AI instead of levers: the new Tesla Model S and Model X should set indicators and choose gear themselves

The interior of the Tesla Model S and Model X, which was refreshed this week, is now even more minimalist than that of the Model 3 and Model Y. Although there is still a screen in the premium electric cars directly in the field of vision of the person behind the wheel, as in the smaller Teslas is occasionally missing. In Model S and Model X, however, the levers to the left and right of the steering wheel that were previously used to select gears, operate the headlights, set the indicators and adjust the windshield wipers have disappeared. This initially caused astonishment, but according to CEO Elon Musk it has a system: As he explained, the cars should find out for themselves what is needed in each case.

AI in Premium Teslas should choose driving mode

“The car guesses the direction of travel on the basis of obstacles it sees, context and navigation map,” wrote Musk on Thursday night on a Twitter notice about the no longer available levers. After a few days with this system, for example, it becomes really annoying to choose whether to drive forwards or backwards or to park. The Tesla boss seems to have already gained his own experience with the new automatic functions.

How the auto-shift was implemented can be found in an internal Tesla document that the Electrek blog published a little later. “The vehicle uses autopilot sensors to intelligently and automatically determine and select the desired driving mode,” it says. A specific example is also given: “When the front of a Model S / X is in front of a garage wall, it detects this and automatically switches to reverse when the driver presses the brake pedal.” This makes people “in the most intelligent production cars in the world “Another task removed.

It will be a while before such systems perfectly recognize the intent of people behind the wheel. CEO Musk himself also pointed out on Twitter that AI decisions can be overridden using a touchscreen. Nevertheless, Tesla seems to be at least largely certain of its cause: In Model S and Model X, as Electrek discovered, there is actually a touch button for switching from forward to backward, neutral or parking. But this is not located on the large central screen in the middle, but rather hidden in the lower area of ​​the center console.

Touch switches for turn signals, lights and autopilot

Also somewhat hidden, but easier to reach and operate, the Tesla Model S and Model X still offer the option to set the turn signal. This is probably necessary because not everyone buys the FSD package for future autonomous driving, which changes lanes and highways if necessary and also activates the turn signal. Here Tesla has removed the lever on the left, but has added two virtual heads in the form of small touch surfaces next to the left handle of the new rectangular (or not) “yoke” steering wheel.

You can tell if you take a closer look at the Tesla pictures of the futuristic cockpit – the turn signal buttons should be easy to operate with the left thumb when you have your hands on the wheel. A little further away from the hand there is also a virtual switch for the light, and touch buttons for the horn, autopilot, windshield wiper and start of voice control can be seen on the right side. The new premium Teslas now not only have three easily recognizable screens (a display for the back row was added), but also a few new touch sensors for all non-autonomous cases.


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