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Questions from guy considering a purchase

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by Boatguy, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. Boatguy

    Boatguy Member

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    I've taken my test drive and my wife is picking colors for 90D. But I have some questions and the sales guy (what's the Tesla acronym?) provided very salesman type non-answers so here are my questions:

    1) When using the turn indicator stalk to change lanes with the autopilot, why does it keep blinking and need to be manually cancelled after changing lanes? The need to cancel the lane change when it is complete is annoying.

    2) What functionality is available / missing when using the center console with the iPhone holder? My most common uses are a) playing music from iPhone, b) playing Pandora, c) playing spoken word from Economist app, d) having Siri read/respond to text messages.

    3) The demo showed a route that took me through the necessary SCs to get to my destination. But I've read a number of threads that complain about the routing and read a couple of nasty car mag reviews on the routing. What am I missing?

    4) What wattage are the USB outlets? iPhone 110v chargers are typically 5w, and iPad 12w. The 12w is much preferred as it charges both phone and pad faster than the 5w. Most USB ports are only 5w because that's all that is required to satisfy the the spec.

    5) I've read threads with people asking about a parking 360 view, presumably somewhat like the autopilot live display. Am I correct in understanding that this is a desired feature not yet available? All I could see in the demo was a normal backup camera.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. BertL

    BertL Active Member

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    1. If you only slightly hold the turn indicator down (don't let it click like you are making a full 90-degree turn), lane change with Autopilot works fine and no different than if I were making the lane change myself -- you hold the stalk down with your finger as long as you need; let up on the stalk when the car is in the new lane and the indicator stops and Autosteer reorients as need be to new lane you're in.

    2. Lots of other threads on this. Basically, if you plug iPhone into either USB port, it only charges -- it does not provide any "hardwired" connectivity in terms of audio or video, or iPod functionality you may be familiar with on most all other vehicles today. You can play music via Bluetooth, you can still say "Hey Siri" when plugged into USB. Do some searches on this... It can be very involved and I could go for paragraphs repeating all that's out there even in just the last couple weeks. Most of the threads are in this User Interface subforum, so just scroll down and take a peek.

    3. Nav only provides a single route... It does not provide you optional routes to select from like most other Navs do, and of course not everyone agrees with the actual routing every Nav comes up with. Some find challenges because routing is done based on onboard Navigon maps, while Google Maps (internet-based) is used for the 17" display (which is generally more current if you frequent new subdivisions and areas with recent road changes.) Basic routing to SpC works fine for me, but some people have reported some challenges with how the Trip Planner Beta function still operates, and traffic-based rerouting does not seem to be as good as Waze by some peoples accounts. Overall basic Nav works fine for me -- it's just lacking a whole lot of the ancillary functions you may be expecting that other vehicles have had for years.

    4. Ports are USB 2.0. Since Tesla does not publish specs like this, I'll let other more electrically minded people that may have put a meter to it jump in with detail, but I've read in 3rd party pubs that one port is 1A and the other is 2.1A -- I could be wrong. Consequently, these ports won't charge your iPhone6 as fast as the adapter provided with the phone plugged into 110V if that is what you're expecting.

    5. Right, Tesla does not have 360 view like some newer model vehicles do. You have a (great) wide angle high def camera on the rear though. Hopefully you spent some time on the test drive understanding if visibility is as good as you want it to be -- it is for many; it's not for some (B & C pillar & permanent rear headrests cut off some view), but spending a little time with the side mirror positioning IMHO helps a lot -- with Blind Spot Monitor being a good double-check (but some complain because it does not present an indicator in the side mirror themselves like other mfgrs do). Some people go so far as keeping the rear view camera on part of the 17" display all the time, but I find that a huge distraction.

    Hope that helps. Good luck with your decision.
     
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  3. Electric700

    Electric700 Member

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    Congrats on your potential purchase Boatguy!
     
  4. Boatguy

    Boatguy Member

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    First, thanks for the excellent reply. I also found your web site and the reference to TeslaTunes which is certainly a work around.

    I also read a number of threads and there is clearly some frustration with Tesla with regard to phone integration, audio system and "non-critical" software in general. My own sense is that Tesla has "skimmed the cream" of the early adopter buyers. I'm definitely in the second wave and for $100K I expect to at least get what has been delivered in $50K - $70K cars for several years now.

    I will be going back to the Tesla store, pair my phone and see how the systems actually work. It looks like I need to consolidate a list of "basic" features from my current Mercedes and BMW and see which ones Tesla has actually implemented. I had taken for granted a number of things that apparently Tesla has decided to skip over.
     
  5. BertL

    BertL Active Member

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    Yes, do build your list of requirements, and prioritize them into must-have, want, etc... Then spend the time going through MS, and whatever you consider over personal options. There are always trade offs with every purchase and different priorities for each of us. It took me many weeks of investigation and I still missed some nuances.

    Do take a look at that link I provided in my previous post. It may help in creating part of your Infotainment features list. Post back or PM (oops, "Conversation" in our new forum lingo) if we can be of assist. Good luck with your decision.
     
  6. chriSharek

    chriSharek Member

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    Boatguy, it isn't perfect. Yet. As much as I love the EV movement and particularly what Tesla is trying to do, I'm ok with these small hiccups in software integration and user interface. I would encourage you to be patient knowing that Tesla has the OTA updating capabilities to make the car you buy today even better tomorrow.

    While you have been overly critical (IMHO) and expect perfection from a start up manufacturer that's been making MS for 4 years, I would still encourage you to continue your research, ask lots of questions here, and learn as much as you can about the car. But, try to understand that they aren't MB, GM, or Ford.
     
  7. Boatguy

    Boatguy Member

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    I don't think it's overly critical to expect the $100K MS to have at least the same convenience functionality as the $36K 2012 Lexus CT-200h I bought four years ago. Specifically, matching driver profiles to the key fob. My wife is 5'4" and I'm 6'1". Getting into the car when the seats are adjusted for her is not easy.
     
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  8. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    It depends on your priorities. Those other cars have an ICE engine. With regard to music, you can play from your iPhone with Bluetooth but it's easier to put all your music on a mini USB key and plug that into one of the the two USB ports. That can be controlled from the 17" screen. You can make a driver profile "exit" and one tap adjust the seats to how you want to exit and get back in the car, or she can tap your profile and it's ready for you. Really these are small things to get used to and worth it to drive an EV.
     
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  9. chriSharek

    chriSharek Member

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    I tried so hard to say this as tactfully and diplomatically as I could the first time . . . you leave me no choice:

    Do us all a favor and don't get one, please? Seriously, there are some inherent issues with Tesla most here won't want to hear you complaining about once you get it.
     
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  10. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

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    Boatguy: most of your observations are correct. Beyond the infotainment, the lack of center storage space and cup holders and coat hooks - annoy me.

    But then the Electric drive train and Autopilot leaves you with no choice.
     
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  11. zambono

    zambono Member

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    I'm with you
     
  12. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    WTF? If there's one feature I want that the Tesla didn't have, I shouldn't buy one?

    I've had my Tesla for a year now. Best car out there, wouldn't dream of getting anything else. At the same time, the inability to automatically choose a driver profile based on which key you're using is really dumb. Lots of other cars do this and it would be a great feature.

    Should I sell my car? Am I somehow unworthy because I'm able to see shortcomings?
     
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  13. chriSharek

    chriSharek Member

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    Not at all. There's a difference between identifying shortcomings and downright complaining.
     
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  14. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    There is plenty of center storage space. If you prefer closed storage though you can have the optional center console installed. Actually it appears that the center console is going to be standard on new cars. That's a shame, many of us liked the open center minimalist look and it was better for large items such as purses.
     
  15. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    Tesla has been dinged by Consumer's Report, probably others for not-so-great rearward driving visibility.

    In practice, while driving on the road, you're mostly concerned about forward and peripheral vision anyway because that is what you're going to hit. Anything within that scope of vision will become rearward scenery in a matter of few seconds anyway, if you want it to be. (Press the go pedal firmly). So if you have pretty good short term memory you'll know what is where around you as you pass things, you put them into places behind you where you want them. You know they can't out-accelerate your Tesla. You can create gaps easily for turning into.

    Now, when the road becomes full of Tesla's it will be harder to remain confident of placement of vehicles on the road because other Tesla's can squirt around just like you... they become "unpredictable".
     
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  16. scottm

    scottm Active Member

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    p.s. Buy a Tesla because it's electric and its driving dynamic is like no other car you've owned.
    Enjoy it for that. Anything else it can / cannot do (with info-tainment, navigation, auto-pilot etc.) is so secondary on the totem pole of concern.

    It's a CAR first. Buckle in. Experience the drive. Focus on being a better driver. Turn the radio off, listen to sweet nothing as you drive... for the first time in your life. That is worth the price of entry.
     
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  17. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    How's the self-steering on your 2011 diesel Benz working out for you? If you just putter around Sausalito you don't need a Model S. But if you regularly drive long distances the game changing advantages of autopilot far outweigh any shortcomings on the interface.

    The only alternative to the Model S will be the 2017 MBZ E-class being released in a couple months - if MBZ relents and allows drivers to keep their hands off the wheel for more than a minute at a time (apparently MBZ is in fact considering relaxing their "hands on wheel" policy for drive pilot because of the competitive pressure Tesla has put on them by being first to market with a functional, reliable, hands-off autopilot).
     
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  18. supratachophobia

    supratachophobia Active Member

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    It's been 4 years, you are right. And we still have a lot of software bugs to work out. I know they are slowly getting to them, and I can clearly look back and see great progress. The hardware requests he is making, he will certainly have to settle on though.
     
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  19. Archduke

    Archduke Member

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    Hi there Boatguy. I'm new on the forum, and this is my first post. I should start by saying that, like you, I don't yet own a Tesla either. But I still think I'm qualified to respond to your post because for the past 3 years I have owned and driven an EV (actually, a plug in hybrid) from a different startup car manufacturer, a Fisker Karma that has far less functionality and is plagued with more bugs than the Model S.

    I won't go into too many details for fear of boring the forum, but lets just say the Karma has a completely useless navigation, no ability to complete a phone call with Bluetooth, a climate control system that sometimes has a mind of its own, an audio experience in which plugging your phone into the USB won't allow you to pick the song you want because it alway chooses a different song than the one you selected, etc... I've realized there are workaround for most everything even though they aren't as convenient as if the feature just worked the way it was designed to work.

    But I'd still take the car over any Mercedes/BMW/Lexus/Audi/Porsche that has full functionality of things we take for granted in cars of that class such as climate control, navigation, audio system, etc... The reason I can make that statement is that before I even got the car I had already wrapped my head around the fact that my Fisker Karma was going to have some bugs and quirks simply because it was from a startup manufacturer. I was in love with the way the car looked and also wanted to drive an electric vehicle. I am SO glad I took that leap. I manage to run my Karma on electric about 98% of the time, and I am now completely sold on driving electric. I *hate* when I have to drive a car with an internal combustion engine.

    You mention convenience. You want to know what real convenience is? It's being able to fuel your car right in the privacy of your own garage, freeing you from having to search out gas stations, or stop once a week (or more!) to fill your tank, or deal with panhandlers while you are standing at a gas station next to your $100K car (sorry if that isn't politically correct, but it's a reality in major cities), or worry about the fact that the gasoline you are putting into your vehicle is damaging the environment.

    Wrap your head around the fact that the Tesla isn't quite as perfect as some other luxury marques, that you'll deal with some quirks now and then, and that you might have to find some workarounds here and there, and I can almost guarantee you that you'll LOVE driving electric so much you won't really care about the car's 'shortcomings'!
     
  20. Boatguy

    Boatguy Member

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    I appreciate your passionate post, but I've been driving a BMW i3 BEV for 18 months. I'm well versed in the electric driving experience.
     
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