Tesla Model 3's Touch Screen Will Anger Older Drivers & Enthusiasts Alike

Nothing is worse than a touchscreen while driving

3y ago

Of all the many different cars we've managed to test on the road, the main gripe we keep running into is how annoying touchscreen infotainment systems can really be. The combination of road bumps, keeping your eyes on the road, and reaching out to touch a glossy (and sometimes sun-glare ridden) interface, often results in hitting the wrong button and bringing you into a whole different set of archaic menus. Backing out requires you to do the same song and dance, at which point you say to yourself: "Forget it, I'll just figure out how to get there without the nav."

If the thought of fiddling with a touchscreen already makes you cringe, you need to get yourself ready for another level of frustration with the upcoming Tesla Model 3's touchscreen. The "infotainment" system is no longer just that, rather it's the centerpiece in which EVERYTHING about the car can be controlled. While the Model S already integrated most features into its big portrait touchscreen, the Model 3 takes it just that much further.

If you always thought that the windshield wiper stalk sticking out of the steering column is a big design flaw, you'll appreciate how those controls have been embedded into the massive iPad Pro-sized screen in the middle of the Model 3. If you disliked how you constantly have to fiddle with four air vents to give you optimal cooling, you'll fall in love with how you can now direct airflow, like an omnipotent creator of the universe, with a single swipe and a couple of taps.

The young millennials among us may completely fall in love with the idea of a more centralized control center, in exchange for the noisy interior design language afforded by physical buttons, dials, and levers. I'm also ready to admit that what Tesla has done with this interface is reflective of what the future holds for motoring and the concept of driving. However, as we transition from zero-autonomy to fully-autonomous driving modes, while still driving on imperfect roads, the idea of using a touchscreen to manipulate everything brings up frustrating memories of mishitting buttons and re-tapping the germ-filled block of glass multiple times because it didn't register the first time.

Old man rant over.

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Comments (6)

  • Agree 100%. How is navigating through a touchscreen particularly different than using a phone? You're not looking at the road and you have to think about what you're doing as you navigate through menus.

    They'd be better with haptic feedback but evenue then you'd have to memorise all of the menus to be able to do it without looking.

    The vital controls in my car are on stalks or within hands reach from the gearstick. Each button has an individual function and so it can all be done without thought. Why did we need to fix what wasn't broken?

      3 years ago
  • show all automatic settings and voice settings!

      3 years ago
  • This seems like madness, but there must be millions of people out there who can use touchscreens without looking at them, otherwise why do it.

      3 years ago
  • Here's some data that I researched regarding electric vehicles:

    Currently, we drive 3.22 trillion miles per year in the US.

    The average fuel consumption is 24.8 miles per gallon.

    1 GGE (Gasoline Gallon Equivalent) = 33.4 kWh

    3.22 trillion divided by 24.8 then multiplied by 33.4 is "approximately" (did it in my head, even if my calculator did go that high I don't know how many zeroes are in 1 trillion)

    4 trillion kWh

    Let's assume that electric cars are twice as efficient as the current average mpg, let's give them 50miles per GGE

    That would halve the electricity needed to charge the vehicles every year. 2 Trillion kwh

    Current total grid-scale electricity generation in the US is 4 trillion Kwh per year.

    So, if all internal combustion engines were scrapped overnight and we all drive E-vehicles, the US would have to increase electricity generation by 50%, probably more as there is loss in transmission. There would have to be increased infrastructure also I'm sure.

    Sites I got data from:


    (over 120 cool graph and charts)


    (Energy data)




    Sorry for the long post, but I'm sick of the "magic beans theories", we may not be driving IC engines in the future, but what we will be driving probably hasn't been invented yet.

      3 years ago
  • Wipers should be automatic these days, the washer would still need to be on a stalk, or button the wheel.

      3 years ago