Tesla showed a new feature of its revamped Model S called “Auto Shift” during its, and CEO Elon Musk’s explainer left something to be desired when it comes to understanding how it works, but maybe we can help.
Now in Elon’s description it makes the system look almost magical, like the car knows what you want to do and does it. In practice, it is simpler and more complex than that.
So the big question is, how does the car understand your intentions? Well according to a great explainer posted by Teslarati, it’s about meeting the conditions. For example, to automatically switch from Park to Drive, the car should see:
- That automatic shift out of parking is enabled in the vehicle settings.
- The vehicle is already parked.
- The driver’s seat belt is fastened.
- The brake pedal is being depressed.
- All doors and trunks are closed.
- The gear selector on the console is not activated.
It’s similar for Reverse, because the car will detect something directly in front of it and automatically select Reverse instead of Drive. It also incorporates a geotagging system to help you remember where specific events occur, to essentially learn your habits.
If you don’t want to use the Auto Shift feature, because, for example, you don’t trust the new Tesla features to be 100% bug-free, you can still use the touchscreen gear stick that forces you to swipe and press. to get Drive, Reverse, Neutral and Park. Finally, there is a gearshift system built into the center console, because, you know, redundancy.
What happens if you try to do something that doesn’t meet the conditions for a change described by Tesla? According to the Model S owner’s manual, the car will sound a chime and an alert will appear on one of the displays. Then it won’t change.
Now does this sound great in theory? Yes a little bit. Sounds like something anyone would be upset their vehicle doesn’t have? No, not really.
Updated Tesla Model S has a Knight Rider steering wheel
See all photos