Mazie is taking drivers education and soon we are going to find a vacant parking lot and I’m going to have her get behind the wheel and drive. Contemplating this I decided we are going to use the Honda Pilot for this, and not the Tesla Model 3. Driving a Tesla is so different from a gas car that I worry it wouldn’t set her up well. I actually wish I had my Mini Cooper S with manual transmission for this exercise.

While the differences between electric and gas are so large, there are a lot of ways that the Model 3 could be a better platform for a learner.

This all made me think that it would be really neat if Tesla had a “Learn to Drive” app. What would it do?

  1. The app would allow you to put the car in learner mode. This would not only reduce the power output of the car, similar to valet mode, but also change the power curve to match that of a gas engine. Electric motors have so much low end torque, and I would worry about that amount of power with a brand new driver. I would think software could change that to emulate a gas engines curve, and simulate a gas experience.
  2. This app would allow the user to have controls for the car, most notably to safely stop the car. A big red “STOP” button on the screen would give the parent or teacher the ability to override.
  3. The car could be put in a defensive mode, where the radar system that detects nearby objects doesn’t just give you a warning but the car would actually stop to avoid any collision.
  4. The main display in the Model 3 could be swapped out with a learning display, taking realtime feeds from all the cameras and overlaying driving paths. Maybe even engage the autopilot system to not drive the car, but show on the screen where the car should be driven.

All of this highlights the power of a car being thought of as a software platform. The software can change the entire characteristic of the car could change for this special, and very important, exercise.