of the first things I tried is "guide me to..." and no luck so I tried "directions to..." and no luck again, I've been using "drive to..." as I know that works (though I imagine one day it might take control : )

And I'm just talking about basic functions I used in my 200x American car... "Call Dave Smythe - work" is something I used every day but I think I have to use "dial" in the Model S (though the touchscreen's dialpad is FABULOUS for conference calls etc.)

I'm not even anxious for expanded functionality yet, I'd like to first see common synonyms be accepted for basic tasks. Once the voice controls are as functional as my 10 year-old Dodge, we can go from there ;)

As for simplicity, I've always wondered if it was a decision not only to keep weight low (which I've found doesn't seem to be a big deal in the passenger compartment, all things considered) but also to encourage the "early adopter" customer (a.k.a. the Model S owner) to upgrade to the latest -- Elon Musk early on suggested that if you had a P85 loaner, you might just want to keep it :cool: Pretty easy to change cars when there's nothing in yours to begin with...
 
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