Model 3 has been released with a new 15-inch touchscreen, which is wider than previous screens on Model’s S and X. Whilst it looks great, some areas of the screen and functionality have become harder to reach. This may seem like a minor difference, however, when operating a vehicle it could become significant, as every moment is crucial. And, although the Model 3 was designed to be autonomous, in some countries, with heavy winters for example, the necessary infrastructure and support is yet to be in place, so the need for a driver in an autonomous vehicle is still required.
Another challenge arises from the lack of physical buttons. In other vehicles your tactile sense can be used to find the button or adjustor without taking your eyes off the road. However, navigating a touchscreen requires the driver taking their eyes off the road; when encountering bumpy roads, it would be even more challenging holding a steady hand on the right area of the screen.
To combat this we came up with two solutions. The first is an adjustable grid where users can move panels of the dashboard to best fit their needs. For instance, the media player can be moved to the passenger's side so they can enjoy playing DJ, whilst the map can be moved in closer view to the driver and expanded or hidden in case of autonomous driving. The second solution introduces multi-touch gestures that can be applied to any area of the screen, and don’t require a driver to be distracted by looking away from the road to navigate functions. These gestures would be intuitive and replicate physical buttons.