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Tesla is an AWFUL software company

This is like saying "SpaceX is an AWFUL rocket company. Why have they not landed people on mars yet?!" "Reusable booster?! That *sugar* blew up a few times when landing". "Fu*kin can't even get the rocket cameras working correctly. Constant flickers when I'm trying to watch the rocket go to space. What kind of rocket company are they?" "You see that AWFUL flying silo that crashed multiple times? What a joke"
Analogies are not your strong suit. Religion, however, clearly is.
 
If I unlatch the charger from the adapter, I get to wait a few seconds. Then the car unlatches from the adapter, which I pull off, and then I attach the adapter back to the charger. Several extra steps. Upon the end of charging, the car should simply unlock and stay unlocked.

Even worse, if I unplug the charger from the adapter, often the charge port immediately closes. Then I wait for it to open because it cannot close on the adapter.

Almost as bad, if I unplug and wait too long, maybe 15 seconds, the car relocks to the adapter. Then i have to plug in, unplug, and remove the adapter.

It reeks of "I didn't actually test it in the real world. Let's ship beta software like a boss."

That's why I walked through how it works for me, I'm not getting that behavior.

Maybe I missed it, but why are you releasing the Tesla adapter from your charging connector/cable?

Once I install my adapter, it stays in place - i.e., I open the door, stick the cable>>J1772_connector>>Tesla_adapter assembly into our M3P. The indicator light on the port flips dark blue (charging starting) and a couple of seconds later green (charging), the in-car display indicates charging (with all the other data, amps, rate, time-to-complete). I do remove it to charge the other vehicle.

When I'm ready to remove the charging assembly, whether after charging complete (and I get a push notification to my iPhone and Watch) __or__ if I interrupt the charging, I press the button on the J1772_connector portion of the assembly, the port light almost immediately flips to blue/unlocks and I remove the entire cable>>J1772_connector>>Tesla_adapter as one piece - then the door closes up a few seconds later.

FWIW, I'm a software dev/architect and I'm pretty aware/sensitive to engineering design flaws, poor workflow, UX issues, etc., but I'm getting the exact behavior I'd expect.

Heck, I almost shot a video just to show how it works for me :)
 

damonbrodie

Member
Mar 5, 2021
133
116
Ottawa
If I unlatch the charger from the adapter, I get to wait a few seconds. Then the car unlatches from the adapter, which I pull off, and then I attach the adapter back to the charger. Several extra steps. Upon the end of charging, the car should simply unlock and stay unlocked.
Would you want this behavior both when you are charging at home and when you are at a public charger?
 
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If I unlatch the charger from the adapter, I get to wait a few seconds. Then the car unlatches from the adapter, which I pull off, and then I attach the adapter back to the charger. Several extra steps. Upon the end of charging, the car should simply unlock and stay unlocked.
And if someone stole your charging adapter at a public charging station from your automatically unlocked charging port, you would call Tesla AWFUL for that.
 
This is like saying "SpaceX is an AWFUL rocket company. Why have they not landed people on mars yet?!" "Reusable booster?! That *sugar* blew up a few times when landing". "Fu*kin can't even get the rocket cameras working correctly. Constant flickers when I'm trying to watch the rocket go to space. What kind of rocket company are they?" "You see that AWFUL flying silo that crashed multiple times? What a joke"
Analogies are not your strong suit. Religion, however, clearly is.
I thought that was a good analogy, and funny as well :)

And I think the discussion would be more pleasant if you refrained from trying to insult people in your replies. That doesn't add anything to the discussion, the only person who is interested in them is you - and this is a community, so those things are basically anger management spam. I only speak for myself, but I wouldn't be surprised if others would also be more interested in focusing on Tesla related matters rather than witnessing personal attacks on people who post something you don't agree with.
 
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But you're going to ignore the stupidity of these design decisions and just attack me. It's cool. It's cool. I'm the asshole.
I actually haven't seen anyone attacking you. You seem to mistake people disagreeing with you for a personal attack or some kind of cult membership. If someone doesn't agree with you, something is obviously wrong with them, right?

Is there any chance that people can disagree without one of them necessarily having to be an asshole or having a fatal personality flaw...?

Most people on this very forum agree that the Plaid yoke with touch controls was a huge mistake, which should tell you that no one is in a "cult" here. But 99% of the world as you see it, is subjective, and someone can love what you hate or vice versa. And that's okay - accepting this usually happens at the end of one's teenage years, but for some, it takes longer. Some stay angry for their entire life and call everyone sheep who doesn't throw a tantrum at the slightest inconvenience.
 
When I'm ready to remove the charging assembly, whether after charging complete (and I get a push notification to my iPhone and Watch) __or__ if I interrupt the charging, I press the button on the J1772_connector portion of the assembly, the port light almost immediately flips to blue/unlocks and I remove the entire cable>>J1772_connector>>Tesla_adapter as one piece - then the door closes up a few seconds later.

FWIW, I'm a software dev/architect and I'm pretty aware/sensitive to engineering design flaws, poor workflow, UX issues, etc., but I'm getting the exact behavior I'd expect.
yep. The OP has a some valid points with some of the UI gripes, but the operation of the charge port with an adapter is fine. I push the button on the J1772, the port unlocks, and then I "un-push" the button to lock the the adapter and J1772 together and at the same time pull them out of the port in one motion. Easy.
 
I just got my first Tesla (a 2019 M3LR) after wanting one since seeing the original roadster in person. As a new owner, I keep finding myself searching for "how to do x", since the documentation doesn't always seemed aligned with reality, if there is any at all. I found this forum by searching to see if it's possible to turn off the visualizations in the car.

Like the OP, I find the visualizations pretty distracting. Taking my adult kids for their first ride, the first time we were stopped at a stop light, one of them asked "what the hell is going on with all the cars dancing around us on the screen? We're all just stopped, perfectly still, but on the screen they're freaking out!" Then from the other kid "it thinks that dude on the sidewalk is a traffic cone!"

I've been experiencing a lot of those kinds of moments where I'm just puzzled by why something is the way it is on the car. A lot of the UI is just plain weird, or not obvious, or buried deep in some counter-intuitive place. None of those weird issues are deal breakers, but they are surprising given how incredible the car is in most other ways.

To be frank, my first thoughts driving the car were "this is insane" as I pressed on the throttle, followed up quickly with "WTF is going on with the display, and when will I have time to learn where everything is?"

Unlike the OP, I won't go so far as to say Tesla is awful at software. If anything, they're very good at writing and shipping software, but far behind on good design. Now, I've been a programmer of UI heavy software for the last 25 years and know how challenging it is to find the perfect combo of well designed software. Getting things right is hard. Good design is exhaustive, takes an enormous amount of effort from multiple teams of people, and when done right, is practically invisible. I see hints of that kind of design in a lot of the overall Tesla experience, but I also see a lot of what look like half baked ideas wedged into an existing tab/widget for lack of a better solution.

As a total Tesla noob, here's what stood out the most to me in my first week of using the software:

- The flickering/dancing visualization is a distraction for sure. Looking straight ahead, the visualization is still within my peripheral view. Any movement there tends to grab your attention, since your eyes tend to notice movement in your periphery far more than detail. This is a physiological thing - your eyes have more cones in the center of your field of view to help see more details and colors. On the periphery, your eyes have more rods, which are far more sensitive to movement. That arrangement is good for survival. With the always moving visualization of the Model 3 display, it's hard to tell your eyes and brain to not do what they are very good at doing (noticing motion in your peripheral vision).
- I'd love to just turn off the display. Or all of it except for some indication of my speed.
- Dashcam seems straight up broken? When I launch the viewer, I see a black screen with a dim grey x on the upper left corner. Nothing else, even with sentry mode on. Close the viewer, then open it again, and now I see a live camera view. Huh?
- I have no idea where anything is in the menus. This will likely improve with time as I learn stuff, but I also worry that stuff may change with a firmware update and I'll be scratching my head as I re-learn stuff again.

All that said, there's a lot to love.

Which leads to the bigger thing that motived me to post here. As a noob to the forums, I've seen a pattern that concerns me.

The pattern I see is this: someone makes a critical post about something Tesla related, and a large portion of the responses tend to sound like "don't like it? Don't own a Tesla" or "compare that to other companies, which are just awful," or "stop being stupid and read the [nearly impossible to find or non-existent] manual," or worse, attack the person making the criticisms.

It's perfectly valid to criticize something, even if that something is best in class. Even if what it's trying to accomplish is hard. Even if no one else gets it right either. Even if the current state of that feature has evolved over the years and improved. Someone criticizing something you love isn't someone attacking you. It doesn't mean you're wrong in loving the thing someone else thinks is a problem. Someone criticizing something doesn't mean they hate the thing they're criticizing. I really love my kids. When they leave dirty socks in the middle of the floor, I still love them, even if I hate their dirty socks on the floor.

Criticism is how things improve. It's what gives a community like this the chance to shape the future of what they love.
 

with_raiden

Member
Apr 11, 2021
227
200
NYC
The “non-existent manual” is actually accessible in multiple places, such as the Tesla App, twice on the web Model 3 Owner's Manual | Tesla

and in the car’s multimedia control unit.

By "multimedia control unit", I assume you mean the touchscreen. The irony with that is when I try to access that manual on my touchscreen, the screen stops responding and my AC turns on full blast. Apparently it's a widely known issue, and fixed in current firmware. For me, this happens with 2021.32.21 - I'm not yet sure how to check for updates, or if I'm even on the latest firmware.

My point wasn't about the manual itself though. It was to say that being told your criticisms of the software are wrong because someone assumes you haven't read the manual isn't the kind of response that encourages people to be objective and think critically.
 

smogne41

Member
Jun 13, 2019
318
685
Pennsylvania
I just got my first Tesla (a 2019 M3LR) after wanting one since seeing the original roadster in person. As a new owner, I keep finding myself searching for "how to do x", since the documentation doesn't always seemed aligned with reality, if there is any at all. I found this forum by searching to see if it's possible to turn off the visualizations in the car.

Like the OP, I find the visualizations pretty distracting. Taking my adult kids for their first ride, the first time we were stopped at a stop light, one of them asked "what the hell is going on with all the cars dancing around us on the screen? We're all just stopped, perfectly still, but on the screen they're freaking out!" Then from the other kid "it thinks that dude on the sidewalk is a traffic cone!"

I've been experiencing a lot of those kinds of moments where I'm just puzzled by why something is the way it is on the car. A lot of the UI is just plain weird, or not obvious, or buried deep in some counter-intuitive place. None of those weird issues are deal breakers, but they are surprising given how incredible the car is in most other ways.

To be frank, my first thoughts driving the car were "this is insane" as I pressed on the throttle, followed up quickly with "WTF is going on with the display, and when will I have time to learn where everything is?"

Unlike the OP, I won't go so far as to say Tesla is awful at software. If anything, they're very good at writing and shipping software, but far behind on good design. Now, I've been a programmer of UI heavy software for the last 25 years and know how challenging it is to find the perfect combo of well designed software. Getting things right is hard. Good design is exhaustive, takes an enormous amount of effort from multiple teams of people, and when done right, is practically invisible. I see hints of that kind of design in a lot of the overall Tesla experience, but I also see a lot of what look like half baked ideas wedged into an existing tab/widget for lack of a better solution.

As a total Tesla noob, here's what stood out the most to me in my first week of using the software:

- The flickering/dancing visualization is a distraction for sure. Looking straight ahead, the visualization is still within my peripheral view. Any movement there tends to grab your attention, since your eyes tend to notice movement in your periphery far more than detail. This is a physiological thing - your eyes have more cones in the center of your field of view to help see more details and colors. On the periphery, your eyes have more rods, which are far more sensitive to movement. That arrangement is good for survival. With the always moving visualization of the Model 3 display, it's hard to tell your eyes and brain to not do what they are very good at doing (noticing motion in your peripheral vision).
- I'd love to just turn off the display. Or all of it except for some indication of my speed.
- Dashcam seems straight up broken? When I launch the viewer, I see a black screen with a dim grey x on the upper left corner. Nothing else, even with sentry mode on. Close the viewer, then open it again, and now I see a live camera view. Huh?
- I have no idea where anything is in the menus. This will likely improve with time as I learn stuff, but I also worry that stuff may change with a firmware update and I'll be scratching my head as I re-learn stuff again.

All that said, there's a lot to love.

Which leads to the bigger thing that motived me to post here. As a noob to the forums, I've seen a pattern that concerns me.

The pattern I see is this: someone makes a critical post about something Tesla related, and a large portion of the responses tend to sound like "don't like it? Don't own a Tesla" or "compare that to other companies, which are just awful," or "stop being stupid and read the [nearly impossible to find or non-existent] manual," or worse, attack the person making the criticisms.

It's perfectly valid to criticize something, even if that something is best in class. Even if what it's trying to accomplish is hard. Even if no one else gets it right either. Even if the current state of that feature has evolved over the years and improved. Someone criticizing something you love isn't someone attacking you. It doesn't mean you're wrong in loving the thing someone else thinks is a problem. Someone criticizing something doesn't mean they hate the thing they're criticizing. I really love my kids. When they leave dirty socks in the middle of the floor, I still love them, even if I hate their dirty socks on the floor.

Criticism is how things improve. It's what gives a community like this the chance to shape the future of what they love.
Yeah, the Tesla community has a rather toxic component when it comes to any kind of criticism (constructive or otherwise). Not everybody by a long shot, but there are a lot of them. These are the people who defend the yoke in the Model S :p

It is unfortunate though, because it really does go a long way to short-circuit any kind of useful feedback that could filter back to Tesla about their products.

Regarding the UI, understand that Tesla did put a large amount of effort making a nice clean interface when they rolled out the car. It was not perfect, but it was quite good. But last December they refreshed the UI quite a bit, unfortunately most of it was a downgrade (making the stupid car visualization bigger and the map smaller, making the speed and other information smaller and lower contrast, etc). Arbitrary change of an decently optimized design usually is a downgrade though...
 
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kavyboy

Active Member
Jan 13, 2016
1,342
2,354
South Beach, Oregon
The pattern I see is this: someone makes a critical post about something Tesla related, and a large portion of the responses tend to sound like "don't like it? Don't own a Tesla" or "compare that to other companies, which are just awful," or "stop being stupid and read the [nearly impossible to find or non-existent] manual," or worse, attack the person making the criticisms.
As in any forum, there are always a few that all noise, no signal. Please be aware there is a per-user "ignore" capability on this forum. Plonking just a few of the worst offenders will greatly improve your experience here, in my opinion.
Have fun and welcome.
 
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Regarding the UI, understand that Tesla did put a large amount of effort making a nice clean interface when they rolled out the car.

Without a doubt, designing a UI for a car, let alone a Tesla, is an enormous task, and won't ever be finished. I've worked professionally on similarly sized systems with their own constraints and needs, and can appreciate how hard it is for UI designers to wrangle everything.

I'd sincerely hope that Tesla is doing things like keeping track of specific criticisms, or measuring how people "flow" through the UI. For example, you can learn a lot by watching patterns of use in aggregate, even if you don't know what the user's goal is. If you see people going down one path of menus, only to immediately abandon and move to another menu, you can often make inferences about what that means. Maybe the menu item they finally pick should be moved to the place where people keep abandoning? That kind of data can go a long way when combined with traditional usability studies.

I suspect what Tesla does is use the systems personally, gather anecdotal evidence that something needs changing, and relies on rapid iteration to narrow in on the right approach. It's not the worst way of doing it, but requires some patience from end users (both for those who want change, and for those who are sick of things changing).
 
Yeah, the Tesla community has a rather toxic component when it comes to any kind of criticism (constructive or otherwise). Not everybody by a long shot, but there are a lot of them.
It's not unique to the Tesla community.

Any community with early adopters of new ideas or tech tend to get defensive when hearing criticisms. As early adopters, they put up with the bugs, the flaws, the growth. They also put up with having outsiders think that backing some crazy new thing is a waste of time. I think in some ways, they're justified in putting up a defense, especially in earlier days. You want the thing you're a part of to succeed. You don't want people taking shots at it.

So I get it. But Tesla doesn't really need defending any more, at least not from reasonable criticism.
 
So I get it. But Tesla doesn't really need defending any more, at least not from reasonable criticism.
There's reasonable criticism and I guess that then there must be unreasonable criticism. But there's also a subset of reasonable criticism that's repeated over and over again, such that it becomes annoying even to those people that agree with the criticism.
 
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I just got my first Tesla (a 2019 M3LR) after wanting one since seeing the original roadster in person. As a new owner, I keep finding myself searching for "how to do x", since the documentation doesn't always seemed aligned with reality, if there is any at all. I found this forum by searching to see if it's possible to turn off the visualizations in the car.

Like the OP, I find the visualizations pretty distracting. Taking my adult kids for their first ride, the first time we were stopped at a stop light, one of them asked "what the hell is going on with all the cars dancing around us on the screen? We're all just stopped, perfectly still, but on the screen they're freaking out!" Then from the other kid "it thinks that dude on the sidewalk is a traffic cone!"
Of course, there are a lot of things in it that aren't perfect. But I honestly don't understand when people say the visualizations are "distracting". No one is forcing anyone to look at them. You will only notice those things if you, using your will that controls your eyes to move them in the direction you want to look, turn them towards the screen. Your eyes don't act autonomously and just look there on their own. So yes, it jumps, it gets confused, but let's not forget that you CHOOSE to look at it and be distracted by it. If you find it distracting, can't you just stop looking at it?

To be frank, my first thoughts driving the car were "this is insane" as I pressed on the throttle, followed up quickly with "WTF is going on with the display, and when will I have time to learn where everything is?"

It took me about 6 weeks and since then, everything has been intuitive. Mind you that unlike my girlfriend who still has no idea of most settings and functions, I spent half a day going through the parts of the manual I felt were important for safe driving, or interesting, and sitting in the parked car going through all the menus. So yes, it does have a learning curve, because most of it is new, but now it's all familiar.

I get the perspective that people get pissed when they don't find things where they expect them to be. This is a whole new user interface for a car, we can't expect to "intuitively" understand the design decisions of the manufacturer because they are humans, we are humans, and we all have different opinions about how things "should" be. That's the problem. You won't find a single thing in the world everybody agrees on. We are all different, come from different backgrounds. I'm in Europe, I learned to drive with a stick shift 20+ years ago and automatic was weird for me first. On my first try, I almost flew through the windshield because the break pedal was twice as wide and half of it was where the clutch is on a manual. Does that make automatic transmission a "horrible and dangerous design"? No, I just had to learn something new and get used to it. Same here.

My recommendation is that you don't assume that you "should just understand" the car, but do take the time to learn how it works. This is not an iPhone, it's heavy machinery that you are responsible for operating. It doesn't work as you wish it would, it works as the manufacturer designed it, whether you like it or not - like any piece of equipment from any manufacturer. So be a responsible operator and RTFM.

It's not unique to the Tesla community.

Any community with early adopters of new ideas or tech tend to get defensive when hearing criticisms. As early adopters, they put up with the bugs, the flaws, the growth. They also put up with having outsiders think that backing some crazy new thing is a waste of time. I think in some ways, they're justified in putting up a defense, especially in earlier days. You want the thing you're a part of to succeed. You don't want people taking shots at it.

So I get it. But Tesla doesn't really need defending any more, at least not from reasonable criticism.
From what I see, the main reason for people taking shots at each other is that many people are in love with their own opinion, and some people think that their thoughts are automatically "right" and anyone who disagrees with them is an idiot, a hater, sheep, a cult member, has some agenda or whatever. People who criticize Tesla are labeled "haters", and the "haters" think there is another camp "defending" Tesla from "fair criticism". All of this is pretty childish on both sides. There is a feature, some people love it, some people hate it. If you criticise something about Tesla and I disagree, your criticism could be valid, and I may have a different opinion, just as valid - which doesn't make you a hater and me a fanboy. It's a freaking car. Who cares if anyone else likes or hates something about it or disagrees with me? I have my own opinion about it and couldn't care less if someone else agrees with me or not. If I say that autopark sucks and someone says it's awesome, I don't feel any urge to defend my criticism. It sucks for me, I'm happy that you like it. My hate, love criticism or defense of a feature doesn't make an ounce of difference for Tesla or others who disagree with me. Why bother? Don't get offended and don't try to offend others - it's a waste of time. Express your opinion, understand that it's personal and subjective, and let others do the same.
 
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If you find it distracting, can't you just stop looking at it?

I wish it were that easy. It's always in my view. I think with time I'll tune it out, especially as I learn what can be ignored on the screen and what shouldn't.

sitting in the parked car going through all the menus

This is basically what I've done. I printed out the manual and just have it handy in the car. I know, a paper manual in a Tesla is sorta weird, but it's just easy. The touchscreen likes to crash when viewing the digital version, and I don't want to try reading it on my phone or dealing with a laptop.

Express your opinion, understand that it's personal and subjective, and let others do the same.

Well said.
 
I wish it were that easy. It's always in my view. I think with time I'll tune it out, especially as I learn what can be ignored on the screen and what shouldn't.

I see. I think the human mind has a tendency to focus on what upsets (e.g. annoys) it. It's really counterintuitive but the more we don't like something the more we tend to focus on it. This is how we guarantee our own misery. :) If nothing bothers you but suddenly a bee stings your elbow, all of your attention will immediately focus on your elbow. You can try to decide that you don't give a damn about the visualizations, it doesn't annoy you, it doesn't matter at all, and that should reduce the amount of attention being drawn to it.
 
People keep saying that Tesla is such a great software company, but their software is AWFUL. Bad words carefully avoided but thought loudly:

1. I can't get rid of the visualization. It takes up the most visible part of the display, distracting me as I drive.
2. The autopilot software can't even get the visualization right. Flickering, bouncing images of vehicles? That bus next to me is sliding back and forth even though we're both dead stopped. That pickup? It's a minivan. No! It's a sedan. No! It's a pickup.
3. The UI has no significant customization. The speedo needs to be larger, for instance, but I cannot modify anything. Elon knows best?
4. I want to turn on my heated steering wheel. Not under car settings. No way to hit a button directly on the main screen. Hitting the electric seats button doesn't do it. Nor does holding down on the seat button. Looked it up in the manual on built into the car, and it doesn't even list the feature. Finally searched on the internet and found a screenshot about the feature existing that shows it's in the HVAC screen. Click on HVAC. Look around. Find the button. I'm supposed to do this while driving? I no, I have to memorize where every single unintuitive and undocumented control is. That assumes the control actually exists.
5. The time the car wouldn't open for a few minutes. Then it opened but wouldn't start. Then it finally all turned on 10 minutes later.
6. The time the entire interior electronics were dead, including AC, speedo, and so on. But then they magically turned on 10 minutes later.
7. The charge port that doesn't want to let go, even though charging is done. No button to do it either. Gotta unplug the charger from the adapter then the adapter from the car. I love pointless extra steps. Yes, this is software.
8. Back to the UI: it's a total fustercluck. Tabs at the bottom with tiny icons. Tabs that have no discernable meaning (A circle with stars? Wut?) and then jumble a bunch of unrelated ideas together.
9. The settings menus have no discernable logic. I have to go through several items to find the settings I want, but only when they actually exist. And yes, sometimes I have to search up the location as I tire of searching through tabs.
10. Thanks, Mr. Screen, for blinding me at full brightness when I got in the car at 10:15PM last night.
11. The auto-bright headlights that turn off when signs shine back at them, but that don't notice the oncoming car.
I fully agree with all of these and would add

11 Seat heater buttons next to the temp setting. Miss the temp button slightly and the seat gets hot
12 The credit card key doesn't work when inside a wallet and then it slips of the console. This is an issue because whenever I get a software update my phone isn't recognized as a key.
13 The camera displays don't show true distances
14 TBD



I was a software developer for many years and would have been fired for putting out crap like this.
 

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