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Retractable Door Handles - Is It Practical?

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by 1young1, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. 1young1

    1young1 Model S #P5673

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    While I can understand the benefits of the retractable door handles for better airflow and aerodynamics, I am concerned about some of the potential practical functionality of the door handles in certain situations. For example, how would the door handles slide out if the valet wanted to open the door for you or your passenger when you are seated inside the car? Do you need to open it from the inside first? Also, if the car was in a bad collision and the emergency first responders needed to open the door from the outside to get passengers out, how would they open the door besides breaking the windows?

    These are just two situations that I thought of that could be of potential concern and hopefully, someone knows how these would be addressed.
     
  2. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    I haven't seen the system work, but I would assume that the handles would extend whenever the car is stopped, running and in park. Not sure about the emergency situation, but rarely are the presence of door handles necessary for getting in the car by emergency responders, esp. if the accident is really severe.
     
  3. goyogi

    goyogi Member

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    I *think* that when it's unlocked you can just press the door handles in and they will pop out.
     
  4. Trnsl8r

    Trnsl8r Blue 85kwh since 12/8/12

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    Has anyone? :smile:
     
  5. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    #5 doug, Feb 10, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
  6. 1young1

    1young1 Model S #P5673

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    Doug, thanks for the video. Just as Goyogi said, looks like you can just press the door handles and it will pop out.
     
  7. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

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    #7 tdelta1000, Feb 11, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
    I think Tesla Motors would have worked out those details by now.
     
  8. Trnsl8r

    Trnsl8r Blue 85kwh since 12/8/12

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    I don't know... If you look at the end of the Model X unveil video, you'll see the first person up on stage eventually had to reach inside and open it from the inside... Every time I've seen a beta the door handles have been "disabled". :confused:
     
  9. rlawson4

    rlawson4 Member

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    I was really wondering if they are going to take those handles to market or redesign. I think that without 100% reliability I don't want them.
     
  10. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    When they brought the Model S with Roadster drivetrain (same as in the video above) to Menlo Park for another unveiling party, I got a chance to use those door handles. The one I used didn't feel particularly ergonomical. It felt milled out of aluminum and had a sharp (though slightly rounded) edge where the fingers came in contact with the handle... not curved to the contour of the hand. Didn't feel particularly robust either, very much proof of concept. Also if you watch my videos, the behavior of the handles seem less than optimal. Of course by now they've had a couple of years to refine the design.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=0csRF1Sz-B0#t=82s
     
  11. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    I can't imagine that Tesla will bring something to market if it's not reliable.
     
  12. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I wouldn't draw any conclusions from the prototype. They were early proof-of-concept mechanisms.
     
  13. shark2k

    shark2k Member

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    I noticed that too, but she actually didn't reach inside and get it opened. Somebody that entered into the 2nd row reached to the driver door and opened it for her.

    -Shark2k
     
  14. Trnsl8r

    Trnsl8r Blue 85kwh since 12/8/12

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    Either way, the door handles remain my only big problem with this car. Aside from the 2009 video above, I have never really seen them work. And I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to stick my fingers in the handle and not worry about keeping them...

    If regular handles were an extra option, I would pay to get them.
     
  15. 1young1

    1young1 Model S #P5673

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    Has anyone actually seen the door handles work well in person? From all the videos that I have seen and from attending the beta visits, the door handles have not operated smoothly or without some manual assistance from inside the cabin. It's still a bit disconcerting to me.
     
  16. Mycroft

    Mycroft Life happens

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    I think you guys are right. The door handles aren't going to work. The first dozen car owners are going to have their fingers amputated. Tesla engineers will be slapping their foreheads saying, "WOW, why didn't we think of that?!".
     
  17. Thumper

    Thumper Member

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    These are the same concerns people had about power windows. Apparently the reverse-on-obstruction mechanisms work satisfactorily and they are quite reliable.
     
  18. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    The handles aren't going to amputate any fingers. I think they'll pulled in by some relatively soft springs.
     
  19. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    I'm sure Mycroft was being sarcastic.
     
  20. Mycroft

    Mycroft Life happens

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    It took three finger amputations and a decapitation before the first cars with power windows were recalled.
     

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