Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

New member UI concerns

Hello everyone. I am not new to Tesla, but am new to this forum, and would like to thank all its members for the great insight they offer on the Tesla range of cars. I am a Model 3 reservation holder waiting for his turn:rolleyes: While following the news, it seems that there are a lot of problems/concerns about the UI and software updates. I am interested to know if anyone has had any concerns regarding the security of their car as of yet? If so much of the cars operation depends on the touchscreen UI, how secure is it in terms of protecting against software threats?
 
Welcome, evJOULE. Your avatar made me do a double-take, as I’m Sous-vide poaching eggs in shell right now as I catch up on this forum. Thought the Joule app had leaked its icon out of its iOS sandbox for a sec. Speaking of IoT...

My thoughts are that security is best designed in from the start. Tesla has some bright and passionate folks working there, so I trust that they take security seriously, even more-so than the incumbent automakers, as Tesla is an attractive target. That forces the issue. It’d be really hard to say with a straight-face “oh, we’re not that big of a target, like banks or social networks”. I’d expect a solid internal peer review process and asking the hard questions of “how could this be broken?” Then, swallowing pride and going back to the drawing board as necessary.

Security bugs will happen (see Apple, or any serious tech company for instance). What matters is how quickly holes are closed up when discovered and the internal process improved. It is never-ending work and requires extraordinary vigilance and humility.
 
Thanks for your reply Ampre Sand, I guess I am just surprised that no one seems to be even the least bit concerned about software threats. Some of the things being reported seem a little weird, like the car works for a couple of days and then starts to turn on and off all by itself. I have zero background in software so it is all Greek to me, but when my computer does similar things, it is usually a virus. Are you already driving your Model 3? I am interested in talking with people that can give me some feedback on how they like the single touchscreen control. I am little concerned that having to look away from the road to view driver info and control the car may be a distraction. It is really hard to know without driving in a Model 3 first.
 
Hi and welcome to the forum @evJOULE

You appear to be stating one perceived issue and then asking for opinion on another. I’ll try both, though my wife is the primary driver of our 3. TL;DR: don’t worry about this, it’s a great car.

Longer version. I see things you appear to be asking: stability of UI/software and security.

1) the overall stability of the UI, and all other software, in the 3 is great. I find the navigation better than my S, the refresh rate on the screen faster, and UI interactions more fluid. There are occasional glitches that rarely require a reboot. This is reboot takes about 10 seconds and doesn’t affect the driving of the car (except indicator/signal noise is muted during). The first day, a number of months ago required multiple reboots to get a few systems reliably working. I believe the last time we rebooted was about a week ago when the audio went “chipmunk in static” *. This is/was expected as early owners and Tesla has been great at receiving, and acting upon, feedback with most issues resolved

2) The concept of hacking a predominantly software based, connected, car is very appealing to some. I would imagine, as @Ampere said, that issues will be found and we have previous examples of the seriousness and speed in which Tesla addresses them. Tesla both has significant InfoSec efforts during development, validation (including pen testing, bug bounties, etc) and mechanisms to quickly roll out fixes to the entire fleet quickly that I do not worry about this.

* wife’s term for issue.

Hope this helps
 
Thanks for your feedback Mike. It was helpful. It doesn't surprise me that Tesla is on top of the software threat issue, and with an essentially software operated car, I wouldn't expect anything less, so I am glad to hear your comments. What about the driving experience of the single point touchscreen control? Do you or wife find it comfortable? I remember at the launch of the Model 3 when Elon explained that the interior was still a work in progress, but to expect something very futuristic I thought, or was hoping for something like a HUD as a companion to the touchscreen. With only photographs to go by at this point, I am not sure if having information like speed placed in a small graphic down and away from the drivers line of sight will be comfortable for me. My feeling is that Tesla may be pushing the autonomous driving thing too far, too soon. To me, autonomous driving will be when my car not only communicates with the cars around me, but with the traffic signals and road signs. My vision of autonomous driving is probably still many years away. In the meantime, I also thought that Tesla was not only trying to deliver a more economically minded EV for the masses, but a car that can also deliver a driving experience. Hence the aspiration to unseat BMW's 3-series as the "drivers" car. Do you think the single point touchscreen can achieve that?
 

tomas

Out of warranty...
Supporting Member
Oct 22, 2012
4,336
4,255
Santa Barbara/New York
Re security: to @ampre Sand’s point, several years ago , tesla pushed out software updates to counter a threat, and also hired a very high profile security expert. They appear to take this seriously. Doesn’t mean there can’t be a problem, but it does mean they apply strong security and will move fast to address any issues. I’d personally worry more about power plants being hacked.

Re UI: I believe the vast majority of worrying about this is from people who have not driven car. We have had our 3 for a few weeks, and I can say without reservation that visibility of important info on screen is no problem and is no more of a distraction from road than glancing down at traditional instrument cluster. However you do have to restrain yourself from looking at map... it is attractive.
 

daniel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
5,299
4,740
Kihei, HI
... I am interested in talking with people that can give me some feedback on how they like the single touchscreen control. ...

I've had my Model 3 for a couple of weeks now. I don't drive a lot, so I've only put about 240 miles on the car so far. My observations:

It turns out that having the speedometer on the screen is not nearly as bad as I had feared it would be, because it's in the upper left corner, well within my field of view.

I do not like having to use the screen to change cruise-control speed. And it's not possible to safely change TACC following distance while driving because that's buried under menus.

However, folks here on TMC are suggesting that Tesla might put those functions on the right steering-wheel scroll button, as that is not otherwise being used except to initiate voice command.

Overall, I find the car very comfortable to drive, and though I don't like the concept of the screen as the only interface for many functions, I expect to get used to it and be okay with it. And Tesla is making improvements constantly. Someone here on TMC reported that one of the most annoying things will be eliminated in the next software update: If you're near the car with your phone, it alternately locks and unlocks; that will change to unlock only when you touch the handle.
 
i understand that access to the car can be done through your phone. I have heard mostly good things about this functionality when it is functioning properly. What happens if you come close to your car with your phone, but don't want to access the car, like when you walk past your car to go to the backyard for example? Does the car think you want to get-in and the opens all the doors? How does the software deal with this?
 
HI Daniel, that was too funny. I just posted a question about the thing you answered while I was typing. Thanks for the update on the phone access. I was imagining all kinds of weird situation that could arise. I really like the Model 3, love the styling and overall performance. I am not so sure what to make of the single control point on the touchscreen. I'm just wondering if Tesla didn't overdo it a little here. I know they are committed to the autonomous driving thing, but are they going too fast? Most people like yourself seem to be comfortable with it though so I guess I will just have to go with that for now. It is a little nerve racking being a reservation holder x2, and not being able to even see the car. I am up here in the cold north of Canada.
 

daniel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
5,299
4,740
Kihei, HI
i understand that access to the car can be done through your phone. I have heard mostly good things about this functionality when it is functioning properly. What happens if you come close to your car with your phone, but don't want to access the car, like when you walk past your car to go to the backyard for example? Does the car think you want to get-in and the opens all the doors? How does the software deal with this?

There are settings for "Walk-Up-Unlock" and "Walk-Away-Lock" you can turn either or both on or off. You can have one on and the other off. With both on, the car will unlock every time you approach it and lock every time you walk away from it. If you are merely standing near it, it will alternately lock and unlock at short intervals. This is very annoying.

But if you turn off "Walk-Up-Unlock" and leave "Walk-Away-Lock" turned on, then the car will lock when you walk away, but will not unlock when you walk up to it. Now, to unlock the car, you have to walk up to it and operate the door handle. There is a momentary pause (a second or two?) and the car unlocks.

I just discovered this 5 minutes ago from another thread.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: dhrivnak

daniel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
5,299
4,740
Kihei, HI
HI Daniel, that was too funny. I just posted a question about the thing you answered while I was typing. Thanks for the update on the phone access. I was imagining all kinds of weird situation that could arise. I really like the Model 3, love the styling and overall performance. I am not so sure what to make of the single control point on the touchscreen. I'm just wondering if Tesla didn't overdo it a little here. I know they are committed to the autonomous driving thing, but are they going too fast? Most people like yourself seem to be comfortable with it though so I guess I will just have to go with that for now. It is a little nerve racking being a reservation holder x2, and not being able to even see the car. I am up here in the cold north of Canada.

I do think they went a bit overboard on putting too much on the screen. There are a few annoying things. But they're outweighed by the good stuff. And things should improve with software updates.

I have only used autopilot once, on the freeway, and it was scary. It's going to take some getting used to. I really know nothing about this, but I feel that Tesla really should dump its FSD department and contract with Google to provide that technology. Just my opinion.

How far north are you? I once spent a week at a gathering 200 km north of Saskatoon, on the Canadian Shield. Beautiful country. I spend my summers farther south, hiking around Revelstoke and Golden, BC.
 
No lucky for me I am not that far North, I don't do well in extreme cold. I am in Quebec a few hours outside of Montreal, and that is cold enough believe me.Thanks again for all your input. Any comments on the aesthetics of the touchscreen itself? I mean, I think it is a beautiful looking screen and with the faster updated processor seems like everyone is really happy with the way it functions, but the way it is placed in the car seems a little unfinished to me. Remember that I can only go by photographs at this point. I guess I was surprised that it was not built into the dash similar to other cars. The rest of the interior is gorgeous though IMO.
 

daniel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
5,299
4,740
Kihei, HI
The placement of the screen does look a bit odd, but the reason is to bring it close enough to see and use without having to lean or reach. As I noted, the speedometer is close enough to the drive to be seen easily. OTOH, the clock is very small numbers way over at the top right, where I really cannot see it without leaning. But that of course can be changed if Tesla decides to move it, as I hope they will.
 
No lucky for me I am not that far North, I don't do well in extreme cold. I am in Quebec a few hours outside of Montreal, and that is cold enough believe me.Thanks again for all your input. Any comments on the aesthetics of the touchscreen itself? I mean, I think it is a beautiful looking screen and with the faster updated processor seems like everyone is really happy with the way it functions, but the way it is placed in the car seems a little unfinished to me. Remember that I can only go by photographs at this point. I guess I was surprised that it was not built into the dash similar to other cars. The rest of the interior is gorgeous though IMO.
As someone who is waiting patiently for his delivery date, I can only offer this small tidbit of information: I have sat inside of 2 Model 3s. My biggest takeaway from those experiences was how much bigger and closer to the driver’s touch and line-of-sight the touchscreen is. Pictures and videos just don’t do it justice. I stepped out of the car feeling much better about relying on it to operate the car. When a Tesla showroom in Quebec gets a display car, take a trip to check it out. You’ll feel better, too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dhrivnak
Hi Kentucky3, thanks for your comments. I will definitely be sure to check out the car if and when it is available here. Have you talked to anyone that has had the screen fail while driving? My understanding is that the car is still able to drive, I think, but that you would not be able to operate any other functions of the car i.e. windows ect... Do you think there could be any safety issues regarding this?
 
Hi @evJOULE, he car is drivable without the screen - ie you can reboot the system and all safety systems work. The gaps are indicator/flasher tick noise and speedometer. Windows, doors, braking systems, driving system, ac, etc etc all still work - just the ability to visualize and modify them are temporarily offline.

If I may, you need to understand that there is a lot of work done to ensure the safety of these vehicles and has only become better over the progress of tesla. Many tesla owners buy multiples of them, self-included. Some are extremely tolerant of issues, some less-so. Personally, I hold Tesla to a minimum standard of other manufacturers and they always deliver.

Net: I believe you should understand that these are highly advanced pieces of equipment, though safety is critical and Tesla, empirically, delivers. Stop worrying and enjoy :)
 
Hi Mike, thanks again for your comments. I hear you. I did not reserve the Model 3 only because I am a Tesla fan, I am also a big fan of the EV concept and how Tesla's vision aligns with that. I recognize the constant uphill battle that Tesla faces, and for that I do stand behind them with maybe more tolerance then I would afford another car maker. Hence the never waning enthusiasm in the face of a long wait. But for my wife and I, our Model 3 reservations will be full replacement cars. We will not have other cars to fall back to. So the safety issue is maybe a little bigger for us then most. You mentioned the windows still work if the screen crashes, I was under the impression that the windows cannot be rolled up or down without the screen. Have I misunderstood something here? Thanks again.
 

daniel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
5,299
4,740
Kihei, HI
The windows are among the few functions controlled by old-fashioned controls, in this case levers on the doors. All the Tesla cars after the Roadster get 5-star safety ratings in every category. You cannot buy a safer car than the S, X, or 3.

The doors are opened by a switch that opens the window slightly (to break the air seal?) but for emergencies there's also a release lever that opens the door manually.
 
What @daniel said. There are regular buttons for windows. This is really designed to be familiar for the majority of functionality.

You can open doors with usual buttons while screen reboots - just tried it for grins :). The door window drops to help miss the body section. This is the same for all frameless doors on other cars (incl S, BMWs, etc etc)
 
Also, just wanted to add... after a few thousand miles and few months of my wife driving 3, we’ve never had the screen crash. Rather we have chosen to reboot during the early times when things were more fluid. They have / are a lot more solid now. It is her primary car and she only uses hybrid highland for 7 person school runs. She’s never needed to use it because of any rare issue with 3... rest easier and remember forums are not the best to determine all the time people don’t have issues... that’d make them pretty boring ;). They are implicitly biased toward negative experiences unfortunately.
 
  • Like
Reactions: UrsS

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top