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Tesla’s Software/User Interface Priorities In Light of Recent Developments

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by iadbound, Oct 6, 2014.

  1. iadbound

    iadbound Member

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    With the long-awaited FW 6.0 rolling out, albeit slowly, many on this forum expected that Tesla might now shift gears away from navigation programming and car nicknames to focus on an overhaul of the media interface. However, with: (i) new cars now shipping with more sensors, LDW, SA, and presumably BSD and ACC before long; (ii) the October 9 event looming on the horizon, which may unveil new technologies; and (iii) Elon’s recent musing on more autonomous driving features, it seems as though some basic user interface updates (media being the big area) might still be on the backburner.

    I would like to think that Tesla could have more than one ball in the air, but I’m not sure given the relatively small development team (mentioned in a recent speech by a Tesla exec.) that works on the user interface. Thus, I’m a little concerned that some important elements will lag behind while the bells and whistles and shiny new toys keep the team occupied.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    My thoughts are that Media UI would be bells and whistles and a good safety tech interface would be really important :p
    As I recall, didn't the exec mention a fairly small engineer group? It doesn't mean the entire UI team is small, just the decision makers.

    In any event, everything you said as well as everything I said is pure speculation.
     
  3. iadbound

    iadbound Member

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    Good point. Unfair to call some of the new items bells and whistles. I'll just stick with shiny new toys. Likewise, I agree that it's speculation and wasn't claiming otherwise.:biggrin:
     
  4. Alligator

    Alligator Member

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    I think 6.0 is on the back burner. I still don't have it and I'm getting mad.
     
  5. Dborn

    Dborn Confirmed

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    Are not the new features just announced and the software driving them part of 6? One would have thought that that is why it was so light on if it was waiting for the new sensors. I would expect new UI features to roll out with the gradual ramp up of the implementation software for the sensors. That would mollify those without the sensor suite somewhat.
     
  6. iadbound

    iadbound Member

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    I was under the impression that the autopilot features will be rolling out over time, and therefore take up programming time. Nevertheless, I would like to think that many folks are interested in pursuing multiple fronts.
     
  7. Torpedo Ted

    Torpedo Ted Member

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    I'm pretty dissapointed by Tesla's SW department. I was under the impression that this would be the ultimate car for tech-geeks, with a huge touchscreen and firmware updates. Turns out, even the most basic features like the Media player looks like it's built in a couple of hours. When I bought the car, I thought we would get regular firmware updates that fixes these things and adds new features. I was wrong. It's really sad to see how the car's SW potential is completely wasted.

    There's TONS of features and settings that could EASILY been implemented, but is not. I'm a SW developer myself, so I know a little bit about what's easy and complex to develop.
     
  8. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    As a software developer you must also know that resources are finite and not every feature request can be accommodated. There's a prioritization that takes place based on a wide variety of factors. While I agree that the media player needs improvement, Tesla has decided that it's not one of the key priorities. Have you submitted an enhancement request to them through ownership?
     
  9. Runs Kwh

    Runs Kwh Member

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    Ok, seriously.. "as a software developer" and of course... ALMOST ALL OTHER CARS IN THE WORLD that have media, have the ability to do playlists, etc. The Tesla is FIVE YEARS backward. Heck, my friend's $22K subaru has a better audio system. I completely agree. If it's good off the shelf, buy it and use it.. But to not have a passable audio system and to not have integrated phone and text system in a $120K car.. really...

     
  10. Olen

    Olen Member

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    My guess is that they don't prioritise enhancements that are going to be replaced by 3. party apps "soon". Audio is an obvious target for external applications (Spotify, Google play, you name it).
    Annoying, yes, but I hope they put more resources into allowing app. development for the car than almost anything else.
     
  11. rlang59

    rlang59 Member

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    #11 rlang59, Oct 17, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
  12. jvonbokel

    jvonbokel John VonBokel

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    I think this is a reflection of Tesla's choice to do everything (or as much as possible) in-house. The recent dash tear-down showed that many components outsourced by other automakers displayed a Tesla logo. I doubt Subaru designed their own playlist system. The upside of this strategy is that it saves money in the long run. The downside is it takes longer to develop some of those capabilities in-house than it would to outsource them.

    Also, I'm sure Tesla has a wealth of usage data to help determine what to prioritize. Not to marginalize anybody's requests, but I personally would guess that a majority of Tesla owners are relying heavily on Slacker, and relatively few are playing their own music via USB. That's just my own guess though, and perhaps it's biased by my own preference for Slacker (which, I might note, I hadn't even heard of before Tesla). On the other hand, I have my own pet peeves about the software (Instant vs Average in Energy), and I'm sure we all do, so I feel your pain.
     
  13. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    While it would be great for Tesla to put some attention on this, my usage scenario does not require this functionality. I listen to Slacker or HD Radio most of the time, or stream from my iPhone via Bluetooth. I don't really have a need for USB music. Count me as one of those not impacted, but still, it would be nice.
     
  14. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    But Bluetooth streaming does not give you any controls for playlists, etc.

    The most embarrassing part of the Model S is the media playback and phone integration. Smart phone integration is a basic feature of any modern car. Even inexpensive Kia's have have it.

    The most annoying thing is that it's an easy fix, since it's all software. They just refuse to prioritize it. Why on earth would Calender integration come before such basic functionality?
     
  15. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    Playing music is generally a passive activity for me, but are you saying that you can't access playlists using your phone? It would be nice to have it on the dash, but I thought this could still be accomplished using the smartphone controls. Not ideal, but perhaps a workaround.
     
  16. ThosEM

    ThosEM Space Weatherman

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    I'm going to be a contrarian and just say that I'm totally happy with Tesla's focus on energy efficiency and zero emissions with high performance and utility, with freebies I never have had such as full time internet and internet radio (x2). I really don't care about the media player, except that it yields high quality sound, and I haven't tried to get my own music into it.

    That said, I would very much like it to be able to access iTunes where I have my entire collection in the cloud...
     
  17. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I'm fine with Tesla giving a low priority to media integration and a high priority to improving the drivetrain with dual motors and improving the range and improving the handling of the car and improving the self driving and safety features. Those things are far more important than playlist control though the car UI when they are readily controlled directly on the phone.

    Flame suit on...
     
  18. pete8314

    pete8314 Vendor

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    As Rlang59 says above, because Talula doesn't need playlists. It was a cringy moment when Elon credited Talula for the calendar integration, but somewhat telling.

    That said, there's some good things and not so good things about the audio interface. It's easy to compare specific features to a low-end Kia, but it's not really a fair comparison. I could have bought a Ford that'll park itself for around $30k, but I didn't (plus Sync truely sucks, and is incomparable to a Tesla). It's important took at the package in its' entirety. We also need to get used to the fact that Tesla are clearly adopting the Apple approach to updates, where everything is drip-fed to drive PR and sales, as opposed to making features available the moment they're ready.

    Like others, I don't car about playlists, 90% of what I listen to is from my phone, so as long as the bluetooth connection is robust (as it finally seems to be with iOS 8.1), I'm happy.
     
  19. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    I think any hope of ever getting 3rd party software on the Tesla computers went bye-bye the day they announced autopilot.
     
  20. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    It would be nice to have shuffle for the USB drive but the only time it annoys me is on a classical album where all the songs start with "concerto" or something. I've never used Slacker as it's unlikely they would have the songs I like (without also having a bunch I don't like). And Slacker won't have lossless music.
     

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