Tesla designs are the gaudy jewelry and tacky gemstones of the car industry; we shouldn’t even call them engineering.
The Tesla dashboard seems to be only artificially, superficially, designed. A big piece of glass glued to the dash is cheap and lazy. The touchscreen certainly is not meant for anyone who thinks deeply about anything, let alone understands driving.
Take the counter example, the luxury brand Cadillac recently announced buttons to wow critics.
Now Porsche is doing the same, after Audi.
An almost entirely touchscreen user interface was probably Porsche’s only misstep with the otherwise-excellent Taycan. Indeed, when Audi used that car’s platform to make its own electric express, the e-tron GT, it was notable that the climate control touchscreen was gone, replaced with actual buttons…
To be fair, industry innovation leaders (and best EV makers) Nissan and Hyundai never stopped offering buttons.
The explanation is simple. Buttons provide control without sacrificing safety, reliably delivering high value with minimal cost to users.
Touchscreens are the opposite, undermining control, unreliable, and often at high expense to users. Tesla Semis, all brand new and meant to be a showcase of their best ideas, allegedly have been pulled off the roads because their screens catastrophically fail so often.
Before that, and you’d think they could have learned something from it, Tesla had to recall over a hundred thousand vehicles due to failing screens.
Because Tesla decided to put the defroster/defogger button and other climate controls on the screen, rather than using physical buttons, a screen failure falls into the safety domain.
Their screen always falls into the safety domain in the same way people should never text while driving.
Navigating through various levels of menus to reach a desired control can be particularly dangerous; one study by the AAA Foundation concluded that infotainment touch screens can distract a driver for up to 40 seconds, long enough to cover half a mile at 50 mph.
And on that note, as the VP of legal at Tesla admitted in that recall, their screens fail within five years.
That’s fashion, NOT function.
Intentional failures leading to rapid unplanned obsolescence, should also be known as a terrible investment.
Heads up (pun intended), buttons are better for everyone. Luxury brands are meant to sell what’s good by long measures, not poorly made shiny things to rapidly devalue and force wasteful/unsafe consumption.
We’re talking very basic logic here, the kind that suggests nobody should ever buy another Tesla… or a diamond (piece of glass glued to a ring).
…we got tricked for about century into coveting sparkling pieces of carbon, but it’s time to end the nonsense.
Financial analysts point to Tesla’s declining earnings, declining revenue and declining free cash flow as seriously problematic. Safety experts point to rising fatalities, failing designs, worsening quality over time and an inability to learn.
Underneath them all is the simple fact that the CEO of Tesla runs it like a South African blood diamond mine; an oversupply of cheap assets made by exploited labor and marketed through mindless “caste” propaganda about “simplifying systems of control“… to sustain obvious gross overvaluation.
…until the 18th Century, the formal distinctions of caste were of limited importance to Indians, social identities were much more flexible and people could move easily from one caste to another. New research shows that hard boundaries were set by British colonial rulers who made caste India’s defining social feature when they used censuses to simplify the system, primarily to create a single society with a common law that could be easily governed.
Think of Tesla as low grade fashion tokens falsely promising high caste status, instead making people more easily governed (less free, at high risk of sudden death).
Buttons thus are symptomatic of sensibilities returning to a market, providing engineered longevity with an emphasis on safety and utility. The well-designed button represents freedom — quality of life in a car — as an important moral proof.
Don’t buy a car without them.