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Under-appreciated aspect of Tesla vs other cars

svp6

Member
Sep 6, 2014
731
791
MN
For better or worse, OTA updates are coming to other manufacturers too. My 2018 Merc has it. Now if they also understood that you do not need a start button..... Simply putting the car in gear should start the engine, opening the driver door should stop it.
 

daniel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
5,547
5,311
Kihei, HI
For better or worse, OTA updates are coming to other manufacturers too. My 2018 Merc has it. Now if they also understood that you do not need a start button..... Simply putting the car in gear should start the engine, opening the driver door should stop it.

Or better yet, if they understood that you do not need an ICE! ;)
 

WarpedOne

Supreme Premier
Supporting Member
Aug 17, 2006
4,510
8,777
Slovenia, Europe
For real OTA, you need to interconnect all the car computers in 100%.
In modern cars, there are dozens (i.e. above 30) subsystems, some connected, most only connected to 12V and their own controls.

Can your merc of 2018 OTA update brakes control? Engine control? Emission control? xyz?
They at most can update media and navigation.
 
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For real OTA, you need to interconnect all the car computers in 100%.
In modern cars, there are dozens (i.e. above 30) subsystems, some connected, most only connected to 12V and their own controls.

Can your merc of 2018 OTA update brakes control? Engine control? Emission control? xyz?
They at most can update media and navigation.

This is the most underrated part about Tesla (the Model 3 more specifically). Almost every aspect of the car is capable of being controlled via software. A number of articles have outlined this.

The turn signal and “gear selector” stalks always return to the neutral position, allowing software to control them fully in an autonomous or ride-sharing setting down the line without driver input. The same applies to the air conditioning system, seat and steering wheel position, seat heaters, wipers, steering, braking, acceleration, infotainment, windows, glove box and frunk locks, etc. All of these things can be software controlled, improved and tweaked over time via OTA updates.

Now will the Model 3 be capable of true full self driving or ridesharing? That’s a separate debate, but Tesla is the only brand that provides that possibility for a car available today.

The only aspect of the Model 3 I can think of that cannot be controlled by software is the ability to CLOSE the doors, hood, trunk, and glove box.
 
The only aspect of the Model 3 I can think of that cannot be controlled by software is the ability to CLOSE the doors/trunk.

Coming a MX, this is one thing I find myself missing the most.

Anyways, I do think that given how much can be controlled by software, it will be interesting to see how the interaction changes when voice-assist becomes more useful. It would really change the way you think about cars. Many of us who have the M3 now are focusing on the imperfections (rightfully so), but the reality is that we're only seeing half of the intended use case. Ultimately, I currently LIKE my M3, but I am waiting to see the full vision (voice control/autonomous driving) of what the car can do so that I can truly LOVE it.
 

Barklikeadog

Active Member
Jul 13, 2016
2,045
2,096
PA
Yes OTA updates are cool, but remember what they eventually do to a smartphone: At first the updates make it better, then after a few years they start making it worse.

But it is very important to have OTA updates when you're selling a car that isn't done being programmed.

And there's a creepy big brother aspect to all this communication between your car and its manufacturer. It's covered in cameras but the owner doesn't have access to their footage unless telsa grants it to you. It tells tesla where you go and when. Now there's even a driver facing camera that you don't get to control. That's a lot of powerful personal info. I hate the mindless acceptance of the surveillance state we're all being forced into. I hate that the car I want the most is the car that surveils me the most with the least control over my privacy.

That is what I always think about... as soon as I get a new phone and install the apps I want/need, I disable automatic updates.
A friend of mine had an Iphone update 18months ago... which rendered his phone useless. he went to the store where an entire
group of people had useless phones... which happened to be on the same day as a new phone release.
 
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LCR1

Active Member
Oct 24, 2017
1,351
1,185
Houston
I know how it would have affected me. I bought an '89 Olds Toronado Trofeo, discounted as a dealer demo. Had a color touch screen with lots of alerts delivered through it. Had to turn off the voice alerts because, when it would get low on gas, the act of gas sloshing around the tank would have you seeing the screen constantly flash the low-fuel warning repeatedly adn constantly starting to say "Low fuel..." then nothing then "Low fuel..."

For all the world, I wanted a software update that would have it happen ONCE per operating trip. Lots of little things that showed how little testing they did with the interfaces could have been fixed over time.

Or you can just add fuel when it's low on fuel enough that the low fuel light comes on.

I just think you didn't know you needed the improvements :)

If it didn't meet my needs I wouldn't have bought it.
 
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svp6

Member
Sep 6, 2014
731
791
MN
For real OTA, you need to interconnect all the car computers in 100%.
In modern cars, there are dozens (i.e. above 30) subsystems, some connected, most only connected to 12V and their own controls.

Can your merc of 2018 OTA update brakes control? Engine control? Emission control? xyz?
They at most can update media and navigation.

Not sure. But it can talk to other Mercs on the road in vehicle-to-vehicle network - last time I checked my Tesla did not (not to say it would not be capable, but just doesn't). I see your love of Tesla, but that does not mean other manufacturers need to be belittled for their efforts.

Bottom line is, others have seen the advantage of OTA, and several current models are using it. Kudos to Tesla for pioneering the approach.
 

gavine

Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast
Apr 1, 2014
2,639
2,226
Philadelphia, PA
For better or worse, OTA updates are coming to other manufacturers too. My 2018 Merc has it. Now if they also understood that you do not need a start button..... Simply putting the car in gear should start the engine, opening the driver door should stop it.

ICE needs a start/stop button. What if you pull-into your garage and don't want to get-out of the car right away? Are you saying you have to open the door to shut-off the engine and then close it again? Or, you pull-up to a full-service gas station. You have to open the door to shut the car off? What if the engine stalls? How do you re-start it?
 
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ICE needs a start/stop button. What if you pull-into your garage and don't want to get-out of the car right away? Are you saying you have to open the door to shut-off the engine and then close it again? Or, you pull-up to a full-service gas station. You have to open the door to shut the car off? What if the engine stalls? How do you re-start it?
Agreed completely. There is no significant distinction between "stopped" and "off" in terms of an electric motor, but the same is not true of a combustion engine.

What's ridiculous is cars like the new Leaf still having a start/stop button including a fully-separate "accessory" mode.
 

Yinn

Active Member
Nov 15, 2016
2,101
1,928
Behind you
Not sure. But it can talk to other Mercs on the road in vehicle-to-vehicle network - last time I checked my Tesla did not (not to say it would not be capable, but just doesn't). I see your love of Tesla, but that does not mean other manufacturers need to be belittled for their efforts.

Bottom line is, others have seen the advantage of OTA, and several current models are using it. Kudos to Tesla for pioneering the approach.

There' a lot that traditional auto manufacturers have in terms of a head start over Tesla. The one thing that holds them back is integration though, and I don't think that's belittling. There's a bunch of ECU's within a car, each programmed to perform their very specific function and communication. A lot of their programming is embedded and can not be updated OTA, even if they wanted to. It comes down to unwinding the build and actually moving to a simplified vehicle architecture. Even the Model S/X doesn't have that; the 3 is the only current car that's fully uninhibitied.

Given that everyone has taken apart the Model 3 by now; I would expect it's about 4 years in an express timeframe; more likely 7+ years out before traditional automakers have the opportunity to unwind from their current architecture and build a cheaper and more integrated version like Tesla has. But that doesn't mean there can't be bandaids along the way..
 

ℬête Noire

Active Member
Jan 30, 2018
3,105
2,703
TX
It comes down to unwinding the build and actually moving to a simplified vehicle architecture. Even the Model S/X doesn't have that; the 3 is the only current car that's fully uninhibitied.

I'm not sure "uninhibited" is the right word? I get the impression there are some very intentional inter-system barriers designed within the Model 3, for security reasons.

Given that everyone has taken apart the Model 3 by now; I would expect it's about 4 years in an express timeframe; more likely 7+ years out before traditional automakers have the opportunity to unwind from their current architecture and build a cheaper and more integrated version like Tesla has. But that doesn't mean there can't be bandaids along the way..
I'd peg 6-7 years as the "express" timeframe, outside of perhaps bespoke Cruise/Waymo systems. The automobile industry's lag time on design to shipping is quite large. Tesla takes a lot of heat for "slow to ship" but that's mostly because of the public expectations set by Musk. Tesla is positively quicksilver and they've taken a number of years going through the Model S to do it.[/QUOTE]
 
It is now almost 6 years since Tesla launched the Model S and still no other car manufacturer has implemented an OTA update capability on any more than a tiny fraction of all the new cars they are currently producing. They are way, way behind Tesla in that regard (and in almost every other area).

Maybe that's because, like others have said as well, other car manufacturers ship finished products with fully functioning software and well thought-out user interfaces that don't require constant OTA updates to be usable as promised.

Of course new features might be nice, but I can't think of any relevant feature I would like on a car, like mine for example, that doesn't require new hardware as well:
- HUD
- reat heated seats
- more seat adjustment options
- massage seats
- cooled seats
- more storage space
- auto-dimming always-on high-beams
- cornering lights
- higher resolution backup camera

What kind of really new functions did OTA updates add to your Model S since you purchased it?
 

ℬête Noire

Active Member
Jan 30, 2018
3,105
2,703
TX
Maybe that's because, like others have said as well, other car manufacturers ship finished products with fully functioning software and well thought-out user interfaces that don't require constant OTA updates to be usable as promised.

:rolleyes:

I wonder would it'd take to get my Bolt's software updated to something with options from the last decade? I don't give a damn about what was literally "promised", I'd just like it to know the difference between the 2 key FOBs and set some preferences accordingly. The only upside is, because it's such a throwback, the relative dearth of user selectable options. :p
 
:rolleyes:

I wonder would it'd take to get my Bolt's software updated to something with options from the last decade? I don't give a damn about what was literally "promised", I'd just like it to know the difference between the 2 key FOBs and set some preferences accordingly. The only upside is, because it's such a throwback, the relative dearth of user selectable options. :p

Perhaps if you had gotten a proper car you wouldn't have had such problems. My car is 14 years old now and still performs like on day one, offering every function it had when I bought it - which is exactly what I wanted and with which I am still really happy.
The only problem it has is that it is a Diesel. If there was a way to turn it into a BEV with about 150 to 200 miles of range and performance on par with the current ICE engine it has, I would never need another car, period. No stupid FSD or EAP, no invasion on privacy/being under surveillance all the time, proper controls, well thought out UI, and everything that matters to me in a car. Alas, no way to realistically do that conversion, and certainly not something an OTA update could fix :rolleyes:
 

daniel

Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
5,547
5,311
Kihei, HI
Agreed completely. There is no significant distinction between "stopped" and "off" in terms of an electric motor, but the same is not true of a combustion engine.

What's ridiculous is cars like the new Leaf still having a start/stop button including a fully-separate "accessory" mode.

My Roadster has an old-fashioned key-start including an accessory mode. It's kind of disconcerting that the Model 3 is on and ready to drive as soon as I unlock it (or it unlocks itself). I'm starting to get used to that, but I still sit there for a few moments wondering what I'm forgetting to do.
 

ℬête Noire

Active Member
Jan 30, 2018
3,105
2,703
TX
Perhaps if you had gotten a proper car you wouldn't have had such problems.

WTF dude? :confused: "Back in the day we didn't need OTA to update our sticks because they didn't need updates! I liked my stick, it poked what I wanted it to poke. You want something more than a stick? Well you should just get a stick that's more than a stick but also just a stick like back in the good old days bargarglebruhaujque."

Time to take the trash out. *Ignore*
 
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ℬête Noire

Active Member
Jan 30, 2018
3,105
2,703
TX
My Roadster has an old-fashioned key-start including an accessory mode. It's kind of disconcerting that the Model 3 is on and ready to drive as soon as I unlock it (or it unlocks itself). I'm starting to get used to that, but I still sit there for a few moments wondering what I'm forgetting to do.
What'll really blow your mind is when you get used to that, drive it for a couple weeks, and then get back into your Roadster and momentarily wonder why it isn't working when you try to drive off. ;)
 
What'll really blow your mind is when you get used to that, drive it for a couple weeks, and then get back into your Roadster and momentarily wonder why it isn't working when you try to drive off. ;)
This is a minor worry for me; will driving my wife's Nissan crossover (which I do sometimes on weekends) become unacceptable once I get used to Model 3? Obviously there's the EV/ICE difference, but the usage differences may actually be a bigger issue.

Not that that's a reason not to get a Model 3...
 

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