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Knobs, buttons and joysticks

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by Lush1, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. Lush1

    Lush1 Member

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    The touchscreen is very sexy, but I do have concerns about the dearth of physical controls. I could be totally wrong and find a touchscreen environment to be much better than what we've all been used to in car our entire lives, but if not, then the screen could present another driver distraction (just what our roads need) if drivers have to look down for every function they want to change. I can adjust my Mercedes radio, HVAC, cruise control, and other important functions without taking my eyes off the road. When presented with a new car, muscle memory is quickly learned by a driver and the hand can reach and grab or touch certain controls intuitively. I know when I have to rent a car I feel tentative for a while because I have to look for controls that are not someplace my brain has memorized. Eventually, I learn my way around and can find things without looking, once I know roughly where they are and how they feel. That said, I wouldn't want to spoil the design of the Tesla dash with a lot of physical controls, but I wouldn't mind a few key functions being controlled by discrete knobs, buttons, switches or joysticks that I could handle without looking. Maybe "soft controls" which could be assigned by the driver, or would change with whatever mode you had selected on the screen like radio, nav, HVAC and so on. I could imagine something on the order of the kind of controls commonly found on TV remotes with 4-way arrows and an OK button in the middle. A lot can be done in a little space with well designed controllers, especially if their functions could be varied. Put 3 or 4 of them on the front or back of the steering wheel or on the dash, somewhere within arms reach and it could mean a lot less looking and easier button pushing.
    Is it just me, or do others share this concern?
    Model S res. #1712
     
  2. 7racer

    7racer Member

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    I personally don't think it will be too bad. We get along pretty well on iPhones and iPads (though hopefully not while driving).

    In my GT-R, the screen is all touch. However, the GPS locks out any control while you are driving. The way they make up for this is voice recognition for entering the destination. Works great!

    Also, with most modern HVAC controls, you don't have much to do except set the temperature as the thermostat does the rest.
    Finally, with audio controls...most of the vol and presets are also controlled on the steering wheel...

    I really don't think it will be much of a problem.

    My only real concern is how much of the screen will/can get washed out from sunlight.
    IMHO
     
  3. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    This has been discussed ad nauseam. I wouldn't be concerned about it.

    Although we don't know for sure until we see the interior, I'm almost certain that major, commonly-used controls (radio tuning/volume, cruise control, wipers, probably HVAC) will have buttons/controls on the steering wheel. You're not the only one who's thought of this potential problem :). There are a lot of engineers at Tesla whose job is to sit around and think about this kind of stuff, and lots of testing will go into it. I'm certain this concern is first and foremost on those engineer's minds. Not to mention that the Model S is not the first car with a touchscreen interface.
     
  4. Lush1

    Lush1 Member

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    I figured I couldn't be the first person to wonder about this. I wasn't lazy and I did try several searches before I posted, but they came up empty. I also looked through many pages but the forum is too vast to read everything. Maybe I'm just picking bad search criteria. I would be glad to read old threads if somebody could point me in the right direction.
     
  5. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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  6. Lush1

    Lush1 Member

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    Thanks. Controls! That was the word I didn't think to use. Arg! Thanks, I'll check it out.
     

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