Elon Musk Turns Driver’s Twitter Comment From Tweet to Vehicular Feature
This is exactly why Tesla is disrupting the industry.
Tesla is really trying to improve their forward facing image. From making their executives easier to reach, to implementing new service standards to improve customer service - the manufacturer has been trying to dig their way out of an image that revolves around poor quality control, and instead replace it with one that says "if there's a problem, we'll fix it". CEO Elon Musk also has the proclivity to reach out to drivers regularly on Twitter to answer their questions, and now he's taken it to a new level when committing to implement a new feature based only on a single Tweet.
It seems that one Twitter user had an issue with his steering wheel wearing when he got in and out of his car. So, naturally, he does what a plethora of active Twitter users do - Tweet to Musk. He suggested a feature to move the steering wheel once the car is put in park. Well, it must have caught the attention of the Tesla boss, and he decided it was a good idea to implement on a wide scale.
The feature, which will not only raise the wheel but also move the seat back to avoid the driver coming into contact with the wheel. Not only will future cars get the update, but so will the current vehicles on the road. No need to schedule service with the dealer for a software update, no need for additional equipment, just an update pushed over-the-air to customer cars to add a new feature programmed into the car's software. The Model S, Model X, and Model 3 will likely all be pushed the update per the designation of "all cars". But wait - there's more.
Another surprise surfaced about four hours after Musk answered the initial inquiry. Another Twitter user added onto the original statement, proclaiming that the same should happen upon vehicle entry. Though if a user exited the vehicle, it should theoretically be at user setting unless it is a different person entering the car. In that case, likely identified by the fob being used, the car would identify the setting last used by the fob and move the seat and wheel to that position. Though not confirmed to be added to the feature pack, Musk indicated that is a good idea and "should probably" happen automatically once the door handle is touched based on proximity of the nearest fob.
The real story here isn't that Tesla is adding a new feature (though that is cool), but Tesla is responding to a customer via social media and just pushing an update. One single customer had an issue, reached out, and the company felt that it was important enough to address for all of its customers. This is a huge step in the right direction for something that might coin the term software defined car to describe just how the car can be made adaptive on the fly. It's not only undeniably useful to be able to address these types of feature requests with just a few keystrokes, but it's also pretty cool and futuristic.