Top 5 Tesla Model S Features That Put Tesla on the Cutting Edge of Automotive Technology


JUN 16 2014 BY STAFF 54

According to the LA Times, there are 5 features that put the Tesla Model S on the cutting edge of automotive technology.

In no particular order, those 5 features are:

Tesla Model X Concept Image - Surely the Model X Will Make Use of the Model S' Top 5 Features Too

Tesla Model X Concept Image – Surely the Model X Will Make Use of the Model S’ Top 5 Features Too

Reconfigurable clusters

Rather than traditional bezels, gauges and dials, the Model S has a fully reconfigurable instrument cluster, or dashboard screen.

Large center infotainment touchscreens

Tesla’s use of a large center infotainment touchscreen has raised the bar for size and functionality of center screens.

Embedded telematics

Inclusion in the Model S of an embedded connection link — as opposed to connectivity via smartphone tethering — demonstrates that embedded connectivity is the way drivers will communicate with the digital world outside their car.

Assisted driver/autopilot

While the Model S trails the German manufacturers in advanced driver assistance systems for now, Johnson said he expects the Palo Alto automaker to catch up rapidly. He predicted that Tesla will offer some form of autopilot for limited situations in the next three to five years.

Cloud-based software

It is being used by Tesla not only to update software, but in the future will harvest critical “Big Data” on vehicle performance.

For more on the importance of these 5 features, as well as in-depth explanation as to why some of the Model S features made this list, check out the source link below.

Source: LA Times


Categories: Tesla


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54 Comments on "Top 5 Tesla Model S Features That Put Tesla on the Cutting Edge of Automotive Technology"

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-Large center (donkey w/o tail)
-Bright, milky flat screens, to light up your rural evenings.

I could complain about the Volt’s fluctuating day/night brightness, but at least it has contrast.

All in the spirit of tough love.

I think the large display is what has caused so many severe Tesla accidents – drivers driving off the cliff and into concrete walls and blocks.

I wish, lawmakers and NHTSA will soon ban the use of such large information panels for cars. This is worse than talking on cell phone.
I will propose this ban to my lawmakers. I encourage ALL advocates of public safety to do the same. This large computer monitor shoul dbe put in th ebackseat, not for the driver.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

bwahahaha thats hilarious!

Clearly you do not have a Model S nor do you actually cite any real data on the accidents you suggest. After a year with our Model S, I do not find ANY distraction in the central screen, nor is it used for any small motor skill function WHEN driving.

Any chance you might be familiar with the term “Luddite?” Just asking…..

George Parrot,
You are a good driver,I guess. But how can traffic police control the use of this infotainment system put in the front seat?
There will be people who will misuse this.
Yes, model S might be a solid piece, and its passengers might be safe, But what about the innocent passengers in other cheaper, not-so-sturdy cars? Just the sheer weight of Tesla will crush the other car. then, couple that wil th e’ungodly performance’ as just mentioned.

I read about many accident, where drag races kill innocent children and people by driving recklesly. We ought to protect innocents. We need to ban these large displays. Period.

Tesla crashes have been few and far between and probably mostly caused by the car’s ungodly high performance, Fortunately there has never been a serious injury much less death in a Tesla.

There is a reason that Tesla has the highest customer satisfaction score of any car in history and it isn’t because of poor performance of anything on the car. You on the other hand choose to ignore this fact and continue to spew your anti-Tesla lies and propaganda. Makes me think you work for the Koch Brothers or another anti-EV organization.

NHTSA huh, its more likely that the moderators here will ban you as the anti-Tesla TROLL that you are See Through.

No, I don’t have a model S. I have some other EV with a small LCD screen, and same holds. I can’t see why fiddling with this giant monitor is any safer than texting or calling on cell phones.
‘Customer satisfaction’ is a different game. If GM says, their drivers can somehow talk and text on cell phone while driving, their customer satisfaction would also go up. That will have nothing to do with safety. Who knows, what this display is used for. It could be used to watch a movie, or read news on internet, or anything for that matter.

We ought to ban such displays for front seats of cars.

See Through – because you don’t need to fiddle with the big screen at all… everything you need is on the instrument panel and the steering wheel.
If you say no distraction, then you must also exclude all confusing buttons from any Lexus, Mercedes, etc – these controls are far more distracting. Give it a try, drive a Model S for a extended time and you will find it is the most non-distracting drivers interface of all modern cars.

How many menus do you have to drill through, to do the sunroof w/stalks? Can you Even do it? Is it easier than simply reaching up?

Can’t comment on the sunroof as I don’t have one. In our Mercedes going up to operate the sunroof is distracting. My main complaint is my father-in-laws Lexus – just a maze of buttons… if he has to adjusts the temperature or find another radio station he is a driving hazard.

The real question is what is the next drivers interface. IMO the current car manufactures have gone overboard by adding button after button after button and beep after beep. How can we clean it up? Tesla made one approach – is it the best? Only time will tell.
To use the size of a display as the sole reason for distraction is simply wrong – a smaller display is harder to read and therefore more distracting.

Holger – I think a voice activated interface, like Siri, is the future. But that won’t work for everyone.

I agree with you.

It seems like most reported Tesla accidents are either head-on from crossing over lines, hitting walls, or veering off the street. A quick Google search will bring up several.

The large “iPad” is no better than people looking at their phones and texting. The issue with touchscreen is that you have to look at the screen for longer durations to hit the right button. Until cars have full-proof automatic collision and driving, this should be a no no. And since Tesla is behind in auto nav and collision avoidance, it makes it worse

Ie., they copied everything going into modern airplanes.

computers are made solely for airplanes? LOL

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Well, if that’s so obvious, then why didn’t any other automaker, with their decades of experience, thousands of employees and billions of dollars, do it first?

Its a good question.

FYI, I believe full glass cockpits proceeded from the military, through large airline carriers (Eurobus), then have trickled down to high end airplanes. Even LSAs (light sport aircraft) have full glass now.

Autopilots are a little more complex. They have been around since WWII (where they were used for precision bombing runs). Now, autopilots coupled with high resolution GPS are arguably a completely new animal.

These LCD screens look good inside the garage. Once under bright sunlight, it is almost impossible to see a damn thing, and is also very hard to manipulate while driving. Then, you get these smudges all over.

Things that look cool in showrooms don’t always work well in practice.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

My BMW K1600GTL has a full color digital dash thats visible in all light conditions, and it is more exposed to direct sunlight than a car’s interior. It can be done if a designer isnt incompetent or cheap, and by all the reports i’ve seen, Tesla is neither.

Is your BMW display in kind of a hole ( recess), so direct sunlight doesn’t hit the LCD/LED screen?

The model S screen as shown here doesn’t appear to be recessed. Can people still see when direct sunlight hits this screen from behind, and it has a layer of dust on it?
Is it an LED or LCD screen?

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Nope, aside from perhaps 0.5cm recess: (not mine, but representative)

Incidentally, the optional GPS really _does_ suck in many lighting situations, hoping to find something polarized that’s compatible with my sunglasses. But that’s Garmin’s fault for not sucking.

We live in very sunny California, and we have no problem at all with the details on the Model S screen…

I think you just described your lies very well See Through, they might go unchallenged by the uniformed, but once they are exposed to the sanitizing sunshine they stink just like you.

I have a lot of screens in both airplanes and cars, and have seen varying states of both washout (can’t see in direct sunlight), as well as permanent damage from the sun. What is obvious is that something can be done about it. Bright daylight screens exist that are UV resistant. I think they do it by turning up the brightness and placing a UV filter in front of the thing. Here’s an example:

1.) Full torque at any speed
2.) Everything else

1. Doesn’t use petroleum and can still get you 200+ miles on a charge
2. Everything else.

#4 should have been supercharging, how can they miss that?

I wish the Volt/Spark EV had re configurable screens. The hardware is there, but the software is lacking. In fact most of my biggest complaints about the Volt has to do with the software.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Yep, and good luck with software updates :/

Tesla really knows how to treat its customers, GM et al. are still in the 20th century in that regard.

Hm…. Good luck at buying a Model S for the price of the Volt/Spark.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

That’s no excuse, software has no marginal cost.

Hmm! Many people don’t like software updates. Just check the Tesla forums for complains about new updates not working.
There is a huge cost of verifying the software updates. We are all too familiar with the issues in our computer sofwtare update. Not to mention, the countless annoying changes in interfaces. Just when you get used to one software, comes a new one to learn, with its own set of quirks and bugs!

The drive display is somewhat configurable…

“somewhat” configurable… sure. But I’d like to see it where you could upload your own skins. Some people might like an analog look to the instruments. Personally, I’d like to change it up to add more information on the screen.

And if you do and break something while driving, who is “liable” for the accidents?

Don’t worry, Apple is coming to your cars. Volvo will redesign their cars with iCar next year and you will see how that works..

This is mostly gibberish.

The most revolutionary point is the fact that the driving experience is controlled by updateable SW.

Cloud based? Uh, clearly they don’t understand the concept.

And, #3 is poorly stated – it’s really about utilizing a connection to enhance the driving experience – tune-in, slacker, maps.

Still scratching my head over #4. I think they are really just talking about maps. There is no real driver assist. Even the Nav from Garmin is old school (no connection needed).

The telematics angle is interesting as they can diagnose a number of problems. Though, ON Star can make the claim of being first (crash detection, for example).

I also think they missed the point about using an app to monitor/manage your car remotely. I love being able to start the AC going remotely.

The media thinks that anything that is fed from a server is part of “the cloud”. It’s the latest buzzword that they know nothing about.

1) Super Chargers for free for life
2( Everything else

So, “Assisted driver/autopilot” Doesn’t exist yet and they are already giving Telsa the credit? I am NOT saying that it won’t be done. But isn’t this the same as giving Obama the Peace Prize just for being elected?

#4 is a top feature that Tesla does not have, that the german cars (BMW i3 for example) do have, yet it is somehow a top 5 feature of the Tesla Model S?


I expect a little better from the LA Times.

I think those little hula dolls caused a few accidents back in the day, along with fuzzy dice.

Here is my quick list:
5) The aerodynamic door handles
4) The big user-configurable touchscreen system.
3) The skateboard design with motor hidden between rear wheels. Allows lots of different cars to be built. Battery can be swapped out. Lots of space in the frunk.
2) The Supercharger system. Just a few chargers allow nationwide driving (eventually).
1) The hundreds or thousands of tiny little innovations that you’ll never know about that they had to come up with to build the car.

Your list is many times better than the LA Times. Good job!

The single biggest “innovation”, is an automaker being absolutely focused & committed– long term; to pure Battery Electric Vehicles.

None of this magical hydrogen BS, unnatural gas, and none of this hybrid ICE compromise *hit, either.

Can we conclude here that Tesla really does not have any relatively strong innovation here, but it just was the first who tried to make as good electric car as it is possible with today’s battery technology.

The touch screen center console is something new indeed, but really? Is it really an innovation? Also do we have studies that show that typical premium car driver prefers Model S approach over e.g. Mercedes approach?

I like the opinions above, but I will add my top 5 (in no particular order). I am making them more general to try and cover all of their accomplishments.

1. Creating an EV on par (performance and style) with its gas counterparts at the same MSRP.
2. Designing a vehicle platform with intention to upgrade it after purchase.
3. Designing an all aluminum (chassis and body) vehicle for large scale production.
4. Range + SuperCharging. Creating independence from the need for public infrastructure created by others.
5. Selling direct to the customer and educating the public on the potential of EVs.

I am with Josh on this. My favorite Tesla innovations:

Real improvements, and real model years. No planned obsolescence and no sales hype.

Direct sales, with no haggling. (Well, Saturn and Scion already do/did the latter.)

No paid advertising. ‘Nuff said.

Engineering first, on everything. Low drag, plenty of performance with amazing efficiency – even the gee whiz features like the flush door handles contribute to the function of the car.

Brilliant planning – an American made car – all electric with plenty of range, free network of super-fast chargers, powered by solar panels. Sell the most appealing car first, and be the halo car for all EV’s.

Tesla has shown the way. Who will be next?

In a nutshell:

Tesla demonstrates the way toward oil independence.

Yup. The only excuses left not to switch away from oil burners, is purely political now.

Well, other than those pesky economic ones.

How about the safest car ever built!

Yes, that too! This kinda’ comes under the “engineering first” heading?

This list can be summarized into 2 things, (1) Touchscreen (2) Pilot Assist.

#1 I don’t consider the screen cutting edge, and think it is actually too large for my taste (not safety concerns as mentioned above). I just think it looks like it doesn’t belong and would like something more integrated.

#2 Doesn’t exist, and not sure how cutting edge this is since many companies have a version of this in existing vehicles. So I’d argue they are on par (maybe behind) in this area, not cutting edge. I also don’t know how much I care for ‘pilot assist’ other than I think all cars should have the automatic braking feature standard.

The list missed what I consider what makes Tesla different. A huge battery pack, and 135kW quick charging. No one else is doing this.

Wait. Their listing something the Tesla doesn’t have as one of the top 5 reasons the Tesla is cutting edge?