A Tesla owner’s homemade modifications to their vehicle, replacing the signature touch screen with physical buttons, stirred controversy and sparked a debate online. The owner, reportedly from China, shared the modifications on social media, unscrewing part of the console and connecting a panel of buttons, seemingly repurposed from electronic devices, to the touch screen. The video gained significant attention, accumulating nearly 55,000 views within a month.
While the specifics of how the physical buttons communicated with the touch screen and potential impacts on diagnostic features or over-the-air updates remain unclear, some speculated that Tesla may have been aware of these modifications before the video’s release. Concerns were raised about the safety of touch screens compared to physical buttons, emphasizing the ongoing debate over the optimal interface for vehicle controls.
Amidst the discussion on modifications, the broader environmental benefits of electric vehicles (EVs) were highlighted. The recycling of electronics and the use of electric vehicles, such as Tesla, contribute to reducing harmful pollution.
Research from NASA, Duke University, and Columbia University indicated that curbing heat-trapping gas pollution over the next 50 years could have significant health benefits, preventing millions of premature deaths and hospitalizations in the United States.
Acknowledging the environmental advantages of EVs, commenters on social media expressed diverse opinions about the Tesla owner’s modifications. While some criticized the move as regressive, contrasting with Tesla’s efforts to advance technology, others defended the individual’s preference for physical buttons, citing convenience and a nostalgic appeal.
The debate reflected a broader conversation within the electric vehicle community about the balance between technological innovation and user preferences, highlighting the ongoing evolution of automotive technology and design.
“Elon [Musk] tries to drag us out of the Stone Age, and this guy is kicking and screaming to go back to his cave,” someone wrote.
“To each their own. Why does it bother you that someone likes their physical buttons?” one person said.
“These buttons should absolutely be stock. I mean going through menus just to turn on heated seats is crazy. There’s nothing like a switch,” a commenter added.