Video: Tesla Model 3 Pulled Over For Having a 'Computer' Attached to the Dash
Saying the Tesla Model 3’s interior is polarizing would be a massive understatement. While some absolutely love the minimalist design and singular, tablet-like interface, others criticize it for being too barren to be considered interesting. The vehicle also saw some blowback over its centrally mounted 15-inch display, which, for several reasons, can serve as a potential distraction to drivers.
In fact, it’s so big that one Washington resident found himself pulled over by a motorcycle cop for having what was presumed to be a computer attached to his dashboard.
Tesla enthusiast Jon Hall recorded the encounter on September 29th. The video was promptly shared by InsideEVs. After the stop, the initiating officer (or state trooper, as it’s unclear) notifies Hall that he’s not allowed to have his computer mounted on the dashboard, invoking a brief laugh from the driver. Hall even jokingly asks the cop if he’d like to help him remove it. However, the immediate response from the officer isn’t encouraging.
At this point, it becomes apparent to Jon that he needs to clarify that this is how the car came from the factory. “This is stock with the car,” the driver explains. “Like, this literally is my only center console.”
Realizing his mistake, the policeman extends an apology after further explanation from Hall on how the Tesla Model 3 functions. He then sends him on his way.
It’s easy to scoff at the law enforcement official’s lack of automotive knowledge and chalk this up as a funny misunderstanding, but he brings up a good point. There really isn’t much difference between the Model 3’s humongous central display and something like an iPad. However, Tesla’s not the only potentially guilty party in this. Other automakers have adopted a similarly high-mounted, tablet-like design for their infotainment displays over the last few years. Granted, they aren’t as big, but they’re not all that different in terms of function.
Even though the officer was on two wheels, InsideEVs tapped into some delicious irony by noting that police cruisers are universally equipped with dashboard-mounted computers. It also said that, if the concept cars are anything to go by, traffic stops like this are about to spike. It’s increasingly rare to see any conceptual design that doesn’t incorporate a glut of large, interactive screens.
Whether this is dangerous or not depends on who’s being asked. Automakers don’t seem to think there’s any danger, but a AAA study last year found most infotainment systems are not satisfactorily intuitive to be considered truly safe to use. It claimed that the best solution is to prohibit drivers from using in-car technologies while in motion — making exceptions for “legitimate emergencies or urgent, driving related purposes.”
Consumer advocate tracking industry trends, regulation, and the bitter-sweet nature of modern automotive tech. Research focused and gut driven.
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