Yesterday we shared with you a brief video from above the test track at Tesla’s Fremont factory, showing the first glimpse inside the Project Highland Model 3 refresh. While most of the interior was covered we were able to see the steering wheel, which looked very similar to the Model S and Model X round steering wheel with capacitive buttons.
The full 14 minute video actually came from YouTube, and it confirms the Model 3 refresh will lose its gear stalks like the Model S and Model X and adopt Tesla’s Smart Shift technology.
The additional footage gives a clear view of the Tesla engineer getting into the car and putting on his seat belt. Before he reverses away we can see him swipe down on the left side of the center display, instead of using a gear stalk, to put the car in reverse. In fact his muscle memory makes him move his right hand for the gear stalk, but with nothing there he remembers he has to swipe on the screen. Here is what the user interface (UI) looks like in the Model S/X where you swipe up to shift into drive and down to shift into reverse.
The full video is below, but it will start at the point where the driver uses Smart Shift.
This is of course the manual version of Smart Shift, as the actual feature is able to shift into drive or reverse automatically based on the previous movement of the car and the objects surrounding it. On the Model S/X there are also touch buttons on the center console as a backup, but with the angle and distance of the drone footage, we can’t see the Highland dash in the video.
Tesla has been working on this project for some time now, but it is expected to culminate soon with the launch of trial production at Giga Shanghai next month. Tesla China has come out to deny that rumour, but they done so for other rumours in the past that ended up being true. Based on what we have heard the rumour is accurate and lines up with previous reports that mass production is scheduled to begin in Q3.
The 14 minute video gives us lots of views of the refresh Model 3, but unfortunately doesn’t reveal much else we don’t already know. If you spotted something, let us know in the comments below.