Tesla Model 3’s Lack of Instrument Panel Will Supposedly Help You Focus on the Road

There’s nothing in front of you but the steering wheel.

byRob Stumpf|
Self-Driving Tech photo

Tesla CEO Elon Musk previously claimed that drivers wouldn't care about the Model 3's lack of instrument panel, despite the common preference of glancing down to see the current speed. On top of that, there's no Heads Up Display (HUD), even though some prospective buyers previously grasped onto the hope of something being placed in front of them. An engineer's perspective recently came to light about the driving experience and how he too just didn't care.

A member of the TeslaMotorsClub forum claims he or she recently had a run-in with a Model 3 and Tesla engineer where they were able to discuss one of the largest oddities of the Model 3's interior.

I asked him if he missed having an instrument cluster in front of him behind the steering wheel. He said you quickly get used to not having one there, only the touchscreen tablet to the right. He noted that it was especially helpful at night not having the glare of the instrument cluster right in front of him, so he could concentrate on the road, and he felt his night vision was better. He was also quite excited about the 7/28 event where the first 30 production vehicles would be given out.

I've driven a few cars that had the instrument panel in the center. For one particular job, I spent about six hours each day driving a boxy, toaster-shaped Scion xB going from client to client. My daily driver was an e36 BMW, but because I spent the bulk of my time in the xB, I often found myself looking to the odd-shaped center vent in my 3-series rather than at the cluster because of sheer habit. The Model 3 has gone a step ahead of this and completely eliminated everything but the speed of the vehicle which is shown on the digital display in the center of the car.

The overall attitude from Tesla regarding the Model 3's place as an appliance rather than a driving machine shows that company's strong stance that self-driving cars are the future. Musk describes the experience as being in a Taxi, being driven rather than driving yourself.

From the video above, you can see that the speed of the vehicle isn't really too out of place. A quick glance to your right hand would have nearly the same effect, plus there appears to be a lot of room over the steering wheel that gives greater visibility to the road. This, combined with my general love for big, obnoxious out-of-place display panels has me almost convinced that the Model 3's crazy display will be just fine for the majority of drivers who plan on driving themselves around in a Model 3 later this year.