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What ever happened to the hard drive in the car?

jak

Member
Apr 20, 2013
51
26
California
When they first started selling the Model S, it touted a hard drive that came with the studio sound package. Eventually, that feature never came to fruition and Tesla removed the feature on the car from their web site. No one probably gave a damn because USB hard drives and memory sticks grew large enough to hold almost all the music we could want.

Then it was theorized they'd store some mapping data on the hard drive, but I don't think that ever happened because it's still slow to see updates come up on the screen as you're driving around, zooming in-and-out.

Anyone know what happened to the hard drive? Do they still install a hard drive in the newer cars and does it ever get used for anything? Maybe they use it to store logs?
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
19,963
23,902
Texas
If they put one in, it was a solid state one, not a platter, as I didn't see a disk when they took the display out for the LTE upgrade. I do think they store maps because the Google maps continue to work (for awhile) even when out of range.
 

AnOutsider

S532 # XS27
Apr 3, 2009
11,957
200
went the way of many other promised features. Still no rear USB (though it may reappear on the X), still no wifi hotspot, iphone integration, visor retrofit etc.

Personally, I've always thought it was the wifi tethering that needed to go per ATT and then that meant no easy way to access the drive (early word was you synched over wifi), but then we got wifi in the car and the feature still hasn't surfaced. At this point, I don't see it coming unless it's a software update that comes to X and trickles down to S.
 

andrewket

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2012
5,704
1,525
I can live without local storage, since USB drives work well. For me it's better than local fixed storage as you can bring it into the house to load. A hidden port in the glovebox would be nice. As far as the X, if it doesn't have USB ports for charging and improved HVAC in the second and third rows I will be disappointed.
 

Room_A113

Member
Feb 27, 2013
73
16
New Jersey
I don't have a Tesla (yet - looking forward to a Model 3), but the first year or two of the Chevy Volt had a hard drive. I had it in my 2011, which I really miss in my 2014 Volt. In addition to storing music, you could rewind radio up to 20 minutes. It was really handy when I would miss some news that I wanted to hear but was distracted at the time and couldn't pay attention.


I suppose this could be done with solid state. Does any version of the Tesla sound system have this feature (i.e. re-wind of live radio)? It's a really nice feature.
 

Gizmotoy

Active Member
Sep 16, 2013
3,670
871
Bay Area, CA
As far as I remember they never promised it would be a hard drive, and only mentioned there'd be some on-board storage. It's pretty likely they intended to allocate some subset of the available flash memory, but quickly discovered they were going to need it all and scrapped the feature. This was widely blamed on the map caching feature that was introduced, but I'm not sure I buy that. I think they just didn't want to be locked out of delivering any features down the road to everyone because they promised some music storage that owners may or may not use.

No version of the Model S can record/rewind radio.
 
Last edited:

scottf200

Active Member
Feb 3, 2013
4,170
3,934
Chicagoland ModelX S603
A harddrive can be useful. I have one in my 2011 Volt and among other things it uses it as a "DVR" for the radio. You can be listening to new, sports, talk radio, fav radio station, etc and pause, backup, and go forward.

As well it will record the current station you are on for several minutes when you exit the car (don't recall if you have to pause it first). Think -- stop at a convenience store come back out and continue where you left off... skip commerical, etc.
 

Sosius

a.k.a. Uptown Frunk
Apr 21, 2015
160
3
Gulf Coast
A harddrive can be useful. I have one in my 2011 Volt and among other things it uses it as a "DVR" for the radio. You can be listening to new, sports, talk radio, fav radio station, etc and pause, backup, and go forward.

As well it will record the current station you are on for several minutes when you exit the car (don't recall if you have to pause it first). Think -- stop at a convenience store come back out and continue where you left off... skip commerical, etc.

That sounds awesome. I've wanted that in a car since I first got my TiVo.
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,927
12,040
California
When they first started selling the Model S, it touted a hard drive that came with the studio sound package. Eventually, that feature never came to fruition and Tesla removed the feature on the car from their web site. No one probably gave a damn because USB hard drives and memory sticks grew large enough to hold almost all the music we could want.

Then it was theorized they'd store some mapping data on the hard drive, but I don't think that ever happened because it's still slow to see updates come up on the screen as you're driving around, zooming in-and-out.

Anyone know what happened to the hard drive? Do they still install a hard drive in the newer cars and does it ever get used for anything? Maybe they use it to store logs?
It went into the bin with the 8 track tape unit.
 

ChrisPDX

Member
Mar 19, 2013
248
205
Hillsboro, OR
Then it was theorized they'd store some mapping data on the hard drive, but I don't think that ever happened because it's still slow to see updates come up on the screen as you're driving around, zooming in-and-out.

They definitely cache the maps to some extent. Back on the 4.x versions, it was even slower! Back then, it would draw map tile by tile, even if you scrolled back to where you just were. I believe that it has different maps at each zoom level. So if you zoom in or out, it has to download them again. But once it's downloaded for that level, it should be good for awhile.

If the loss of on-board MP3 storage was due to allow map caching, I'm fine with that. A small and cheap thumb drive does the trick and the map is much better then pre-caching.
 

aviators99

Model S - R140
Jan 1, 2010
1,463
10
Weston, Florida, United States
As far as I remember they never promised it would be a hard drive, and only mentioned there'd be some on-board storage. It's pretty likely they intended to allocate some subset of the available flash memory, but quickly discovered they were going to need it all and scrapped the feature. This was widely blamed on the map caching feature that was introduced, but I'm not sure I buy that. I think they just didn't want to be locked out of delivering any features down the road to everyone because they promised some music storage that owners may or may not use.

No version of the Model S can record/rewind radio.

No, they even said a specific number of GB the available storage would be.
 

Gizmotoy

Active Member
Sep 16, 2013
3,670
871
Bay Area, CA
No, they even said a specific number of GB the available storage would be.
Did they? I recall, and a search seems to verify, that all that was quoted was "Up to 3,000 songs" could be stored. Even if they did specify a storage amount, that wouldn't mandate that it was a separate physical device from the system flash and that they decided they wanted that storage back.
 

Gizmotoy

Active Member
Sep 16, 2013
3,670
871
Bay Area, CA
WHATEVER happened to it, I think most would understand if someone just explained it vs ignoring it.
It's been over two years since it was eradicated from the website (May 2013). I think if they were going to comment on its removal, they would have done so by now. Given that, what, maybe 6k-8k Model S were affected they should have made a statement (and owners deserved one), but at this point it's pretty clear that they intend to just pretend it never happened. It joins lighted visors on the short list of promised but never delivered features.
 

krome

Member
Aug 25, 2014
6
0
Atlanta
went the way of many other promised features. Still no rear USB (though it may reappear on the X), still no wifi hotspot, iphone integration, visor retrofit etc.

Personally, I've always thought it was the wifi tethering that needed to go per ATT and then that meant no easy way to access the drive (early word was you synched over wifi), but then we got wifi in the car and the feature still hasn't surfaced. At this point, I don't see it coming unless it's a software update that comes to X and trickles down to S.

Well, I did get my visors replaced a couple weeks ago. The plastic mirror cover snapped off from the driver's side visor and I guess they don't keep the older thin visors around so I got the newer ones. Not sure if they are doing this for anyone who asks, or for repairs only.
 

jhs_7645

VIN: #3305
Jul 1, 2012
564
217
Camas, WA
I imagine somebody has some folded sticky notes at the bottom of an intray somewhere:
- scribble: TODO: Lighted mirror visor… hard drive for tech package...
 

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