After Tesla announced the refresh Model S in January, there have been a number of sightings of test vehicles on public roads. At the beginning they all had round steering wheels, but in recent weeks and months more of them have had the new yoke steering wheel.
Another one was spotted at a Service Center in Florida this morning that from afar looked like the others. A closer look however shows this test vehicle’s yoke steering wheel had something a little different.
There are now what appears to be two new buttons, or protrusions on the side of both scroll wheels.
They are clearly new when comparing it to the very first yoke steering wheel spotted in California in February by The Kilowatts. The bottom of the steering wheel is also different, where in previous versions it would disappear into the rim of the yoke.
Since there no visible markings it is difficult to determine what the buttons or protrusions could be for. In images posted to Tesla’s website, the new buttons are located in the area where the turn signals are on the left, and the wiper controls and voice command button is on the right, so they could be related to these functions.
UPDATE: The Kilowatts came up with a pretty good guess as to what these are – just like the ridges on a keyboard’s F and J buttons to know where your fingers are, these are likely to give you a sense of where you thumbs are in relation to the buttons on the steering wheel, so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road.
The addition of the new ridge appears to be intended to help drivers focus on the driving, similar to how the “F” and “J” keys have ridges on a standard keyboard. These ridges will help drivers indicate lane changes without looking down to check hand position. @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/nx4UCCxqUy
— The Kilowatts 🚗⚡️ (@klwtts) May 11, 2021
We should hopefully be getting answers soon as we continue to wait for the first deliveries to be scheduled.
Here are some other pictures of the Model S taken this morning in Florida, including new defrost lines around the front cameras. Let us know in the comments below what you think the new buttons could be for.
Some more pictures of the car pic.twitter.com/TN2loTOw7n
— Aaron (@AaronS5_) May 11, 2021
Was super hard to get pic of rear screen. pic.twitter.com/GU2cTScUCA
— Jason LRRWD Y (@jgrano305) May 11, 2021