While the Tesla Model S’s restyling is low-key on the outside, Elon Musk has announced plenty of advancements inside, some of which seem crazy at best.
By studying closely the images of the new restyled Tesla Model S (2021), a detail made some internet users react: but where did the gear selector go?, which allows you to switch from “Drive” to reverse, like on any automatic car?
A reverse gear … autonomous!
As often, it is the whimsical Elon Musk himself who gives us the answer directly on Twitter: there is no selector in the new Model S. But then, how to choose the reverse gear? “The car guesses whether you want to use forward or reverse depending on the obstacles it detects, the context, and its GPS “, announces the boss and founder of the brand.
So it’s official, your Tesla will soon decide for you whether you want to drive in reverse or not … A solution that seems absurd, and even potentially dangerous: what about U-turns on the road, slots or quite simply errors and bugs that even Tesla are not free from?
Elon Musk clarifies that the car’s decision can be overridden by going, as always, through the large center screen. But it’s one thing to move the climate controls around on that touchscreen and quite another to incorporate functions as essential as reverse gear. To see if this decision remains once the cars are sold for good, including in Europe.
An airplane-style steering wheel, video games on the central screen
And that’s not all. This story of autonomous reversing is not the only technical bet made by Tesla. There is, of course, this rectangular steering wheel cut in half, which seems a little frustrating in use. The controls for the headlights, indicators and wipers are now also probably tactile keys located around the two buttons on the steering wheel. The screen is now horizontal. But above all, it is more powerful, to the point of being able to play very recent video games like … Cyberpunk. Here’s what to take care of while the car is charging!
Active noise reduction, like headphones
There is also another surprising announcement from Tesla: the presence ofan active noise reduction system, like in a bluetooth headset. The concept is simple: microphones record ambient sounds outside and the speakers broadcast “reverse” waves inside, which cancel out these disturbing noises. Great for headphones in the subway or on an airplane, but amazing in a car, where much of the driver’s important information can come from outside noise, such as the presence of another car. We can already imagine Elon Musk retorting that with the battery of sensors in his cars, and the autonomous driving mode, the driver will no longer need to pay attention to these sounds …
Finally, the latest technical advance of the new Model S is probably the most important: the Plaid + version could mean the arrival of a whole new generation of batteries. Indeed, the difference in autonomy announced between the Plaid and the Plaid + is enormous: from 628 to 840 km. All this, while the “+” is even more powerful.
How then to explain this leap forward in autonomy, when the Plaid is already overflowing with batteries? How also to explain such gargantuan autonomy, hundreds of kilometers from its competitors? An explanation could be the arrival of “solid” batteries, a technology that has been in development at Tesla and elsewhere for years, and which promises record energy density, and very short charging times.
Another part of the answer, the Grande Autonome and Plaid versions will arrive in the United States next month, while the Plaid + is only scheduled for the end of the year. A latency that could be explained by the development of these new generation batteries.
As always with Tesla and Elon Musk, it’s best to reserve any judgment regarding these tech bets before seeing the production version. See you in a few months on AutoPlus.fr to discover our test of the restyled Tesla Model S!