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If it is not broken don't fix it

Discussion in 'Design' started by evelectricity, Sep 28, 2017.

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  1. evelectricity

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    The last couple of days my wife and I have been watching the various M3 video interior/exterior tours of and I have to say we are not terribly impressed by the car. I have to admit I am scratching my head as to some of the decisions Tesla made. Don't get me wrong some of the design features are neat, but others are questionable. I realize that Tesla is having the videos yanked out as it looks like the early deliveries are more of extended test vehicles that employees paid for, but I think the jest of the car is in place.

    Things we noticed:

    1. What was wrong with the standard door handles every other manufacturer uses? With one hand you pull up and the door unlatches. With Model 3 you have to do this weird push in to hinge out the door handle, and then an electric latch unlatches the door. Then once you are in an electric latch button needs to be pressed to get out. This seems overly complicated for a door. I am not looking forward to having to explain how to open a car door to every passenger that rides. We saw that in the Texas video as the guy in the back seat could not figure out to get out. God forbid I am in a car crash and once the power is cut people can't figure out how to get me out.

    2. Windshield wiper control. Are my observations correct that you have to go through a couple of clicks to get to the wiper control? I noticed there is no adjustable speed, but I am going to assume that will come. Will there be auto control where it turns on when it senses rain? If it goes automatic then this is a mute point. What's so bad about a steering wheel stem with controls like every other car. I thought this works pretty well on every other car I have owned.

    3. How about basic cruise control, is there adjustment for that on the steering wheel? I sure hope that is not on the screen as well.

    4. Entertainment center is concerning. Ok, I get it that most people use streaming. I know my wife and I use it from our phones. I see that phone streaming is not enabled, but I will assume it will be at some point. What is so bad with AM radio? I don't buy it that the electric cars interfere with AM. I have both a Volt and a Honda Fit EV and both have AM radio that works just fine. Once again we don't use it very often, but I do travel through Highway 6, 50, and 93 in Nevada a few times a year and there is no cell service and the only choice is AM or satellite radio (which I don't have). Oh gosh am I looking at another cell phone bill for LTE service a few years down the road?

    5. Lighting. Once again, was it too expensive to put the headlight control on the column. I guess I can learn to use the auto feature so maybe not a big deal. No buttons for overhead lights. Back 30 years ago the driver had to pull on the headlight control to turn on the dome... only he could do it. Then, the experience improved with buttons on the actual light fixtures so passengers could turn lights on themselves. Now we are back to one control on the touch screen. With our current cars our kids can control their own cabin lights from the rear, but that doesn't appear possible with the M3. Might sound minor to most, but with kids it is important.

    6. So the speedometer is gone and now to the right. I get it that the speedometer may not be such a big deal as the position and size make it visible. There are other things typically found in front that are helpful such as cruise control, headlight brights indicator, turn signal indicators. Where is this other stuff shown? Am I going to be that dumbass driving down the road with his forgotten turn signal flashing away and brights left on because I did not have an indication in my face?

    What is it with Tesla not being forthcoming with what the car has? They had a big delivery party and my assumption was the car was ready for prime-time with maybe a few bugs. From what we see from the Texas video the software seems more like it is at the alpha state. Listening to the guys in the Texas delivery video you would think that nobody really knows what exactly the car has. Is it going to have auto sensing wipers.... don't know and neither do the Tesla employees. No streaming phone audio, that might come but don't know for sure. No fm radio yet, but it is listed and should come. This car is not exactly ready for delivery to the masses yet.

    I get it that some day this car might be self driving, but that is a long way away. My other cars, even the cheap ones I have owned have basic functions on the steering wheel column. In my opinion the M3 driver interface comes off as being cheap. It is not that the AM radio is such a big deal, but really how much would that have cost to add? $10? I think it is what the AM issue stands for... that is along the lines did Tesla omit AM to save me from bad quality audio because their cars are too good for it, or is it because they want to save $5? For a $50k car I would expect a better driver interface all around for the kind of money they are getting for the vehicle.

    I bought a number of new cars over the years that include a 1992 Acura Integra ($9K), 1999 Honda CRV ($20K), 2001 Chevrolet Prism ($11K) (built at the Fremont factory before Tesla), 2008 Toyota Highlander ($42k), 2013 Chevrolet Volt ($31k), 2013 Honda Fit EV ($200 month), and 2016 Toyota Tacoma ($35k). 90% of our driving is all electric these days as the truck is hardly used. They have been great cars and from the price you can see that these are way cheaper than the $50k+ M3. In some ways the M3 seems like the ultimate car, and in other ways not so much. I may just watch from the sidelines and pass over my reservation until an objective reviewer to give the car a thumbs up or down. My Fit EV goes back to Honda in June so I have until then to decide on the M3. Maybe when Elan anti-sells the M3 maybe he is being quite honest.

    Todd
     
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    • Dan Detweiler

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      Every single one of those things can be addressed with either a later OTA update or use of the automatic features (again upgradeable at a later date with an OTA update). Let's just let them get ramped up with production and get a few updates out there before we start worrying about what the car ISN'T or DOESN'T have.

      We have all been patient over the last 18 months, let's be equally patient over the next 6 before we start getting all up in arms.

      Dan
       
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      • SoFlaModel3

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        I think you’re jumping to conclusions a pinch too early here. Give it 4-5 weeks, customer deliveries begin, and then you’ll have a real sense of where things stand.

        From what we’ve heard from @RiggerJon, he adjusted to the car nearly immediately and mind you the UI is not in final form right now.

        Remember we’re all looking at one of the few cars that get better over time because of OTA updates. If this was a shiny new BMW 3 series that was 4-5 weeks away from customer deliveries I would be concerned, but not with Tesla.
         
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        • garsh

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          #4 garsh, Sep 28, 2017
          Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
          Everybody else covered the control issues - the software isn't final yet, and that will get much better.
          As for your other issues:
          Take a closer look at "every other manufacturers door handles", and you'll see that there's actually a wide variety. There are lots of companies trying to figure out how to have a flush door handle. For example, here is the Lexus LC 500.
          [​IMG]
          For the front seating positions, we've seen that there is a manual latch control. We haven't yet seen if there's one for the back seats. It is a legitimate concern.
          I'm guessing that Tesla is using wireless chips designed for mobile phones at this point. Those chips support the various mobile phone frequencies, bluetooth, wifi, and FM radio. Nobody makes them with AM radio included. To add AM radio capability to the car, they would have to add a lot more electronics, and I'm guessing that they simply decided it wasn't worth the incremental cost in parts or design work.
          They'll be shown in that same area. Again, there are many cars available today that place all the instruments in the middle of the dash instead of behind the steering wheel (ex - Toyota Prius). People haven't had any issues getting used to it.
          [​IMG]
          Yeah, I would have thought they'd be farther along with the software too.
          But the car is not yet available for sale yet to the general public, so there's no need for them to start advertising the car's features just yet. We'll get this in time.
          It's not that the parts themselves are that expensive. But when you can buy a commodity all-in-one mobile phone wireless chip for 10 cents a piece, you have to ask if it's worth the extra engineering expense and time to design and develop an AM radio that about 1% of the population really cares about.
           
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          • SoFlaModel3

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            Sorry I was driving before and wanted to give a more complete commentary on your points. Trying to wear my impartial (not fan boy hat here).

            One of the challenges I have for "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" is that there would be no innovation. Now the door handles that Tesla have gone with are not new. Aston Martin has essentially used the same handles before and @garsh shared a similar Lexus door handle. I take no issue with innovation and improvement!

            We have to remember the car is built with some level of automation in mind. There will be "auto wipers" once the software moves to final state. Just like your headlights... set it and forget it. Need a quick single swipe, push in on the left stalk and you got it. Need to adjust wiper speed, odds are you will be able to do it with the scroll wheels on the steering wheel and we just haven't seen the final UI/UX yet.

            I would absolutely expect control for speed setting to be on the steering wheel scroll wheels once the software is final.

            I can't speak to AM as I don't use it. It does seem like it's a minority used feature here, but I would agree here that if AM was important then I would be concerned about that one.

            I don't think I have touched a headlight control for a car in over 10 years. Set it to Auto and forget it. I don't see a major concern here personally.

            All of those controls are on the left 1/3 of the screen and will be in clear sight.

            I think you answered your own point here. The car is not exactly ready for delivery to the masses yet. That's why it's not being delivered to the masses yet. You saw a video of the first delivery in Texas and a delivery specialist that wasn't fully trained on the car yet (literally the first one they saw) and meanwhile the software doesn't have all of the functionality it will have when the car hits prime time. I'm not too concerned there. Hell I've taken delivery of typical cars and had the person at the dealership hardly know a thing about the car.

            I wouldn't confuse simple for cheap. I think with a good UI/UX this car is exquisite. Of course this is highly personal, but I am a big fan of simple design.

            No car is for everyone and there is certainly nothing wrong with sitting on the sidelines and checking it out in person before making a decision. My dad has a Model S (new from this past December) and I have some decent seat time in the car. I absolutely love it and it has some weird glitches/flaws. The Model 3 from everything I have seen has solved for all of those flaws and brought forth some really cool tech as well (the screen concept and open feeling looking forward as well as the HVAC have me drooling).
             
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            • RiggerJon

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              #6 RiggerJon, Sep 28, 2017
              Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
              Your concerns are fair - but let my try to shed some light:

              Drag. And the M3's are dead sexy. :) There are other high-end autos that use this style, it's just not mainstream.

              No, that's not accurate. It's a tap on the left stalk for a single swipe. This tap automatically brings up the wiper menu on the UI, so if you need/want sustained wiping or intermittent activated, it's one more tap on the UI. We've had plenty of rain this week, and I found it really easy to use.

              To activate, it's one push down on the right stalk. To adjust the speed, the UI displays + - symbols and the speed to which it's set when it's active.

              While you can manually use the UI to activate lights, nobody will. The auto feature works great.

              Maybe. :) But it's through no fault of the UI. I've been guilty of this once already for a few seconds, but it's because I had the music cranked and wasn't paying attention - the situation would've occurred in any car.

              All items typically found in a traditional cluster show up in the left hand pane of the UI - right where I'd want them. The lights (on/off - high/low beam), turn indicators, parking brake, etc. - show up across the top of the left hand pane using familiar symbols.

              Here's what Telsa press told me yesterday:
              "[FONT=Calibri, sans-serif]We haven’t yet begun offering reviews of Model 3 just yet, so we’re asking employees to refrain from posting detailed videos and demonstrations of Model 3. This is because right now we’re still prioritizing deliveries to employees, and haven’t yet begun deliveries to public customers. As such, we ask that you not allow videos, detail photographs or reviews (whether written, photo or video) of Model 3. An occasional fan picture is fine (think selfies), but we’ve asked our employees to not allow detailed reviews because it results in misinformation and rumors."[/FONT]

              Really? Having used it for almost a week now, I feel just the opposite. I think it's quite polished & intuitive even in these early stages.

              My impression is the leap being made by M3 parallels the leap iPhone made with smart phones. At first it felt a little foreign not to have a keypad, but after just a few minutes it felt very intuitive - and today you can't imagine it being any other way.
               
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              • MelindaV

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                Fantastic firsthand insight. Thanks @RiggerJon
                 
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                • garsh

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                  • Twiglett

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                    If we followed it ain’t broke don’t fix it policy we’d all be driving around in ‘70’s era Ford Escorts :D
                     
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                    • Petra

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                      Yeah, the only time I mess with the lighting control UI elements in my Model S is when I'm taking photos and/or video of the car. The rest of the time, all lighting functions are set to auto. Want to turn on an individual light in the cabin? Just poke the light's lens and it turns on (I assume it's the same with the Model 3, given that the interior lighting elements look similar?).
                       
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                      • RiggerJon

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                        Yup!
                         
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                        • Steam613

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                          OP, I am curious. What is the agenda of your post? Are you trying to have Tesla change their design? Trying to get people to cancel their reservation? Hoping you thread will lower stock prices before some margin call? Be offered contradiction to your personal opinion that may let you have a change of heart? You took a lot of time and thought to put all that out there. And I believe you answered one of your questions regarding their tight lipped release. It seems some people take very little information and create some diatribe full of assumptions. I also would like to propose a win, win, win to you. Become $1000 dollars richer, lower your angst for a vehicle clearly not to your liking, and move many pioneers closer to ownership of a vehicle they feel optimistic about. Win, win, and win. And lastly, humor my intolerable curiosity and expound on the
                          comment you eluded to in the initial paragraph. After such a critical eye I am sure many of us want to know what does please such a discerning connoisseur of the motor vehicle such as yourself. Best of luck finding your ideal vehicle, be it EV or ICE.
                           
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                          • evelectricity

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                            No reason to become combative. This is a discussion forum to discuss the Model 3. Does is not invite discussion? I am electric car supporter that has has done a lot for the electric car movement. I built a web site four years ago that covers electric car charging at evelectricity.com. It has no ads and I do it out of support for the electric car cause. It is an important web site and although I haven't updated the site in a few years and it still sees 500+ visitors a day and growing. I also support this web site and in June Paypal'd a $20 donation to Trevor to help him with expenses.

                            Is there any support for my comments? Probably not here because this is not the sort of forum to get an objective response... actually I did from Tesla 3 and S owners. Perhaps it was not the proper forum to ask such questions as it is fan web site. I get that now. I appreciate the comments from the owners who alleviated most of the concerns I raised. That is what discussion forums are for. To accuse me of trying to drop the stock price is inventive reasoning. My posting won't do that as that is what Seeking Alpha is for.
                             
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                            • garsh

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                              I thought I did:
                              Yes, that was a bit much.

                              Not everyone here is going to like Teslas. Critical comments do not mean that someone is trying to "cover a short position". Let's get out of the habit of accusing people of (or even hinting at) ulterior motives.
                               
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                              • SoFlaModel3

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                                I took a lot of time to write what I hoped was as fair a reply as possible, so I considered myself to be welcoming a reply back and a conversation on it. Yes, you're on a dedicated Tesla site so the overwhelming response will be very pro Tesla as you can imagine. However, we all have gripes with the car. It started with no HUD and the newest one seems to be no AM radio.

                                I think it's fair to be critical of the car (or any purchase), but at the same time my sense is that a lot of that you're being critical about is based upon things that will absolutely change before the car is in the hands of "customers" (read as non-employee customers).

                                I'm glad to continue the dialog!
                                 
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                                • Steam613

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                                  I assure that was not a combative response. I presented each argument as a question. Questions are not accusations. Just merely wondering if there was an angle to one of the more negative posts I've seen. And still wondering what it was you found positive about the M3. I will try to adjust further posts so as not to incense the more 'sensitive' types in the forum.
                                   
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                                  • John

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                                    #17 John, Sep 29, 2017
                                    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
                                    Some of what the OP feels is personal—for instance, if you love or hate the UI or the door handles—and some of it just needs clarification (e.g. you can now stream almost any AM station in the country, and listen to sports that might be blacked out in your local station or not even playing locally).

                                    But everybody has to admit—c'mon, be honest—that the embargo on information can be disconcerting at times, even if you are sympathetic with the reasons (e.g. harming current sales of S and X, letting them finish before showing the details). Though we "know most of what there is to know," the fact that much of that information is not reflected on Tesla's own Model 3 page is not typical of a product that many of us will need to commit deposits to soon.

                                    For instance, when the time comes to order a Model 3 LR + PUP, will you know what the availability, cost appearance, and performance of the non-PUP or P or D versions so that you can decide whether or not to wait? I hope so, but that would be a bit of a change from recent practices, since according to one comment I read, employees did not know all of these things. I keep hoping after each quarter's results are published that the info embargo will be over.

                                    And we should be sympathetic to symptoms of sticker shock. Great car, but not the cheapest way to travel by battery.
                                     
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                                    • Rusty

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                                      Maybe horse and buggy.
                                       
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                                        Welcome to the leading edge. Some things may not work out. Most will be improved and many will grow on you to the point you will miss it when it is gone. It is perfectly fine to wait on the sidelines and see what other's experiences are like.
                                         
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                                        • SoFlaModel3

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                                          I do agree on the communication -- that's actually my only real gripe.

                                          The car itself, I love everything about it. Not all cars are for everyone, so there is also a simple path for those that don't care for it (a refund on their deposit).

                                          Tesla has done a phenomenal job launching a product that no one in their wildest dreams thought would have a 500,000 person waitlist. They scrambled to do everything in their power to get production ramped up as quickly as possible to serve as many people as possible as ensuring as many US (home base) consumers gain the federal tax credit that is near phase out.

                                          So my gripe is communications. They could have done a better job organizing information about the car along the way. They still could do a better job explaining unknowns -- for instance can you get premium with standard battery? How much does performance cost? What is the special something for those that waited in line? What does the roof look like on standard? What does the interior look like on standard?

                                          At the end of the day, though while I say they could do better, I look at it from the other perspective and I'm thinking it's a moot point anyway. That information is only entirely relevant at the time I have to place an order and commit (non-refundable) money, so I give them a pass there.

                                          I think they think a lot of people have been following along through Blog Posts, Motor Trend, Vloggers, Podcasts, and Forums. That said, I'm not critical of a YouTube video showing missing features from the known feature set during an initial employee car delivery. While there are some negative videos out there, the overwhelming majority are positive.
                                           
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