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Indiegogo Gadget Brings Physical Buttons to Tesla Model 3 and Model Y

Although many Tesla owners are accustomed to the touch interface, new adopters complain about the lack of physical buttons. Nevertheless, a solution might be in sight if the Ctrl-Bar project crowdfunded on Indiegogo gets to be produced.
Indiegogo gadget brings physical buttons to Tesla Model 3 and Model Y 7 photos
Indiegogo gadget brings physical buttons to Tesla Model 3 and Model YIndiegogo gadget brings physical buttons to Tesla Model 3 and Model YIndiegogo gadget brings physical buttons to Tesla Model 3 and Model YIndiegogo gadget brings physical buttons to Tesla Model 3 and Model YIndiegogo gadget brings physical buttons to Tesla Model 3 and Model YIndiegogo gadget brings physical buttons to Tesla Model 3 and Model Y
If there's one single characteristic that makes Tesla cars stand out in the crowd, it's probably the disdain for physical controls in the cockpit. Having all the buttons replaced by touch controls, sometimes hidden in a complicated menu structure, was apparently not enough for Tesla. The EV maker removed even more physical controls, like the turn indicators, wipers, and even the drive mode selector. Everything can be automated, said Elon Musk at some point, and Tesla engineers bent over backwards to make it happen.

Nevertheless, touch controls have one major drawback: they require the driver's attention, which means they have to take their eyes off the road to see what they touch in the interface. That would be fine if Teslas were indeed autonomous, but they're still far from driving on their own. As for automated functions, we already know how the automatic wipers work on Tesla vehicles. Look in the forums, and you'll see miles and miles of complaints about how they don't work in the rain but wipe imaginary droplets from the windshield when it's sunny outside.

Most Tesla owners have already become accustomed to touch controls, and many swear it's the best solution for accessing various functions. Nevertheless, newcomers often struggle to get used to the buttonless interface in a Tesla. Thankfully, the Ctrl-Bar project on Indiegogo aims to solve this issue with a neat gadget that attaches to the central screen in the Tesla Model Y and Model 3. The bar has two physical dials and four programmable buttons to allow direct access to the most used functions.

The Ctrl-Bar features two scroll wheels with tactile indents, which are hard-wired to control the cabin temperature. The description does not mention them being programmable, which seems like an oversight. People change the sound volume countless times during driving, but they rarely alter the temperature in the cabin. Nevertheless, the four push buttons add more direct controls and can be assigned using a dedicated app to many of the car's functions and features.

The gadget offers some nice extras, with ambient lighting and, in the future, speed trap warnings. The latter should be available with a subscription and provides the possibility of setting an alert for driving above the speed limit. Over-the-air updates will keep the thing updated with new features and improvements.

The Ctrl-Bar developers still have a lot to do to bring this gadget to market, and the most difficult would be to have the accompanying app running. The app is paramount to the control bar's operation because it links the physical controls and the car's software menus. The app connects via Bluetooth to the Ctrl-Bar and listens in the background to the changes made to the physical buttons. It then converts the inputs into commands and sends them back to the car via Tesla API.

The video below explains how the Ctrl-Bar functions and shows that the inventor was inspired by one of our articles in his work. This is indeed flattering, but we're still wondering if there'll be enough backers for the Ctrl-Bar. If you were to buy a Tesla Model 3/Y, would you consider the Ctrl-Bar to add physical controls to the car?

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