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Dashboard design and NHTSA regulations

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by ModelNforNerd, Apr 2, 2016.

  1. ModelNforNerd

    ModelNforNerd Active Member

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    Many, myself included, have mentioned that the dash layout has to change due to Federal regulations. In another thread, someone asked whether we've actually SEEN the regulation. So since it's a rainy, raw Saturday, I did some "interneting".

    Turns out, the layout we saw on Thursday is legal.

    "S5.1 Location S5.1.1 The controls listed in Table 1 and in Table 2 must be located so they are operable by the driver under the conditions of S5.6.2.

    S5.6 Conditions S5.6.1 The driver has adapted to the ambient light roadway conditions.

    S5.6.2 The driver is restrained by the seat belts installed in accordance with 49 CFR 571.208 and adjusted in accordance with the vehicle manufacturer’s instructions."


    TL;DR version, if the driver is seated in and belted as he should be, the controls must be located and operable by the driver. There is nothing limiting them to placing an instrument cluster directly behind the steering wheel.....

    Interesting, and I stand humbly corrected.

    It's a dry read, but here you go:

    https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2011-title49-vol6/pdf/CFR-2011-title49-vol6-sec571-101.pdf
     
    • Informative x 11
    • Helpful x 2
  2. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Active Member

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    Several other cars already use center cluster designs so I had assumed there was no law against it. Thanks for doing the research to the actual law.


    I am admittedly not excited about it. Although I rented a Prius once that had the configuration, and I did adapt very quickly. I just hope the technology package comes with a HUD.
     
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  3. Foxhound199

    Foxhound199 Member

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    I'd be most worried about how that screen sticking out there would hold up during crash testing. Doesn't seem like you could engineer it not to be a liability. Also, is the screen really so bright that you never have a glare issue on the Model S? Keep in mind that instrument clusters, no matter where they're mounted, always have that overhang that shades it. I've only ever driven a Model S at night, so I'd be curious to hear if the combination of an all glass roof and a giant touch screen never cause visibility issues.
     
  4. ModelNforNerd

    ModelNforNerd Active Member

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    the other thing i'd worry about with that mounting position: kids and dogs....
    would one of them break it? and if that breaks, as the primary display...can you even get the car to a service center?
     
  5. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Thanks for performing the necessary digging. Two brief answers or, at least, responses - to two questions that have been raised:

    1. As others also have queried, "What would happen if the screen breaks/malfunctions?" - At present, when the Model S screen goes kablooey or, more prosaically, one performs a re-boot whilst driving, the answer is Nothing Happens To Your Ability To Operate Your Vehicle
    To put it in an historic perspective, I and I know countless other drivers over the age of 20 have had the experience of driving an auto with an inoperable speedometer, odometer, battery voltmeter, fuel gauge...cylinders keep pumping, crankshaft keeps turning. Likewise, with a Tesla, you lose information with an inoperable screen but the auto has its CPU (or analog) still functioning.

    2. About the safety aspect of the monitor "sticking out there": first, for this to be of concern to me you first must demonstrate why that is any more susceptible either to being damaged or to causing damage whether it is embedded in a dashboard or protruding 3 or 4 inches from it.
    Second, effectively 100% of all prior vehicles have and always have had an even more protuberant set of items: a steering wheel, steering column and stalks. Granted, in recent decades there is an airbag incorporated in center of same, but the significant difference is that there is no occupant astern this monitor for whom it potentially is in his or her path.
     
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  6. Cebe

    Cebe Member

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    People, some of us more than others, have a tendency to like or dislike something without actually using it first. The "if I don't have speed in front of me, I won't drive this car" has to be reserved for people that have driven such cars for a while (I've seen at least one MINI driver on this thread, so they qualify.) It may not change your opinion, but at least you'll be able to state that something is or isn't for you with more force.

    I could never understand digital speed indicators. Didn't want to end up in a car with it. Obviously, didn't end up a deal breaker for me for the Model S, and I'm OK with it now. I don't actually know if I prefer it to analog, turned out it wasn't as important to me as I thought it was.

    I also really disliked the lack of the center console. Now that the new Model S is coming with one included, I'm really sad for the people that never got to actually understand whether they prefer it or not. Turns out, I actually like it better with the empty space, but I never would have known without being forced to try it.

    Since the unveiling of Model 3, I've been paying attention as to what I use on the IP and how often. I also drove our MINI, which contains a lot of information right in front of the driver, but none of it of any particular interest. What exists, is in the large central display.

    I do check the speed, though not as often as I thought I did. Most of the time, I set the speed based on the traffic and road conditions, but I do glance down at it every so often. The only other thing I look for frequently, is the power consumption. When I use the navigation, that comes in handy as well, whenever a complex interchange is coming up. For all of those, much more convenient to look in front, instead to the side. It also helps that I can avoid seeing all the other stuff that is on the center display, so it's easier to pick what I need.

    In the end, one of the things I like about Tesla is their quest to question the status quo. Keep asking the fundamental questions about what's being done because it's always been done that way, and what is actually required. If they're really a software company, they'll do some usability testing and see what the results look like.

    For the obligatory predictions:
     
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  7. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    To the OP: thanks for your post. In another thread I posted in response to your statement saying speed and other things had to be directly in front of the driver and asked for a source supporting your statement. Now I see you have posted a source, so thanks I appreciate it.

    So the Model 3 dash design with no information directly in front of the driver is legal in the US, at least, and I assume in the rest of the world. I honestly think this is the direction all manufacturers are going to take. It's simple, effective, and certainly cheaper than the traditional approach. LCD screen prices continue to fall. It's a win for the consumer and the manufacturer.

    My only concern is the clarity of the center display in bright sunlight. I am confident that Tesla has thought it through and that advances in display technology have solved that issue.
     
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  8. Krugerrand

    Krugerrand Active Member

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    I don't actually look at my speedometer (as an example) all that often when I drive. I've driven long enough that I typically know how fast I'm driving without having to look. I'd only glance at the clock if I was concerned about my time for getting to an appointment, but I'm a 'show up early' kind of person anyway, so I don't look at the clock much either. And so on...
     
  9. rhambus

    rhambus Member

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    I wonder if their research shows that you are typical and that most people really don't look at the speedometer when they drive very much. I know I don't. Several things occur to me.

    1. Elon says that all Model 3s will have autopilot safety functions.
    2. The Model S reads the speed limit signs, I assume the Model 3 does too, and this is basically a safety function.

    So couldn't the car just give you some subtle indicator when you are over the speed limit (a ding, or a colored light or color on the screen that you will notice) and then you can look at the speedometer? Problem largely solved, I think. I mean, I don't care what speed I am going unless I am speeding. I am just driving at a comfortable speed.
     
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  10. longshadows

    longshadows Member

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    These are my fears as well. It seems (from what I could see) an accident waiting to happen. It sticks out and cables, leashes, etc. could get caught on it. Once broken, you'd be dead in the water.
     
  11. McHoffa

    McHoffa Member

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    I think the screen will be a little more integrated into the dashboard rather than floating, kinda like this very crude photoshop
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Lerxt

    Lerxt Member

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    Simply amazing the "inadequacies" of the dash can be discussed so seriously when we know it's not the actual dash design....
     
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  13. yesup

    yesup Member

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    Floating design is the trend among new cars. As the screen becomes larger, integrating into the dash means the dashboard would be very big, thick and take up a lot of space and volume.

    On the contrary, apart from the steering wheel and control stalk, the dashboard and the screen is pretty much final and production ready.
     
  14. googlepeakoil

    googlepeakoil Member

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    I know in the UK it is illegal to operate a car without a working speedometer. I know this as a consumer program Watchdog highlighted a model of a car that had a history of many consumer issues with the dash failing.... i believe it was an electronic one - and the cost of repairs was £700... the program got the car company to fix them for free / reimburse everyone charged.
    So there may be some issue if that's the only screen - and there's possibilities of software crashes!
     
  15. ModelNforNerd

    ModelNforNerd Active Member

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    I started the thread to point out that, even though many of us were skeptical of the design, apparently it is completely legal, as is, in the US.

    Will there be tweaks? Undoubtedly. But it sounds like any tweaks at this point will be the on-screen UI, meaning that the equipment layout is largely decided.
     
  16. Topher

    Topher Energy Curmudgeon

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    EM tweeted: "Wait until you see the real steering controls and system for the 3. It feels like a spaceship."

    Sounds like more than just tweaks to me.
    Thank you kindly.
     
  17. yesup

    yesup Member

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    Elon was answering a question about the the steering wheel - it is not related to the dashboard or the center screen. He later also added a tweet that the steering wheel in the test car was not the real one.
     
  18. PTADO

    PTADO Member

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    Agreed. Tesla is known to hold cards close to their chest. The car is at MINIMUM a year and a half out, why would they show off everything now? So other car companies with deeper pockets can innovate, replicate, or straight rip off their ideas and bring them to market sooner? I have faith that yet again, when the features are officially revealed, more heads will explode as they did on the 31st.
     
  19. ModelNforNerd

    ModelNforNerd Active Member

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    that's steering.

    this post is about the dash.

    your tagline comes off as condescending when used in every single post.

    You're welcome.
     
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  20. Shopaholic

    Shopaholic Member

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    Many modern cars now have electronic gauges and the same can be said as what happens when they go on the blink? There is no backup. Very few new have the old analog dials
     

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