As we reported last week, Elon Musk did everything but confirmed that the Tesla Model 3 will not feature a head-up display (HUD). Today, he went a step further and completely confirmed that there will be no HUD. The CEO seems confident that people will not mind:
It either shows extreme confidence in Tesla’s ability to deliver fully self-driving with ‘Tesla Vision’ on the new hardware or we might still get a surprise with the supposedly ‘spaceship-like steering controls’ of the Model 3.
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Last week, Musk explained the need for only the center display by saying that the Model 3’s user interface is designed with self-driving in mind.
While Tesla already confirmed that the Model 3 will be equipped with its new hardware suite that it believes will enable full self-driving capability, it has so far been widely believed that the software wouldn’t be ready in time for the launch of the Model 3 in July.
Tesla certainly never hinted at the possibility that it could be and third-party estimates are even further down the road since Tesla has been about 4 months behind on the software capabilities under the new Autopilot hardware.
But Musk said that the software update 8.1 is coming by the end of the week and could bring feature parity with the last generation Autopilot. While that would still be only a level 2 autonomous driving system, if it turns out to be true, Tesla could potentially be catching up to full autonomy quicker through its fleet learning capability.
We will have to wait and see, but even if it comes sooner than anticipated, there’s still the problem of regulatory approval, which tesla a lot less control over than software improvements.
There’s also another possible explanation. After unveiling the Model 3 in March 2016, Musk said that the steering controls on the prototype, which have been the same on other prototypes since the unveiling, are not the final ones and that it will “feel like a spaceship”:
We could get a surprise here that could explain Musk’s enigmatic comments over the past few days – though it’s hard to imagine what steering controls could compensate for the information generally found on the instrument cluster?
If you have any idea, let us know in the comment section below.
In the meantime, it looks like some version of this will be the main “instrument cluster” for the Model 3:
What do you think? Could you live with that?
Not to try to influence the vote, but here’s a look at the HUD in the new Lincoln: