Tesla is leveraging both its CEO’s popularity on twitter and its cars’ over-the-air update capability to respond to another customer request, with CEO Elon Musk promising on twitter that a future software update will include a function to automatically move the seat and steering wheel into a more comfortable position for entry and exit when the vehicle is put in park.
The Model S can be slightly difficult to get in and out of for less-flexible people, so this feature should be a nice addition for many customers. I’ve personally seen several owners who have an “enter/exit” driver profile on their Teslas, with the seat and wheel position saved for easier exit and entry. So while this workaround was always possible, Tesla’s software update will make it more automatic.
Other cars do have a similar feature, including the Hyundai IONIQ Electric I just reviewed. While I didn’t find it necessary myself, I can see how many would find it nice to have.
One of the things Tesla is able to do, as a smaller company, is to make changes a lot more quickly than larger companies can. It also helps that Tesla’s cars are capable over-the-air updates, so if a feature is missed, it can be added later in a software update. Most manufacturers would add these as part of a new model year, in order to entice owners to upgrade their cars, but since the cost of the upgrade is so minor to Tesla, there’s no reason not to push the software out to every owner. This keeps customers happy and keeps them evangelizing the brand, resulting in high customer satisfaction numbers.
Here’s the exchange in question, with an owner getting a rather sudden response:
This isn’t the first time Tesla has made news on twitter. Elon Musk commonly uses Twitter as a way to engage with the public, either dropping hints about upcoming news or taking suggestions about the nav system or making announcements.
This is why Twitter’s CEO has stated that he thinks Musk’s account is the most valuable on the whole site, because of the way he uses the account to have a dialogue with the public and his customers. This most recent example certainly provides another piece of evidence suggesting that to be the case.
As one response says,
Of course, let’s not expect that Musk, with his 11.5 million followers, will be able to answer every feature request lobbed in his direction on Twitter. This might be why Tesla recently added an escalation option to their support page, to take some of these requests away from Musk’s twitter and let other high-ups in the Tesla organization take care of questions which lower-level employees can’t answer.