Video: Tesla Model 3 Pulled Over For Having a 'Computer' Attached to the Dash

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
video tesla model 3 pulled over for having a 8216 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.”

[Image: Tesla]

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  • JimZ JimZ on Oct 02, 2018

    that guy perfectly demonstrates the punchability of typical Tesla fans.

  • Tummy Tummy on Oct 02, 2018

    We've had our Model 3 since January and also a Model S I got two years ago. Before the Teslas we had the BMW i3, Smart ED, MB SLK350, MB ML63 AMG, E500, Infiniti FX45, Audi TT, BMW 323i.... I've had a lot of cars the last 15 years all with different user interfaces and controls. I find the touch screen on the 3 and S a lot easier to use than Mercedes COMAND and BMW iDrive. The large screen in the Teslas are also much easier to see navigation maps, your music selections as well as the visualization of the cars around you from the autopilot cameras. Many things are set once and are saved in the driver profile so you rarely need to adjust it again (Seat, steering wheel, mirrors). If you know how to use a smartphone and google maps, you will know how to use the touch screen on the Teslas. There are a lot of functions that are voice activated and work really well like music and navigation. For cars, it takes about 25 years before new innovations become mainstream. Prius came out 22 years ago and now almost all new cars will be electrified in some way. It's faster for electronics, but expect it will take a few years before people get use to having an all digital dashboard. Just like it took people a while to give up their blackberries with keyboards when the iPhone came out.

  • Fahrvergnugen NA Miata goes topless as long as roads are dry and heater is running, windscreen in place.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic As a side note, have you looked at a Consumers Report lately? In the past, they would compare 3 or 4 station wagons, or compact SUVs, or sedans per edition. Now, auto reporting is reduced to a report on one single vehicle in the entire edition. I guess CR realized that cars are not as important as they once were.
  • Fred Private equity is only concerned with making money. Not in content. The only way to deal with it, is to choose your sites wisely. Even that doesn't work out. Just look at AM/FM radio for a failing business model that is dominated by a few large corporations.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Lots of dynamics here:[list][*]people are creatures of habit, they will stick with one or two web sites, one or two magazines, etc; and will only look at something different if recommended by others[/*][*]Generation Y & Z is not "car crazy" like Baby Boomers. We saw a car as freedom and still do. Today, most youth text or face call, and are focused on their cell phone. Some don't even leave the house with virtual learning[/*][*]New car/truck introductions are passé; COVID knocked a hole in car shows; spectacular vehicle introductions are history.[/*][*]I was in the market for a replacement vehicle, but got scared off by the current used and new prices. I'll wait another 12 to 18 months. By that time, the car I was interested in will be obsolete or no longer available. Therefore, no reason to research till the market calms down. [/*][*]the number of auto related web sites has ballooned in the last 10 to 15 years. However, there are a diminishing number of taps on their servers as the Baby Boomers and Gen X fall off the radar scope. [/*][/list]Based on the above, the whole auto publishing industry (magazine, web sites, catalogs, brochures, etc) is taking a hit. The loss of editors and writers is apparent in all of publishing. This is structural, no way around it.
  • Dukeisduke I still think the name Bzzzzzzzzzzt! would have been better.
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