Designed for Autonomy
When a car is intended to function autonomously, it doesn't need a heads-up display. That's what Elon Musk thinks, anyway.
When asked by James Locke on Twitter how the highly anticipated Tesla Model 3 will handle the instrument cluster information such as vehicle speed, Musk replied with an analogy:
@arctechinc The more autonomous a car is, the less dash info you need. How often do you look at the instrument panel when being driven in a taxi?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2017
While Musk makes a solid point, removing the heads-up display only makes sense on the premise that the car will be used exclusively in self-driving mode. However, even if the Model 3 is actually capable of Level 3, 4, or 5 driving, the car is scheduled to hit the market in the second half of 2017. It’s doubtful that the regulatory boards responsible for granting approval for high-level, fully autonomous driving will be ready to do so by that time.
In short, some sort of display of the car’s metrics is still necessary, and Musk assured the Twitterverse that it will have one.
Betting on Self-Driving
This information about the Model 3's display isn't the only sign that Tesla is betting big on self-driving tech, regardless of where regulations currently stand. The company has been continuously pushing out updates of its Autopilot software and has announced plans to make a fully autonomous drive from Los Angeles to New York City by the end of the year.
Autonomous driving isn't simply a matter of convenience, however. Experts have asserted that Tesla's Autopilot system makes its cars 10 times safer than the average vehicle on the road, with the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives.
At this point, Tesla appears to be right on track when it comes to delivery and production targets for its vehicles. It already delivered more than 25,000 in the first quarter of 2017, bringing its goal of 50,000 vehicle deliveries for the first half of 2017 well within reach.
With a 69 percent increase over the same period last year, Q1 of 2017 was the best quarter on record for the company, and its numbers are expected to continue rising as the Model 3 release approaches. 2017 really is shaping up to be the year of Tesla.