I really want this to work. I love screens. I think this will be a great interaction model when Autopilot lives up to its name. In the meantime, though, I worry that this is worse than using a phone while driving. Essential functions like windshield wipers require eye contact to locate, engage, and receive feedback.
Furthermore, there are lots of opportunities to execute this better. Small problems with touchscreen responsiveness (present in the video) require more eyeball time and attention. Some of the A/C controls are confusing even from the comfort of my office chair. Music controls get more touch target space than they deserve relative to driving-essential functions.
Overall I think this is really cool, but I worry what it will mean for safety.
This is exactly why Honda has had to bring back a traditional volume knob on their infotainment systems. The idea of fully touch screen is great, but the real-world functionality of it really kind of sucks.
I remember test driving the new Acura MDX and noting how to turn on the heated seats I had to tap climate, then seats, then slide the amount of heat to the appropriate level. In most cars it's just clicking a button.
I don't think it's cool at all – overall, it's an incredible safety hazard and it looks bad. They took a sleek interior design and just plopped a screen on it. I am anxious to hear insider stories about how this car got made, because it appears that the UI designers and the car designers were silo'd teams that had no interaction with one another.
I like driving, and I presume many others out there do too. The fact that I don't have a choice but to use a touchscreen to enable BASIC car functions is horrid and is a dealbreaker for me. It sucks and pains me the say that but I cannot see myself as happy while driving this car.
Granted, I've yet to test drive it. Maybe they have foresight we all lack and know that self driving will come standard with every Model 3 and regulation will be passed in 6 months?
Voice commands will solve this problem, they're slowly adding them to current models, from what I know
Generally curious, can voice commands be heard over music blasting?
I had a chance to drive in one, and I really didn't care for the UI. Nothing felt intuitive. None of the unlabeled(why?) icons could pass the "sniff test." For simple functions like popping the hood or turning on the led headlights, I didn't know where to look. Though I'm sure this would be learned over time, it's disconcerting as a first-time driver (I would never feel comfortable lending this to a friend or family member). Also the lack of tactile feedback and the need to take your eyes off the road made me feel very uncomfortable.
The worst part though was something that no other reviewer seems to have touched on yet. I was a passenger in the Model 3 at night, and the big, glowing screen in the front of the car was a huge distraction that I kept wanting to wish away. It's like having a television in your bedroom when you're trying to sleep at night. It's this big, bright screen (it dims but it doesn't dim too low, I never tried but I can't imagine that Tesla lets you turn it off). It needs blue-light (flux) to deal with the eye strain. Regardless of where in the car I was sitting (passenger seat or back seats) my attention was fixed to the screen and I couldn't look away. There's just so much going on on it (from Sirius XM cover art to fancy rendered tesla models and popping icons) that it's hard to look away.
Honestly I stare at a computer screen all day long and my screen-less commute to work is some sweet respite. This may not be an issue during the day, but it certainly affected me at night. If you're trying to imagine what it's like, think about long road-trips or taxi drives you've taken at night where there's a screen staring in your face you can't turn off (whether it's mounted on the seatback or a GPS maps app mounted on the windshield/dashboard). At night, I greatly prefer subtle, blue or red glowing accented buttons, switches and knobs with proper tactile feedback.
There were some other things about the car that bothered me (the door handles were unnervingly difficult to open with one hand and the lack of foot space in the rear seats (not because the seats were too close but because to accommodate the battery the floor is so high it feels like you're sitting in the third row of an SUV where your knees are in your chest). There was also lots of road noise on the highway (whether that's because there was no engine noise to mitigate it, I'm not certain). Also when the car accelerates, the inverter emits this incredibly off-putting whining sound. I had a preorder but I canceled it. I couldn't justify being an early-adopter for 50k. Sign me up for the 3.1!
I wonder whether a future version will adopt an automatic “night mode” similar to Google Maps.
This should be the default, imo.
As a huge fan and having a side interest into human interaction inside of vehicles (also vehicles in general), this is very concerning. Touch interaction is unfortunately the future. Screens are the future. But, I think you've pointed out some key flaws when involving someone who is actually driving the vehicle. I don't understand how these screens pass for usage on roads to be quite honest. I think that's something that needs to be implemented for the future. Mercedes, BMW and others are moving towards touch interaction more and more.
Doesn't that touch screen look very unresponsive, or alternatively that the touch areas are way too small? They kept missing the buttons/menu items in the video.
The car should be the interface, not a 20" vizio smart TV glued to the dashboard with wiper controls in a context menu and a digital keyboard to search for my local radio station. This entire projects seems to have been designed in a vacuum. It appears that no thought was put into how humans interact with their vehicles. When are we going to move beyond slapping screens to our wrists and car dashboards and realize that there are more intuitive interfaces that we can leverage to operate systems and applications. I agree with some of the folks here that this is way more dangerous than looking at your phone. This is a full on workstation, not a glance-able assistant that helps me operate a vehicle. I can't even argue for having this screen with self driving vehicles because most of us will want to use our own devices that have been designed better than a giant car tablet.
I feel the opposite of most comments here. I really like the idea and execution. I’ve been in a Model S and Model X, and I liked the interior and touchscreen UI of those, too.
I am not worried about the windshield wiper button — I believe the Model 3 has a rain sensor hardware, and automatic wipers can come in a software update.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to call this the best car infotainment system the world has ever seen. There is a very good chance parts of the Model 3 have gone too far. The spartan interior, and all controls being driven by the touch screen will likely be fine for many things, but not fine for others. I like that Tesla is pushing cars forward, and I think the Model 3 represents the future better than any other car on the market.
If you imagine a future where the driver does less, this makes perfect sense. I know there’s disagreements about when level 5 autonomy will happen, but even if you consider it to be within the next decade, the Model 3 makes sense.
This reminds me of the discussion around hardware keyboards, when the iPhone was launched. Yes, there’s trade-offs, but maybe the positives outweigh them.
I find it very concerning that the windshield wiper controls are hidden behind menu options on the touchscreen.
That can't be the only way to turn them on, right?
I don't think that part of the screen ever "hides".
Regardless of that panel not being hidden, if you need to use your windshield wipers, visibility is likely less than perfect. Requiring eye contact over a simple stick most people could find and operate blind is poor ux (if not dangerous) when it comes to operating a vehicle. Especially when the screen isn't 100% reliable and glitches or lags.
"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." (https://arstechnica.com/cars/2017/09/tesla-model-3-owners-are-sharing-more-info-on-model-as-deliveries-increase/)
So changing speed is done via screen, but on/off manual. Still a blunder, especially considering that cruise control is also controlled via touchscreen.
reviews are going to GUT this car because of this design choice.
I'm wondering if this is even legal here in the UK. You can't even use a satnav while the engine is running, so how can you turn your wipers on while driving? They must have thought of this when they designed the car... surely?
Sleek UI for a web app. Really, really shit UI for a car.
I'm just adding to Daniel's comment but more harshly: I think this is terrible car design.
Why not build really basic functions into the sleek interior, and provide users the option to plop in their phone or their own tablet, then offer this UI in that screen as an option? Why is the UI so clearly not designed for a driver?
Touch screens are great and everything but it's just like using a phone! When you're driving you know exactly where the little knob is for turning on the wipers or headlights but if you have to use a screen with menus then the user has to look away from the road in order to do so.
I think this way will cause accidents. Sat Navs and maybe even radio fair enough but for basic car functions it's better to keep it the way it is.
Would be nice if they didn't mix 'tabs' (or I guess more accurately pop-over windows) in the bottom with state buttons and adjustable temperature controls. There's a lot to be said for having all the major features in one bar across the bottom however, and it seems like you'd get used to it fairly quickly.
Has somebody experience how this compares to the S an X? I mean they all have huge screens for interacting with the system and tesla is around since a while... I would expect they have learned smtg when it comes to HCI in cars
Multiple taps to access any features while in a car on a screen that requires someone to look, sounds like a bad highway idea.
I don't think the screen is big enough....
As with any car that comes with a new button layout or a shift towards touch screens Tesla has just cut out the middle man and gone straight to a completely touch based system.
I echo the safety concerns however much like using any touch based digital product the controls and layout will become second nature within a short space of time. If my one and a half year boy can figure out how to browse an iPad, going between folders and the different apps he wants to open then finding the videos he wants on YouTube/BBC iPlayer etc then I can't see this being much of a hassle - the issue is that we're all too used to switches, knobs, sliders and we all hate change.
The people who do buy the car and who are interested in buying the car won't be put off by a slight learning curve in how to use it.
Using an ipad while sitting on a couch isn't 1:1 with using one while hurtling a two ton brick through a school zone.
Why would anyone be 'hurtling a two ton brick through a school zone' to begin with?
I don't really care about automatic windshield wipers at all, but for something that is software-controlled, two settings of slow and fast really sucks. Even my 1993 Camry has like five different intermittent wiper settings. Most of the time when it's light rain I like to keep it at the slowest setting possible because wipers are really annoying for me, and I'll adjust it based on the speed of the rain. Plus, the "fast" setting shown in this video isn't even that fast, it's not fast enough to get rid of mud where you need a much faster setting with windshield wiper fluid spraying at the same time.
- John from InsurancePanda.com