2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

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2013 Tesla Model S: No Distance Lines on Backup Screen

March 10, 2014

2013 Tesla Model S

Tesla says that its Model S is the only car with an HQ backup screen. That much is true, but something on that HQ screen is missing.

There are no distance lines to let you know how far you are from the car behind you. There is also no projected path for the Model S when it is in reverse.

Nearly all lesser priced cars have backup screens with these features. The Tesla Model S is a big car. When I'm parking this car I need all the help I can get. I discovered that other Tesla owners are concerned about this lacking feature. There is speculation in the Tesla forums that the Model S will add this feature in a future software update.

Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 19,221 miles

Comments

  • legacygt legacygt Posts:

    All I need is a nice crisp picture and a view that includes my car's bumper. Lines with arbitrary hash marks mean nothing to me. Just let me know if there's anything in my way and when I'm getting close to the bumper. This screen is good enough for me.

  • kirkhilles_ kirkhilles_ Posts:

    I'm very surprised. I definitely rely on the lines on our Pilot, especially since it can be tough to tell scale. Once again, though, this is the PERFECT reason why software upgradable cars are so awesome. It may not be in there when you bought it, but it WILL be there in the future. Awesome. Compare that with any other car, even high end luxury cars.

  • dunning15 dunning15 Posts:

    Mine is a later model than yours. Mine has very tightly integrated parking sensor both front and back. They come on in reverse or at very low speed while moving forward. They display in both the main screen and the LCD dashboard. The display in the LCD dashboard will show you exactly how many inches you are from the offending object and will highlight whether that object is to your left, center, or right. We use it every day in our garage and I like to stop 16 inches from our wall which allows us to walk both in front of and behind our car with the garage door closed. I do miss the backup lines. We had them on our previous car and I could back that thing into any spot perfectly the first time. Backing the Model S into a spot is a nightmare for me. My wife is much better than I am at it. I can't even park it straight into a spot well, however. I'm hoping the backup camera gridlines come soon because with a car this wide they are much needed.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    While admittedly having never used it (anyone want to loan me their Model S so I can correct that glaring omission?) I think I'd prefer to have the uncluttered picture offered by not having guidelines. As legacygt said arbitrary marks without units don't really tell you much.

  • badshot101 badshot101 Posts:

    Is anyone actually driving the Tesla lately? It seems that we are being bombarded with trivia after the 2nd motor replacement and the inability of the crack Edmunds reporters to find out how much the replacement motor would cost an owner if the car was out of warranty.

  • All I need is a clear view with my bumper in it... then again, that's all I ever have had. I bet if I had the lines, I'll be singing a different tune.

  • sharp_cai sharp_cai Posts:

    Sonar System is available?

  • hybris hybris Posts:

    Use a complex series of two cameras that are head mounted and 3 carefully placed reflectors in order to back up my vehicles. They never came with guidelines either and they work just fine.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    Says much about the lack of visibility in modern cars that the Mk1 Eyeball is never suggested as an alternative.

  • mayhemm mayhemm Posts:

    I thought the lack of camera overlay would be a big problem for me since, like you, I find my Model S substantially bigger than the Audi TT it replaced. However, after recently driving loaner cars WITH overlay and trajectory, I found it to be very little help. That experience bumped this feature down substantially on the priority list of features Tesla should add in the future.

  • mayhemm mayhemm Posts:

    I thought the lack of camera overlay would be a big problem for me since, like you, I find my Model S substantially bigger than the Audi TT it replaced. However, after recently driving loaner cars WITH overlay and trajectory, I found it to be very little help. That experience bumped this feature down substantially on the priority list of features Tesla should add in the future.

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