You don’t need to have ventured far into the internet in recent days to have noticed that Tesla appears to be moving its latest cars‘ gear selector to the touchscreen and away from the steering wheel.
Drivers will need to swipe to change between park, reverse, neutral, and drive (PRND) and while it might seem strange at first, it doesn’t violate any rules.
That’s according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency, and they should know. Speaking to The Verge, the NHTSA says that Tesla isn’t violating any safety standards. Despite the online backlash.
NHTSA is aware of the touch screen shift control Tesla developed for its Model S and other vehicles. A properly configured transmission shift control operated by means of a touch screen interface would not violate federal motor vehicle safety standards. Also, Tesla has certified compliance with all applicable safety standards. At this time, there are no known compliance concerns related to the shift control configuration.
However, the use of the phrase “at this time” does suggest that we could see some changes made that would cause Tesla problems.
As much as the touchscreen approach is proving unpopular, it’s very likely to be something that drivers would simply get used to the more they use it. As ever with Tesla, we’ll just have to wait and see what people make of it when they get their own cars onto their driveways.
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