One of the Tesla Model 3's most unique features is a large center touchscreen that replaces the traditional dashboard and controls you typically find in a car. As soon as the first cars were delivered, videos and analysis of the new user interface appeared, including the usual Tesla easter eggs.
One UI designer, Andrew Goodlad, has created an interactive mock-up of the Model 3 touchscreen that, although incomplete, incorporates just about everything we know about it so far. Darrell Etherington of TechCrunch
confirms that this mock-up works the same way as the actual Model 3 he got to drive. You can click on the display and its controls the same way you would touch them in the actual car, and the interface will respond accordingly. Goodlad also continues to update the interface as new information about the real one becomes available.
Although it is unusual to have the most important displays and controls on the left side of the screen instead of the center or right, keep in mind the screen's location in the center of the car, to the driver's right. This puts these systems as close to the driver as possible. A large speedometer is located at the top left of the screen, which turns red if you are speeding. Below that is a graphic of the car. When parked you can open the hood, trunk, and charging door. The navigation and music selection screens work much the same way you would expect in any other infotainment system, tablet, or smartphone.
One of the most common mistakes auto manufacturers have made when moving controls from traditional buttons and switches to infotainment systems is burying frequently accessed controls several layers deep in the menus, making them difficult to access. But Tesla seems to have designed the Model 3's controls well, providing one-touch access to these systems. Automatic climate controls are easily accessible from the main screen, and a single touch provides easy access to manual settings. Defrost, defog, and the heated seats are also controlled from the main screen. Even the windshield wipers are controlled from the touchscreen.
Of particular interest are the more detailed controls accessible by pressing the car icon in the bottom left corner. Exterior lights can be manually operated from here, as well as steering wheel and mirror adjustments, including folding the mirrors in. Other lesser used functions are accessible from a menu on the right side of the screen, including drive modes and Autopilot.
Most of us can't drive the Model 3 yet, but we can pretend by exploring this touchscreen mock-up. Future owners can even begin to familiarize themselves with the car's unique display and controls. And other manufacturers can take note of what Tesla does right to hopefully incorporate into their own infotainment systems.