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      CommentAuthormaryyugo
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2012
     
    Talk about cluttered, distracting and dangerous and inconvenient if anything fails, here seems to be overcomplication at its utmost:

    http://www.gadgetbox.msnbc.msn.com/technology/gadgetbox/teslas-fancy-17-inch-lcd-dashboard-makes-its-debut-alongside-839914

    Yes, modern airplanes have glass instruments but they cost dozens to hundreds of thousands of dollars and they have backup conventional instruments and controls for critical indications and functions. Or a ballistic parachute!
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2012
     
    @MY
    What's the problem? The car isn't going to fall out of the sky if the instruments fail. The driver is already surrounded by glass. A little more gorilla glass isn't going to make a difference.
    • CommentAuthorBigOilRep
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2012
     
    "It remains to be seen whether the custom interface, running Linux at its core, is as responsive and intuitive as an in-car system ought to be."

    Al will be happy
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      CommentAuthormaryyugo
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2012 edited
     
    Posted By: AngusWhat's the problem?
    I might have parsed the "problem" better. The safety issue has mainly to do with distraction. Glass "buttons" and switches are fine in an airplane where you usually have a bit of time, while the autopilot flies the plane, to make your adjustments. While you do look for traffic, you also rely on TCAS and ATC to stay out of trouble. Outside emergencies, nothing happens fast. And you don't get to use a glass cockpit without dozens of hours of special training and a thorough checkout.

    Dealing with a glass cockpit in a car is altogether different. It takes your eyes and attention off the road. There is no tactile feedback (like you get with switches) so you HAVE to look at the damn thing. Some people, particularly the elderly or drug impaired, can't refocus very fast. And the damn thing is supposed to have special apps for Twitter and a full internet browser, for cripe's sake. Taking your eyes off the road in a car is different from not looking through the windshield on a plane. Road conditions can get dangerous in fractions of a second and it happens all the time-- all it takes is for some moron ahead of you to make an unexpected lane change and apply brakes. You HAVE to keep your eyeballs looking out almost all the time.

    The reliability issue is complexity and dependence on a more general purpose computer. Modern cars depend a lot on computers but those are very specialized and extensively tested. Does Tesla have those sort of resources that GM and Toyota do? And even then there are mistakes. A California police officer and four members of his family died in a high speed crash in a Lexus when the car accelerated on its own and they were unable to stop it. They didn't know, in this loaned car, that you have to hold the power switch three seconds to get the engine to turn off. BTW, that's another thing I hate: push button switches for engine power ON or OFF. Has everyone totally forgotten "human engineering" practices? At LEAST placard the thing with a notice to HOLD it DOWN to power off!

    I don't want a computer outage when I'm in the Mojave Desert at night, fifty miles from the nearest AAA facility. Am I going to need to carry an EPIRB or PLT or Sat phone in my car now?

    And then there is the esthetics of it all. Car interiors look more an more like an unchaste union of a bubble gum machine with a classical juke box. More and more outrageous chrome and useless protrusions and shapes. Disgusting.

    Finally, the Tesla is all electric and there is no infrastructure yet to recharge it. That should lead to a lot of interesting situations. At the moment, Teslas are mainly toys for the very rich. And not the sort of toy I'd want.

    BTW, I saw a Tesla Roadster in the flesh recently. Parts of it looked almost home made. And it was very very tiny. Sort of like a cute, fast, fragile, expensive little death box.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2012
     
    Fair point. I thought you were worried about reliability and instrument safety. Human factors engineering is another issue, and I have to say that in the picture it doesn't look promising. Map displays in cars worry me a bit. Useful, but highly distracting. But Tesla didn't invent that problem.
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      CommentAuthormaryyugo
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2012 edited
     
    Posted By: AngusMap displays in cars worry me a bit. Useful, but highly distracting. But Tesla didn't invent that problem.
    They magnified it. Look at a typical consumer GPS like the Garmin Nuvi 255. Everything is quick and easy to grasp and the display is simplified to be understood at a glance. And you are reminded and encouraged to stop before you do major programming changes. It's small, compact, easy to see and use and very effective. You don't need a full map to get where you want to go. If you want to rubber neck, get your passenger to do it with your iPad or tablet or if you're alone, stop and park before you do it yourself.

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      CommentAuthorpcstru
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2012
     
    Posted By: maryyugoBTW, I saw a Tesla Roadster in the flesh recently. Parts of it looked almost home made. And it was very very tiny. Sort of like a cute, fast, fragile, expensive little death box


    Ah yes, the European philosophy of Sports Cars is (mostly) to make them small, light and capable of cornering a radius smaller than Texas. That must be very confusing in a country that gave the world the Dodge Viper.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2012
     
    Posted By: maryyugo
    Posted By: AngusMap displays in cars worry me a bit. Useful, but highly distracting. But Tesla didn't invent that problem.
    They magnified it.


    How do you know that? Have you played with one?
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      CommentAuthormaryyugo
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2012 edited
     
    Posted By: AngusHow do you know that? Have you played with one?
    Just look at the photos! I am not interested enough in the Tesla S to go look at one until the next (January) auto show. I think the probability of reaching for something and getting something else is unusually high in that cluttered, probably very touchy display illustrated in the link I provided.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2012
     
    I had a different take. It is big enough that if it is not showing the GPS it could show all necessary instruments not already on the dash. All you need is one button on the steering wheel to switch between. Without knowing how it works it seems early to condemn it.
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      CommentAuthormaryyugo
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2012
     
    I think I'll keep my Belchfire V6 and its Garmin GPS for a while yet. Nice tactile switches and knobs PLUS steering wheel switches as well... nice stuff everywhere and subtle backlit green dash and instrument backlight illumination looks soothing at night. If I want a video arcade game, I'll find one other than in my car.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2012
     
    I'll probably keep the Moggie as well. Very pretty car.

    But that wasn't the issue we were discussing.
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    I've never used a GPS navigator map thingie.

    Now you've got me wondering.... If I had used one, would I have wound up in a different place than I am now?
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2012
     
    Posted By: alsetalokinI've never used a GPS navigator map thingie.

    Now you've got me wondering.... If I had used one, would I have wound up in a different place than I am now?


    Most definitely. I rented a car with an early one in SF a few years ago and it kept insisting I turn right and go two blocks when I was apparently (from visual cues) going south along the seashore.
    • CommentAuthorcwatters
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2012
     
    If anyone wants to buy me one and I'll happily test drive it for you and report back. I'm sure I could get used to the display.

    I just wonder how it works in bright sunlight?
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    All the main driving information is right in front of the driver where it always is. The main driving controls are mechanical and in the right place and there's extra buttons on the steering wheel that control the phone and entertainment system.
    Tactile buttons or not, you still have to glance at the buttons, controls and displays for entertainment/communication systems, heating/aircon, gps etc. in any car.

    Pretty sure I could safely drive the Tesla without the sky falling in.
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    ....and I suppose it does look very very tiny and like a fragile, expensive little death box in a country where most cars are as huge as their drivers. Trouble with Tesla is they're selling to the wrong audience.

    Incidentally I was playing with a tomtom gps with a decent large multi-touch capacitive screen the other day. That makes a world of difference compared to my old and horribly clunky resistive screened version that makes it almost impossible to properly check out the route it's chosen. So much so that I usually just let it take me the route it's chosen and hope for the best but often end up wishing I'd just looked at a map.
    • CommentAuthorjoshs
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2012
     
    You have been out bid. This auction ends in 20 seconds. Enter a new bid.

    Terrain! Terrain! Terrain!

    You have been out bid. This auction ends in 10 seconds. Enter a new bid.

    Collision detect!!! Your battery warranty is void.
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      CommentAuthormaryyugo
    • CommentTimeJun 24th 2012
     
    lol
    • CommentAuthorenginerd
    • CommentTimeJun 25th 2012
     
    I also have never used a GPS and I ended up in Canada of all places, where, I received a company service award for which one of the choices was a GPS. When I got my GPS in the mail, I found that the "free for life maps" software was only for the U.S.A. and that if I wanted Canadian maps, I would have to pay $72. I am planning to give the thing to my daughter.