Musk Says Tesla Model 3 Will Be Almost Fully Voice Controllable With Future Update


Soon you’ll be able to command your Tesla Model 3 almost entirely by voice, says CEO Elon Musk.

The Model 3s lack of buttons means that most features are now controlled by its center touch screen. That’s a bit problematic due to how distracting use of such a system can be.

However, Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he has a solution and it will come in the form of an over-the-air update that enables voice control.

According to Musk, this update will provide near full voice control of all features found in the Model 3.

So, for example, you’ll simply say something like “turn on heated seats” and the Model 3 will respond accordingly.

Elon Musk Tweet On Voice Control

Additionally, Musk says that the Model 3 feature base will expand with voice control “we will add a lot more features.” This makes sense because voice control really is limitless, whereas there are only so many distractions you can add to the touch screen type setup the Model 3 utilizes right now.

Unfortunately, Musk provides no timeline for this voice control update, so we’ll have to wait patiently for this feature to arrive.

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48 Comments on "Musk Says Tesla Model 3 Will Be Almost Fully Voice Controllable With Future Update"

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Sadly, voice control leaves a lot to be desired. Like when others are talking in the car or the windows are open.

I always thought gesture control, like Microsoft’s Kinect, would branch out and find applications more practical than gaming, such as human interface with computers and personal home systems.

Especially handy in a car, where small gestures can be made without taking our eyes off the road. In order to not have miscues, you could open an “app” like audio volume, temp. or windshield wiper speed by saying “wipers”, then making an up/down gesture with your right hand. Swiping between screens, a sideways gesture, etc..

Gesture control is pure garbage. Who wants to flail around trying to turn the wipers on only to turn the volume up to max and then move the mirrors around.

What’s up with you winers and the windshield wiper controls?

It rarely rains where I live so they are absolutely not a thought in my head.

But when it rains you simply turn them on. What’s so hard about turning something on? Because you have to put in effort using whats called energy and your just lazy?

That’s not the cars problem

Seems like everyone needs assistance in everything nowadays and isn’t capable of doing anything themselves anymore.

Car: turn my headlights on when it gets dark because I’m not able to detect when the appropriate time is to turn them on.

Car: turn my wipers on when it starts to rain because I don’t have the ability to notice when water drops are accumulating on my windshield obstructing my view of the road and am too lazy to flick a stock up or activate by pressing the wiper button using my index finger on the screen which takes .33 milliseconds to engage.

Humans nowadays.

> It rarely rains where I live so they are absolutely not a thought in my head

Don’t worry. There is no clear reason to suspect there was ever a thought in your head.

And he’s 100% right. Gesture control requires even more attention and is even more error-prone than touch-screen input, itself a huge step backwards from physical controls with dedicated functions.

Voice control will be great some day, but probably not really until there’s AI that works. And then we won’t actually need it anymore since the car can drive itself and we can attend to some annoying user interface, or even try to guess what secret gesture might be used to switch radio station. (We’ll prefer voice when that works – it’s how we communicate with people, when though we could invent systems like “tap once on left elbow for a coffee, twice for coffee with milk”…)

But before then we are going to have an awful lot of stupid secretary trouble on our hands. (“Delete the last sentence” being included into the email rather than interpreted as an instruction to delete the last sentence, that sort of thing.)

I know what you are saying. Get rid of those starter motors, nothing wrong with an old fashioned crank start. And what is with auto pilots in aircraft? Pure laziness.

Electricity is over-rated, bring back candles.

And milk your own cows, by hand.

I use gestures while driving all the time…

I agree voice control isn’t great for me. Nonstop talking toddlers in the back defeat the usefulness of voice control. Having 5 kids, you think Musk would understand this.

I am hoping more functions get mapped the scroll wheels.

It would also be nice to have some new touch function on the screen that don’t require you to look. There was a great UI concept written up here a few months ago with great ideas.

For example, if you are on HVAC control dragging 3 fingers up/down anywhere on the screen would change fan speed. Similar to switching desktops on MacOS with the touchpad.

Will i have to speek English with it then? Not a problem for me, but it might be for many.

Musk :”that will will done soon” . We know what that means .

I agree with James : vocal inputs complicate the thing .

“that will be done soon”

3 months maybe, 6 months definitely…


More like:

3 months – no chance
6 months – maybe
End of 2018 – probably
Summer 2019 – worst case

Tesla will do a good job once they do finish it, but software updates are usually the latest items to get released.

They still haven’t gotten the software to turn on rear seat heat.

They already have voice control in the Model S and Model X, so it isn’t like they have to reinvent the wheel.

No, but it seems like new hardware (computing and mircrophone) in the car. So more than just redeploying. Need to re-train the voice recognition code.

I hate the idea of having to talk to my car instead of just quickly pushing a button, especially if I have to use other than my mother tongue. And chances are that Finnish isn’t the highest of priorities.

I believe voice command is just another alternative as to gesture. Even Google Assistant receives low penetration rate in non-english speaking users. Quick check on techie guys around me, only few knew how to use Google Ast, and almost none using it daily basis.
Not sure how to combine the standard touching, voice and body gesture.

I still like buttons. Buttons work.

Buttons on shirts, phones, keyboards, you name it. I agree: too many can be unsightly. Tesla could add a few more to the steering wheel without going overboard, and even add a few more on the back of the steering wheel if necessary. And make better use of the scroll wheels already.

Other questions: Will it (voice control) be able to hear me over the premium audio cranking out tunes? Or What happens when my Tesla misinterprets a command and causes a car wreck?

P.S. When Honda eschewed the volume knob people went nuts. Knobs are good, too…

Ahh, so many paradigm shifts required.

I repeatedly here how awful autonomous drive is and how it will take from the joy of driving. I love to drive, especially electric. I off road and was an avid hang glider pilot before parenthood. Here’s the thing though. 30,000 people die on US roads alone per year. The public road system is NOT the place to get your jollies. Yes driving is fun, and in the future you will go to designated places to get your fun, not on the public transportation system.

To this issue of voice activation. Yes, pressing a single button is simpler. It is also a distraction too that has caused crashes even with the reach for a single button. To the above comment of multiple voices, many systems today recognize who is speaking. In the early versions it may have to be a set of specific commands and those commands may dump you to a specific sub-menu on the interface. That alone would help with quick expansion beyond English only commands. In the end, it will be safer.

Sadly 2016 was up to 40,200.

People being distracted by phones is really adding up. Texting and driving is pretty much by biggest pet peeve/fear. The distraction is more than just eyes off the road. People lost in thought about their other conversation reduces their ability to make quick driving decisions.

People just do not have the attention span and focus for driving any more.

When they announced the car without even wiper control sticks, I knew voice control was coming. No surprise here.

As for how well it’ll work, you can make it work really well in noisy environment, just not sure if Tesla put the hardware to be able to do so. There’s also extra computation needed which I don’t know if Tesla computer is capable of, especially when running auto pilot.

It has a stick.

Voice control is useless. You have to repeat the same thing 3-4 times and even then half the time it misinterprets what you want.


That’s the voice control you know not the one this car will have.

I hope they make a Model 3 “Silver Edition”.

+1. LOL

Interesting comments on voice control. As a ten day owner of a Model X, I find that they work beautifully! I don’t EVER have to search for a song, just say the name and viola– it’s playing in 2-3 seconds. Since I picked the car up in Southern California and drove it 1,100 miles back to Idaho, I got to spend quite a bit of time ‘playing’ with the features– including voice control for phone commands and audio. ALL worked flawlessly.

I wonder if a lot of the negative Tesla comments we see on various forums are fossil fuel trolls who are growing ever concerned (as they should be!) because ICE car days are numbered…???

You’re just in the honeymoon phase. I’ve owned an X for almost two years, and have given up on it’s voice recognition, except as a joke to show to passengers.

I see you keep spreading lies again. You were proven to be a fraud before, you and your imaginary X.

Except you have never even had the chance to own a Tesla and you are one of the Trolls the poster talks about. So quit your trolling and get out of your basement to get some fresh air as the smog from all your ICE cars are eating your brain.

Another fix for something that was not thought out to begin with. Which will come first: Usable Autopilot features to equal 1.0 or voice control for Model 3?

It’s a shame Tesla’s voice control is so bad. Google’s is the best, followed by Siri, then Tesla. Hopefully it will be improving.

Six you are just a troll that has never even sat in a Tesla as you would have to leave your moms basement to do that.

For the love of the FSM, just put in a few physical controls and call it a day. I HATE voice control almost as much as I hate controls buried in touchscreen menus. It’s so much easier and quicker to simply tap a stalk for windshield wipers or a button for a different driving mode.

For example, when I got into my gen2 Volt this morning, I tapped two buttons, one for heated seat and one for heated steering wheel. It’s muscle memory so I don’t even think about it. Within 60 seconds I was warm. If Chevy can do it the WTF can’t Tesla? Oh yeah, because in Silicon Valley it’s always beautiful weather. Sorry Elon, but you can’t sell your weather to me here in MI.

What if the car automatically detects the temperature and turns on the heat automatically when you’re in the seat as you have done in the past by learning your behavior?

Technology is moving way too slow for me. They should hurry it up so that I don’t even have to think about the details of driving or pushing buttons to turn on heating. I have better things to think about, like posting comments in IEV forum.

Saab had automatic heated seats all the way back in the 1980’s. I liked them quite a bit. The downside was that they were fixed to a single temp at the factory, so you couldn’t crank up the heat.

Heated seats aren’t the best example.

Let’s go with winshield wipers and climate controls.

Winshield wipers: I don’t trust automatic wipers to go on all the time. Maybe if in a few years they prove themselves, but for now I want a way to activate them. This is a safety concern.

Climate controls: Automatic climate controls don’t always work and no way do I believe a sunny silicon valley company can perfect them for cold weather. I’m always fiddling with window defroster settings in the winter, doesn’t matter which car, none of them get it right. That’s why they include physical controls, because they know the automatic control isn’t perfect.

Finally, I like either a HUD or an instrument cluster right in front of me. Don’t make me look to my right for my speed, it’s not as safe because my peripheral vision to the left isn’t as good when I have to glance to the right. Especially since the Model 3 will demand a lot of attention to that damn touchscreen.

Wow! How dare you criticize a Tesla feature? You must be a Tesla hating, fossil fuel troll on the Koch brothers payroll who voted for Trump and goes around clubbing baby Alcantaras to death to use their skin on fossil fueled luxury cars for the 1% that oppress the working class and are melting all the glaciers.


I think the reason the Model 3 controls piss me off so much is because I love everthing else about the car. I want a sports sedan like the Model 3, but I just don’t know if I can live with a despotic touch screen interface.

So instead I’ll get a Bolt this summer. I can get the GM employee discount since family members work there and it’s a better car for MI winters due to the heated steering wheel, physical controls, superior battery thermal management. I also trust the Bolt’s quality more than I do Tesla’s, especially on a car built in the midst of learning how to scale production.

Alas, the Bolt will never inspire passion like a Tesla can.

You might be happier with a used Ford Fiesta

Why would I want a used Ford Fiesta?

I don’t understand how the software can take Tesla so long. If they did anything right in building the software for Model S and X, they ought to be able to run that on the Model 3 with extensive but mostly very simple GUI modifications. In which case needing several years to put in a switch for the heated rear seats starts to look exceedingly odd: it’s a five minute job (once you’ve decided where it should go, which you can spend anywhere from ten seconds to, apparently, a couple of years on deciding).

I actually know a fair bit about this because software is what I do. It is absolutely mysterious to me, given that there’s no real innovation in Model 3 software – it’s in fact a subset of the functionality in their existing products – why on Earth they’d be so behind with this.

Again, as much as I love Tesla, it’s difficult to believe they have the faintest idea what they’re doing. One wonders what a competent EV-only car manufacturer would be like…

If you don’t like voice commands, don’t use them.

“Tesla! Increase wiper speed to 50%”

“Sorry Dave, I can’t do that.”

You’re doing it wrong.

“Ok Tesla, set wiper speed to ludicrous mode.”

I call BS.

The best voice recognition systems in the world are maybe 98.5% accurate. To accomplish that they are “voice-dependent” systems which require training by a dedicated user, and even then they have a very limited vocabulary. Other limitations: they require a microphone within an inch of the user’s mouth, for example, or else ambient noise can’t be filtered effectively.

They can be very fast and have great utility in certain applications.

Alexa and Siri are not anywhere in that class, and I doubt Tesla’s will be, either.

“Voice-independent” systems are intended to respond to anyone’s voice, for an unlimited vocabulary. But they don’t work.

But Tesla will be glad to take your money for this future option.
And will the regulators really allow for a voice-operated car?
Was somebody asking for this?
Do I really want to interrupt my phone call to turn on the headlights?

I can be 30′ from an Amazon Dot and ask for a song by name and she gets it right virtually every time. How much training? Pretty close to zero.

Do you think they actually have to recognize the words of the song I am requesting? Nope. That’s why I can speak a 5 word song title 100 times and get the right song 99 times out of 100 or better. Come to think of it I don’t remember the last time it got it wrong.

Nothing to do with speech to text, that’s a much harder problem and utterly unnecessary for what Tesla is doing.

I’ll take your word for it, but Dot also doesn’t have to filter out road noise and work at -40C/F in a moist environment.