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The average Tesla owner and their knowledge of their car's features

A-Wimoweh

Member
Nov 26, 2018
360
201
Jungle
So last night, while taking my kids around our hood while trick-or-treating, I came across a model 3 that was parked in a driveway, in front of a garage. The driveway was two cars wide, and it had 4 cars in it, the model 3 being closest to the street. I think this is important, because it made me think it did not belong to the home owner. I walked very close to the side of it, and noticed the window was down about 1.5", thought it was odd because it was already dark out, and it was going to storm rain in about an hour. But no sentry mode warning popped up. No headlight flash.
That got me wondering, I wonder how many Tesla owners have features like dashcam and sentry available on their cars, but don't know about it, or bother to use it? I've had other encounters with parked Teslas where I expected to see some sign of sentry mode being active, but did not.
 

PWlakewood

Active Member
Jan 9, 2019
1,796
1,118
US
A whole bunch. And don't even get me started on how many used car salesmen know little to nothing. A couple local dealers I have a relationship with call me so I can go over the Teslas they get and of course I go straight for the fart app. :D
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
19,997
24,652
Texas
I walked very close to the side of it, and noticed the window was down about 1.5", thought it was odd because it was already dark out, and it was going to storm rain in about an hour.
I have done that numerous times in the S, except that it's more like 0.5". I have an alarm set in the calendar to remind me to close them. Interestingly, almost no rain gets in. Now before you get on me about cabin overheat protection, yes I have that turned on, but when it's hot out the difference in A/C use between having and not having the windows cracked is considerable. And, of course, cabin overheat protection is relatively new.
 

SoCal Buzz

Early Adopter
Supporting Member
Oct 9, 2018
513
432
Orange County, CA, USA
The average "car" owner has no idea what 50%+ of features do, buried in menus and buttons. Despite Tesla OS being much simpler to understand and manage, I suspect the same holds true. The family of one guy I know would not drive in his Tesla, because motion made them feel ill. That was going on for 2 years, before I noted the setting to him that would moderate the regen braking.
 
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PWlakewood

Active Member
Jan 9, 2019
1,796
1,118
US
The average "car" owner has no idea what 50%+ of features do, buried in menus and buttons. Despite Tesla OS being much simpler to understand and manage, I suspect the same holds true. The family of one guy I know would not drive in his Tesla, because motion made them feel ill. That was going on for 2 years, before I noted the setting to him that would moderate the regen braking.
My wife would say the same thing about the regen as for her not wanting to drive our S but once I showed her how to change it shes much better.
 
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whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,727
8,563
Seattle area, WA
Why do so many people assume that everyone thinks like them, has the same values, and just because they bought a Tesla they must be salivating at the thought of beta testing features?

I am very aware of a number of Tesla features, but choose not to use them for different reasons, such as time required to use them, reliability of the features, safety concerns, etc. For example dashcam, I know it's there and how to use it but I don't feel like being a beta tester for Tesla while having an unreliable dashcam. I prefer to just add a reliable dedicated dashcam system to all my cars, then not have to worry about checking what bugs got introduces each update, is it no longer recording, is it recording with gaps, etc, etc. I prefer to setup a reliable solution, have it self-monitor (dashcam connects to home server whenever on wifi, server will email me if dashcam doesn't connect for a few days or no new video files are being created or if they are not readable). Oh, that also means I've had a dashcam feature in my Teslas before it was even a dream on Elon's napkin, starting with my first 2013 Model S. I also never summon any of our cars, play games in the car, have the car make fart noises, NoA, etc, etc. Plenty of features I know about, but are not worth using to me (or to my wife in her Tesla).

In summary, just because someone is not using a feature, doesn't mean they don't know about it or about their car. It might mean the feature is not worth using, to them (all worth is always relative "to whom", no such thing as absolute value).
 
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Camera-Cruiser

Fully Charged
Dec 4, 2015
773
808
Fullerton, CA
You don't know what you don't know. And this is meant for the OP, not the Tesla owner.

You don't know if the Tesla is the homeowner's or a visiting friend's that has marked it as a favorite, so maybe Sentry is set to Off. Maybe they just don't like the vampire drain. You don't know if they vented their windows via the app and are aware of the impending storm and will close them. They may not care either way - it could be a rental.... Ugh. They may be dropping off kids or picking them up, and could have only been there a minute before you got there and will leave the minute you're down the block.

This is like me telling my mom that I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond and her asking if I brought a coupon, and me telling her, "No." She will go off for 20 minutes about how I am supposed to bring a coupon and how I don't know how to shop there, but not to worry I can bring everything back and they will honor the coupon and give me my 30% back in cash. She'll go on educating me forever until I tell her that I can't bring anything back or show them the receipt. She'll then go on about how she will take care of it for me until I agree to let her try. I then tell her that I can't wait to hear what happens because I didn't buy anything, I just said I went there, I would have brought a coupon if I were going to buy something there. Everyone knows that.

Either way, you just don't know and it's not your problem.
 

JRMW

Member
Nov 13, 2016
289
285
Minneapolis
There are a ton of features that are hidden.

Three I learned recently
—you can turn climate on and off pushing scroll wheel (if scroll wheel controls temp). I found it clunky that air was always on before

— swiping down on Navigate automatically navigates you home... but if you’re at home it automatically navigates you to work. (Less helpful)

— I only recently learned how to add an address to favorites
 
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dannycamps

Member
Apr 8, 2019
746
673
Northeast USA
The dashcam is a great feature and I think at some point will be standard across all cars (like backup cameras are now) if nothing else for insurance purposes.

I choose not to use Sentry mode unless I am parking in a sketchy area. For me range is paramount so the loss caused by Sentry is not worth it.

I am hoping that Tesla adds the ability to review recorded camera footage (from dash or sentry) right on the MCU. That would be an awesome feature.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,987
13,774
California
Maybe some people buying eco-conscious EVs think that voyeur-level recording of every bit of movement outside an insured inanimate object is a fantastic waste of energy?
 

bmah

Moderator
Supporting Member
Mar 17, 2015
4,233
7,974
Lafayette, CA, USA
Many owners are just out there, enjoying their cars. Do not spend hours on these forums, learning about all the nuances of all things Tesla.

This is something to keep in mind, not all Tesla owners are fan(atic)s like those of us who frequent these forums.

Reminds me of a story I read on the Prius-2G mailing list back in the mid 2000s, back when Prii were still new and noteworthy. Somebody won a Prius in some raffle or something like that...bunch of people were asking her how she liked it, what her driving strategies were, how she liked the touch-screen (a touch screen in a car was still a novelty at the time). (The person posting the story was one of the people asking her these things.) She said the only thing special she ever did was touch the disclaimer for the Nav system. After that she just drove it like a "normal" car.

Bruce.
 

aesculus

Still Trying to Figure This All Out
May 31, 2015
4,529
2,599
Northern California
This is like me telling my mom that I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond and her asking if I brought a coupon, and me telling her, "No." She will go off for 20 minutes about how I am supposed to bring a coupon and how I don't know how to shop there, but not to worry I can bring everything back and they will honor the coupon and give me my 30% back in cash. She'll go on educating me forever until I tell her that I can't bring anything back or show them the receipt. She'll then go on about how she will take care of it for me until I agree to let her try. I then tell her that I can't wait to hear what happens because I didn't buy anything, I just said I went there, I would have brought a coupon if I were going to buy something there. Everyone knows that.
Funniest thing I have read today.:D:D:D:D:D
 
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