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Tesla Model 3 Owners Share More Info On Model (arstechnica.com) 177

Owners at the Model 3 Owners Club compiled a list of over 80 different features of the Model 3 they're curious about, including questions about how the car operates (does the card unlock all the doors, where does the UI show you that your turn signals are active), physical aspects of the car (what does the tow hitch attachment look like, how much stuff can you fit in the front and rear cargo areas), and subjective details (how aggressive is the energy regeneration, does that wood trim cause glare). Ars Technica reports: So far, we've learned a few interesting facts. For instance, the windshield wipers are turned on and off by a stalk like just about every other car on the market, but changing the speed (slow/fast/intermittent) is handled by a menu on the touchscreen. The stalk also does double duty turning on the headlights, and there are no rain sensors for the wipers. The touchscreen UI really is the only way to interact with every other function, according to owners, even the rear air vents are controlled from up front (although there are USB ports in the back). Rear seat passengers also won't get seat heaters from what we gather -- unless Tesla plans to activate them in a later software update -- and the steering wheel is not heated either. The two buttons on the steering wheel do not appear to be user-configurable. Instead, the left button primarily deals with audio functions (scroll up and down for volume, left and right to change track) while the other one is for adjusting the mirrors and steering wheel position while in those menus in the UI. Additionally it appears that as of now, there's no way to tab through a different part of the UI without taking your hands off the steering wheel.
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Tesla Model 3 Owners Share More Info On Model

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  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Monday September 25, 2017 @07:31PM (#55262819)

    So one of the problems that any car attempting to integrate technology could face is a poor user interface. There's a video on an older Maserati [youtu.be] on Youtube where the reviewer comments about flaws in the interface, including issues where some features require use of both the physical button and the on-screen controls, and in a nutshell, too much time has to be taken off paying attention to the road in order to operate these features.

    Personally I think that touchscreens are a horrible way to control a car. There's no tactile feedback on a touchscreen. One cannot tell for certain without taking one's eyes from the road what one is doing with the interface. Its bad enough for optional things like the radio and cell phone interaction, but it's a real problem for things that are mandatory when driving. The article summary's comment on the windshield wipers is a case in point, if most of the time I just need a light intermittent wiper setting I probably will leave my wipers set that way. If I drive into a thunderstorm on the highwayay I might immediately need fast-speed wipers. It's bad enough to not have an immediate way to turn up the speed without thinking, but if I have to hunt through menus to find the setting then that could be disastrous.

    • This was my thought too. This UI is really pushing the assumption that autopilot and similar features are going mainstream - if that's the case then you wouldn't need that "eyes always on the road" tactile feedback.

      I can't say the side of me that enjoys driving is pleased, but that is the way things are going.

      • Touchscreen failure becomes a much bigger inconvenience.
        • by Rei ( 128717 )

          Akin to dashboard screen failure. You pull off, but it's not like it makes you crash.

          • Akin to dashboard screen failure. You pull off, but it's not like it makes you crash.

            I don't lose all my interior controls with a dashboard screen failure. I called it an inconvenience, not a catastrophe.

            • by Rei ( 128717 )

              Are you saying you'd keep driving with a dashboard failure? No? Then what difference does it make?

              • I would, if it were my 1982 300SD. I've kept driving that with complete electrical system failure. Luckily, I had rolled down the driver's side window before it went completely, so I was able to hand signal. It got me to work, too. I wound up replacing the alternator and battery. Being able to continue operating when parts of the vehicle are malfunctioning is a feature. It's one not shared by my 1998 A8; I remember reading one story on the forum where a user literally experienced a no-start condition after

                • by Rei ( 128717 )

                  So you see not having a speedometer, oil gauge, emergency indicators, etc, etc as not a "need to stop" situation, but you see not being able to control your radio and climate control system as a "need to stop" situation?

                  I'm not getting your logic.

                  The immobilizer system checks for the presence of the cluster, so the vehicle won't start if it's not plugged in

                  So the car detected what it thought was tamper and behaved as it should for a tamper situation. Are you complaining about the presence of anti-theft syst

      • by Rei ( 128717 )

        Not really. As is well pointed out in this more recent video than the one Slashdot is discussing [youtube.com], because the screen is so large, and because they elevate it straight into your peripheral vision (up to the height of a dashboard, with the leftmost portion located at the right of where dashboard displays would be), it's very easy to see without taking your eyes off the road. The controls are so large that they're easy to press and don't require any "hunt and peck".

        Also contrary to the Slashdot summary, the v

    • Tesla cares more about gee-whiz than they do about boring practical stuff like driver safety. That's why they sold a video lane-assist they bought from some Israeli company as 'Autopilot.'

      The traditional car companies are getting a bad case of the stupids in regard to driver controls too. I rented a Dodge truck a few months ago where they replaced the column shifter with a gear select knob that sat right between the radio volume knob and the AC temperature knob.
      • by PoopJuggler ( 688445 ) on Monday September 25, 2017 @09:13PM (#55263265)
        Except the Model S got the highest safety rating from Consumer Reports out of every car they ever tested in their entire history. But yeah, I'm sure your smug anecdotes prove Tesla doesn't care about safety..
        • I really don't understand the kneejerk fanboy defenses of all this stuff. Yeah, it's safer in a crash, but if it has a bright shiny flame of a feature that draws people into crashing more, that's not an improvement.
        • Consumer Reports looks at crash survivability, not how user-friendly the controls are.

      • I've noticed that many Chrysler cars have that knob to change the gears. I absolutely do not understand the perceived benefit of a knob. A column shifter worked fine, a floor shifter also worked fine. I don't understand why they wanted to change what worked.

    • by skam240 ( 789197 )

      Mod up parent.

      I was driving a car for a bit with touch screen for most of its UI and hated it. I had to take more attention then I like off the road just to adjust radio settings. Even after I got used to the button locations on the screen it was still very awkward.

      It was great getting back into my own car with a volume nob I can just grab and adjust without taking my eyes off the road for a moment along with radio preset buttons i can feel (just to mention two of many instances I missed using a touch scree

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I drive rental cars every week for work. I have learned to avoid the ones that rely too heavily on touch screen. Nissan Sentra and Altima cars are my favorite. Used to love Toyota Corollas, but their touchscreen is god awful and I now avoid them. Hyundai is in the middle but not as nice a car overall. It's all over the board with American cars and I tend to avoid them because I like small cars and I've found that small American cars favored by the rental companies are simply crap in many ways.

    • by msauve ( 701917 )
      "one of the problems that any car attempting to integrate technology could face is a poor user intelligence."

      FTFY.

      Owners at the Model 3 Owners Club compiled a list of over 80 different features of the Model 3 they're curious about, including questions about how the car operates (does the card unlock all the doors, where does the UI show you that your turn signals are active), physical aspects of the car (what does the tow hitch attachment look like, how much stuff can you fit in the front and rear cargo ar

      • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2017 @04:20AM (#55264631) Homepage

        You think that hasn't been done?

        The list started being compiled after Tesla unveiled the vehicle and started deliveries, based on things that people wanted to know that they didn't feel were adequately addressed by the press kit, presentation, and reviews. There are now a few owners hanging out at the forum which have been filling out the answers to the list. For example, putting stuff in the cargo area, that's precisely what PTFI did with his most recent video, as a demonstration.

        It's also important to realize, however, that these people are themselves just learning about their car.

    • by GoRK ( 10018 )

      Of course they are terrible... but unfortunately for all of us they are both flashy and modern looking and these days they are unintuitively cheaper than the alternative of using physical knobs and buttons -- each of which requires custom injection mold tooling, custom pcb design and fabrication, labor to assemble, etc. If a car model reuses these sorts of things heavily across models and produces them in the hundreds of thousands of quantities they can beat a screen, but a high brightness 17" LCD with a to

    • by indytx ( 825419 )

      Personally I think that touchscreens are a horrible way to control a car. There's no tactile feedback on a touchscreen. One cannot tell for certain without taking one's eyes from the road what one is doing with the interface. Its bad enough for optional things like the radio and cell phone interaction, but it's a real problem for things that are mandatory when driving.

      I purchased a new car last year, and I seriously purchased one trim level down to avoid giving up all of the control knobs for a great big touchscreen. Interface problems are some of the most common complaints with new cars. So many of them are not ready for prime time. Maybe one day I can have knobs, buttons, AND Android Auto. Until then, I guess I'll have to give up a couple of extra USB ports.

    • by DrXym ( 126579 )
      Things like volume, air con temperature, wipers, hazard lights etc. really should be physical dials, stalks & buttons. As you say there is no tactile feedback to a screen and "buttons" can be in different places depending on what mode the screen is in. It lacks the same muscle memory as a physical thing.

      Maybe that's just a nuisance in a tablet or a phone, but when someone is supposed to be driving, distractions can be fatal. So it costs a few bucks to add a knob or a dial. Big deal.

    • I completely agree with this. The concept of having a single function in the car (wipers) but two different places to control the function is distracting and not intuitive. You would not expect to have a switch for headlights on the dashboard but have the parking lights/high beam controls on a touch panel. It simply takes too much time away from what you are supposed to be doing, which is watching the road and driving.

      I recently got a minivan with a touchscreen to control the radio. While it's cute, its act

  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Monday September 25, 2017 @07:31PM (#55262821)

    While driving, there are a lot of functions that are needed without taking your eyes off the road. Touch Screens you need your eyes to help target where you are going to press. For adjusting the wiper speed, the Touch Screen will cause you take your eyes off the road, to deal with a low visibility problem is just a bad idea.

    • Exactly this. I operate all of my vehicles without taking my eyes off the road/dirt/water. Tactile UI work so much better than Touch but they don't look as cool in the sales brochure.
    • Exactly. If I can't turn on the front defroster without looking away from the road, I don't want the car.

      It seems like the way to handle a car with a touchscreen is a few tactile but unlabeled knobs for critical functions. Although I don't like the idea of a computer controlling critical functions of a car at all.

  • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Monday September 25, 2017 @07:32PM (#55262827)

    " For instance, the windshield wipers are turned on and off by a stalk like just about every other car on the market, but changing the speed (slow/fast/intermittent) is handled by a menu on the touchscreen. "

    So you can't see well because it's suddenly raining harder, so you need to adjust your wiper speed... and now you have to play with a touch screen app, instead of simply pushing the wiper stalk up higher?

    That doesn't sound like a good idea to me.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 25, 2017 @07:39PM (#55262855)
      "Alexa, wipers to 80%."
      • by sinij ( 911942 )

        "Alexa, wipers to 80%."

        I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

      • 1. "Alexa, tell Siri to ask Google to set wipers to 80 %".
        2. A bunch of wiper blade ads. Some with prices reduced by 80 %.
        3. ?
        4. Profit!

    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      As mentioned above: if it works like the AP1 cars (and like the AP2s are expected to), that "slow" and "fast" aren't actual wiper speeds, they're how fast the wipers go relative to the amount of rain sensed.

      • by vux984 ( 928602 )

        From the summary:

        "The stalk also does double duty turning on the headlights, and there are no rain sensors for the wipers"

        So it sounds like the wipers have on and off. And no rain sensors. I'm not sure this leaves us in a good place.

        • by Rei ( 128717 )

          And I'm telling you, the summary is wrong. I hang out on the Model 3 Owners Club and Tesla Motors Club daily and have seen all of the videos from all of the owners. There is a rain sensor for the wipers [wordpress.com]. It may be inactive at this point in time due to the software not being mature, but it exists.

          People need to be cautioned that, although Tesla would never publicly admit it, everyone knows that the early adopters are driving a beta. Everyone including the owners themselves (who jumped at the opportunity to d

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            I worry that Tesla doesn't even seem to have enough engineering resources to make the rain sensor work.

            It's the kind of thing a kid could knock up with an Arduino. A sensor with a pulse output, a simple hysteresis pulse counting system, and a CAN bus interface. If they can't get that working... Is it really a good idea to be selling cars with "full autonomous driving" that they will add via software update to it later, when it's already rusting on the scrap heap?

            Do we really want cars to become like video g

            • by Rei ( 128717 )

              What's safety critical? You can still use the wipers, it's just not as convenient. Yes, Tesla could certainly have delayed the Model 3 until production numbers were higher and the software was more mature. But why? The people who got theirs absolutely don't wish theirs was delayed. Why be mean to them? I don't see the reason. Everyone wins with the early release - both Tesla and the owners. I guess the only side that doesn't win is Tesla's PR department, because of articles like this.

              That said, concerning F

        • From the summary:

          "The stalk also does double duty turning on the headlights, and there are no rain sensors for the wipers"

          So it sounds like the wipers have on and off. And no rain sensors. I'm not sure this leaves us in a good place.

          Of course it has rain sensors, they're in your head, called eyeballs.

      • As mentioned above: if it works like the AP1 cars (and like the AP2s are expected to), that "slow" and "fast" aren't actual wiper speeds, they're how fast the wipers go relative to the amount of rain sensed.

        If that's the case, surely calling it fast and slow is fucking stupid? Better to call it high and low or something.

  • I'm on the waiting list for a 3 and will give the car a good test drive and read reviews before deciding to get the car. I don't think touchscreen v. dozens of buttons is necessarily a killer issue, and I expect that UI rough patches will be fixed by software update by the time. And still I'm really discouraged by these articles.

    What's most offensive to me is that cars are being released like a video game, where it's put out into the public and then the maker vows to fix it sometime later. The car can't

    • relax.
      Lots of lies/BS is being said about the 3. More importantly, by the time that you get the car, everything will be in order. It will those of us that own other Teslas that will have bought these and helped develop these.
    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      Actually, you can [youtube.com] play music from USB. Tunein [theverge.com] appears to work here. And it's not accurate to say that it doesn't have "AM/FM hardware", only that it's not on the GUI at present.

      Be careful about taking statements from someone who just got their car about what it can and can't do.

      That said, you're right that these early adopters are basically taking part in a beta. The software stack still has features that aren't available yet. Then again, after listening to them, they couldn't be more thrilled to be takin

  • Truck-boat-truck (Score:3, Informative)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday September 25, 2017 @07:57PM (#55262961) Journal

    what does the tow hitch attachment look like

    If the person who uses the Tesla 3 to tow is on Slashdot, could you please message me? I need to know what the fuck you're thinking.

    NOTE: Never mind, I found the guy. He's exactly what I expected, and he's even wearing a fedora.

    https://youtu.be/fQFQMaMsXS0 [youtu.be]

    • Re:Truck-boat-truck (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 25, 2017 @08:41PM (#55263147)

      Long before ridiculous 5 ton 4x4s were the norm, people towed stuff with regular sedans. All. The. Time.

      • Yes. And being behind them on a hill was, well, annoying.

        As I've said, for those people who are towing things on a regular basis, please buy an SUV. For the other 99.9% of the universe, buy a sedan. They're safer, consume less gasoline, and they're easier for the rest of us to see around.

        • please buy an SUV.

          Why? There are many sedans with far more power than small SUVs. Hell I'll wager the Model 3 has more torque than most smaller SUVs.

          • by Pascoea ( 968200 )
            Torque does you no good slowing, stopping, or controlling a trailer. Getting up to speed is generally the easy part when towing.
    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      That's not a Model 3. And lots of people tow with a Model X.

      • And lots of people tow with a Model X.

        There have been like 40,000 Model Xs delivered world-wide, so when you say "lots of people tow with a Model X", I guess it's all sort of relative.

    • If the person who uses the Tesla 3 to tow is on Slashdot, could you please message me? I need to know what the fuck you're thinking.

      As a matter of interest, why? What's wrong with towing something on a small car? People all over Europe tow things just fine in their small 2 seater buzboxes. What would be worse about having a metric fukton of torque behind it?

      I have a towball on my Clio which is probably smaller than any car sold in the USA, and smaller than a Model 3. Hell one of the guys I work with has a towball on his Renault Twingo. I've also seen towballs on Smart cars, and on VW UP!s.

      Not every towball is dragging a 3T trailer behin

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      What is your objection? That people shouldn't tow trailers with something smaller than a SUV/truck, or with an EV, or with towing in general?

  • by pesho ( 843750 ) on Monday September 25, 2017 @08:03PM (#55262989)
    1. Windshield wipers
    2. Climate control
    3. Sound/station/track control on the radio
    4. Lights and turn signals
    5. Defogger/defroster

    The principle is that any essential and/or frequently performed task should be accessible by a control that does not require drivers to take their eye off the road

    • and the nice thing is that you are NOT required to take your eyes off the road.

      Oddly though, many of the same assholes who are gripping about this, will no doubt use a regular phone and will dial while driving.
    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      You mean like 2x dual-axis+click steering wheel controls, voice controls, and rain-sensing wipers?

    • I'd disagree with you regarding climate control...

      Y'know, years ago they invented this thing called a "thermostat." They're pretty neat. You basically set it for the temperature you would like the area to be and it will run the air conditioner or the heat or the fans until it's that temperature.

      So I find I don't really have to fiddle with the climate control while driving. I have it set to a comfortable temperature and the car seems to figure out for itself whether that means heating or cooling.

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      I would like to know what SHOULD be handled by a touch screen for a driver. As much as how I hate the 17 million buttons and how it makes it look like a fighter jet, I rather have a safe car than a good looking interior.

      I am trying my best to come up with one thing where a touch screen in a car would be a good idea. Not a nice idea, but a good idea.

  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Monday September 25, 2017 @08:18PM (#55263049)

    The touchscreen UI really is the only way to interact with every other function

    Not only just because its a massive single point of failure that sounds like it could even prevent you from operating the vehicle, but also because its more dangerous.
    A touch screen is multifunctional so you can't just know what it is currently controlling. Also there is no tactile feedback. So unlike physical buttons (at least once you're used to them) you invariably have to take your eyes off the road for the duration of what may even be a multi-touch operation to get to the right screen first, which is downright dangerous.

  • This is just reckless and people are going to get hurt. I hope there are theme options for that.

  • What I find just as horrifying about the 3 is the complete lack of a driver's dashboard display. I would never want to look to the right at a center console to see my speed/gear/gas and other basic information. "Simplicity" is not compatible with the ages and ages of perfected driver-centric design. They just threw it out the window and said- "Uh, yeah, let's just have one, huge, ugly, protruding, landscape, rectangular display in the center." Not what I would want or expect.

    That is IN ADDITION to the l

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There have been numerous cars that have the speed and other info in the center rather than behind the steering wheel. Minis for example. Toyota Platz (also known as Yaris and Echo) models also have central digital displays.

      • >"There have been numerous cars that have the speed and other info in the center rather than behind the steering wheel."

        I know, that is true. There are a small number of vehicles like that. Mostly due to nostalgia or novelty. Originally it was done simply because it was cheap and easy so the car could be right or left hand drive with minimal modifications, not because it was the best arrangement. There are good reasons that perhaps 95+% of all car models have such displays in behind the wheel.

  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Monday September 25, 2017 @09:11PM (#55263255) Journal
    Seriously, we have a number of obvious astroturfers that are constantly ripping Tesla, SpaceX, solar City, etc and thing that Musk starts.
    Now, the current BS in here is about the touch screen vs buttons.
    I drive a highlander as my car, and then will drive my wife's car, a Tesla MS.
    I regularly have to look at the highlander's buttons on the radio because there are SO many. In addition, the same is true of the heating system. Otherwise, I will hit the wrong ones.
    BUT, with the tesla, nearly all of the HVAC controls are on the bottom of the touch screen. The only one that I really have to fiddle with is fan, which happens to be right on my steering wheel as well.
    Then across the top, we have a number of buttons, which basically act like a file folder management for the 2 main windows. We have both found that the ONLY 3 that we use are Radio, Rear View Camera, and map. Since we only use the map for long distance driving, it rarely is used. So, the top one is the Rear View Cam, and the bottom view is the radio. My wife has a number of internet stations that she listens to, which she will simply tell Tesla which one to play. Once it is on, she uses the steering wheel to control skipping the song, as well as volume.

    All in all, this touch screen and UI is the best AND SAFEST thing going. Buttons? Not only a thing of the 19th century, but also dangerous and wasteful. It is why Tesla has so few accidents vs crappy ICE cars. And once the MY is out, we will give the highlander to my now 13 y.o. and switch to MY.

    Now, I have seen many many 'experts' on here who obviously do not have a single fucking clue of what they are talking about. They love to ignore facts and stats. These are the same far right assholes who will push fake news and actually believe some of that shit.

    There is very little doubt that more than a few of you are on the kock bros payrolls. Very sad.
    • by skam240 ( 789197 )

      Wow, way to turn a conversation about touch screen versus buttons in cars into a politically charged rant. I'm Left wing and all but you just come off as a troll by the end of your post. Just because some one has a contrary view to you about frick'n buttons in cars doesn't mean they're far right or on any other part of the political spectrum you happen to have issues with.

      • no, From what I am seeing is that a number of far right wingers are coming here bashing on Tesla/spacex/etc. We all see them here over and over.
        Worse, very little of the FUD has any merit. The design on Tesla is obviously well done since Tesla has the highest buyer loyalty of any brand. The fact that there are NO accidents in Tesla related to touch screen issues after 5 years of being on the road should show ANYBODY that the argument against touch screens is just plain STUPID. If touch screens were even
        • by skam240 ( 789197 )

          Sorry but eliminating contrary opinions by marginalizing them to extreme ideologies is in itself both extremist and bigoted. Personally, I've never encountered a touch screen car interface I felt was as safe as physical buttons but yet I'm, as stated before, generally left wing.

          Maybe you should consider that your completely unfurnished (maybe don't existent?) safety numbers have more to do with the fact that more affluent people purchase the more expensive cars that feature touch screens and (much like with

    • I regularly have to look at the highlander's buttons on the radio because there are SO many.

      Your inability to learn your car's user interface or remember the relative position of the buttons does not mean that normal functioning people are better off with an interface that specifically prohibits doing so.

      You can't control your HVAC without taking your eyes off the road and you have buttons? WTF is wrong with you?

    • There is very little doubt that more than a few of you are on the kock bros payrolls. Very sad.

      Is that you Donald?

  • I just can't get past it. The single screen in the center of the console.

    The whole car looks great. Ergnomic, sleek, sexy. Except for the single 15" monitor that looks like it came straight off my 2005-era desktop and got bolted to the car. It doesn't even remotely blend into the design.

    I personally mount my phone in that location when I am driving (in my normal car from 2005) and find it not a great location for a information screen. It works well for me since the phone is used for a secondary functio

    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      I personally mount my phone in that location when I am driving

      How on Earth do you bolt your phone hovering in the middle of the air half a meter recessed from the windshield?

      Also, since when do cell phones come with 15" screens?

      For some reason, looking down and sideways

      It is not "down"; the instrument cluster-type info is at the exact same height as an instrument cluster. And not that far right. Literally everyone who's commented so far has said something to the effect of "It felt a little weird when I st

      • How on Earth do you bolt your phone hovering in the middle of the air half a meter recessed from the windshield?

        I mount my phone to the right of my car stereo with a panavise mount with an x-grip attached to it. It effectively floats in the air there in basically the most convenient location.

  • Tesla model S & X generally gets good reviews but one issue that constantly comes out is build quality, fit and finish. Lines that don't line up, seals that don't seal etc. I was watching one review of an S last week where the reviewer said the interior quality didn't measure up to other vehicles in the same price bracket.

    I'm fully expecting the same to be true for the model 3. More so because it's built to a reduced price, production is so aggressive and they won't delay even if they discover minor /

    • Tesla model S & X generally gets good reviews but one issue that constantly comes out is build quality, fit and finish. Lines that don't line up, seals that don't seal etc.

      Where I live the Tesla S is equivalent money to upper end BMW 5 series and the Bimmer shits on the Tesla in terms of quality. Same goes for pretty much every other Euro or Japanese luxury brand.

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