We’re starting to see more people get behind the wheel of Tesla’s new Model S Plaid and getting footage of that strange “yoke” steering wheel.
It looks like the fear that it would be awkward to use was founded.
When Tesla first unveiled the yoke steering wheel on the new Model S, people had a lot of questions.
At the delivery event last week, Elon Musk answered some of those questions, but he focused on the lack of stalks, the force touch buttons, and “auto shift” feature that replaces the stalks.
The CEO didn’t directly address the fact that it has a butterfly shape, and that the shape affects the driving experience, beyond pointing out that it results in great visibility of the instrument cluster.
Now that more people are taking deliveries of the new Model S Plaid, we’re getting more feedback from people who tried the steering wheel and even videos, like this one from OCDetailing:
Tesla has been working on a new steer-by-wire system, and we thought it might debut with the new wheel in order for the automaker to be able to deliver a dynamic turning profile to fix the obvious issues with not having a round steering wheel.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
We’re getting feedback from early new Model S owners and drivers, and there’s definitely a significant learning curve to adapt to the yoke steering wheel.
As you can see in the video above, it’s especially awkward in parking situations where hand placement is all over the place due to the lack of space on the wheel.
Also, people sometimes end up touching the force touch buttons on the wheel as they reposition their hands to turn.
This is a clear example of Tesla already having its eyes on full self-driving and taking steps a little too early because of it.
I think the force touch buttons replacing the stalks is a good move by Tesla, but the butterfly shape is problematic without a better dynamic turning profile.
People will adapt to it, but a round steering wheel option would have made a ton of sense, especially since we know that Tesla has one with all the new force touch buttons since we have seen it on engineering prototypes.
The craziest part to me is that some early owners and people who had access to driving the car and said that they had issues with the steering wheel don’t want to go public about it, for fear of Tesla fans going after them.
This is a real problem that is corrupting the feedback loop.
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