Tesla Model S - Specifications - Instrument Panel and Touchscreen

Instrument Panel and Touchscreen

Production dashboard with main dashboard digital display (left) and central 17-inch (430 mm) touchscreen control panel (right)

The primary Instrumental Panel is a 12.3-inch LCD display which indicates speed, power usage, charge level, estimated range and active gear. The gearbox can be set to Drive, Neutral, Reverse and Park. The vehicle does not have a transmission, only a single speed fixed gear with a 9.73:1 reduction ratio.

The secondary infotainment control touchscreen is a 17" multi-touch panel divided into 4 areas. A top line displays status symbols and provides shortcuts to Charging, HomeLink, Driver Profiles, vehicle information (software version and the VIN), and Bluetooth. The second line provides access to several Apps including Media, Nav (driven by Google Maps), Energy, Web, Camera, and Phone. The central main viewing area changes depending on the app chosen and typically displays two apps at a time, divided into an upper and lower area, although most apps can be expanded to take up the entire main viewing area. The bottom area provides access to Controls (which allows you to access various controls and settings for the vehicle (such as doors, locks, lights, etc.) as well as Climate controls and a secondary volume control for the passenger (primary media volume is provided for the driver in the steering wheel).

Both the instrument cluster and the center infotainment panel are driven by their own separate NVIDIA Tegra 3D Visual Computing Module (VCM). Tesla was the first company to ship this technology although Audi has announced is also using this technology in the 2013 model year in Europe and expects to bring it to North America in 2014. The Tegra system-on-a-chip (SoC) integrates eight specialized processors, including a multi-core ARM CPU, a GPU, and dedicated audio, video, and image processors. Nvidia claims it consumes 50 times less energy than the typical CPU.

The Tegra VCM's can be rebooted individually through the steering wheel. Holding both the left and right upper control buttons on the steering wheel down concurrently for 15 seconds reboots the instrument cluster. Holding both the left and right scroll/click wheels down concurrently for 15 seconds reboots the center infotainment panel.

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