Tesla, best car in the world?!

From Gear Patrol

More than half of the Tesla owners were actually sitting there in their cars waiting for them to charge, either napping, goofing off on their phones, or, in one case, changing a diaper in the back seat

That is the most interesting observation in this article, don’t even bother reading the rest. I don’t think a Tesla car is much different from any other car available today.

What’s so interesting is those people are doing different things while waiting inside their cars. And the car is not designed at all to be convenient for doing any of those things (especially changing a diaper, I know firsthand!)

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Wouldn’t the Tesla be much better if you could turn the drivers seat around and be facing a desk? Or recline the seat flat into a bed? Or put your feet up like in the latest Volvo concept car? Tesla’s are big cars, but have only 1 person in them most of the time. I’m sure 0-60 in 3.1 seconds is great on the track, but completely worthless when changing a diaper in the back seat.

I’m not saying that Tesla should be designing their interiors around tasks drivers are doing while parked, waiting for the car to charge. Except that “drivers” will want to do all those things while on the road once the car is autonomous. That’s what they should be planning for. Sleeping, eating, and working– while inside the car.

I believe this is what Apple and Google are doing. Once cars are autonomous, (even if at first only for long-distance interstate routes) being able to configure the car interior is where all the value is. Tesla is building their cars the same way as GM, VW, and Toyota. Unibody, stamped sheet metal, 4 doors, and 4 seats.

The drivetrain is largely irrelevant. Electric is preferred only because there are less moving parts and easier to build and maintain. Yes, Tesla has great performance, but performance is less and less important to car buyers.

Whether electric or not, the key feature is being able to customize the interior. And I don’t mean just once when you purchase the car. These interiors could be modular and interchangeable. 3 back seats when you’re taking the family out to dinner, or a bed for an overnight road trip. Future cars are going to look a lot like camper vans and RVs.

I saw someone tweet last week that Tesla could be the BlackBerry of auto manufacturers. That’s a great analogy. They’re doing some incremental improvements, but they’re basically selling the same car as everyone else. They are missing the bigger change coming in personal transportation.