Tesla surprised many with the introduction of the yoke steering wheel in the refresh Model S and Model X last year. Along with the unconventional design, Tesla also ditched the turn signal and gear stalks, instead opting for touch controls on the steering wheel and a new Auto Shift feature with additional controls to change gears on the main display.
While Tesla isn’t going to go as far and introduce the yoke in the Model 3 and Model Y, they are reportedly going to go without stalks and add touch controls to the steering wheel in their two most popular cars.
The information comes from Twitter user Chris Zheng (@ChrisZheng001), who has provided reliable Tesla insider information in the past. After Tesla released new images showing off the interior of the Semi with its round steering, no stalks, and touch controls, Zheng said the automaker was going to do the same for the Model 3/Y.
The 2023 Model 3/Y will also remove the left and right paddles, sliding gearshift, and touch turn signals. pic.twitter.com/WDCqcRccu2
— Chris Zheng (@ChrisZheng001) August 29, 2022
Following Zheng’s tweet on Sunday, we attempted to reach out to some of our sources to corroborate the claim. According to what we were told, Tesla is going to make the switch. Unfortunately we were not given a timeline, only that it will take place after a current supplier contract ends.
The shift to a stalkless and touch control steering wheel isn’t a huge surprise. Back in 2020 Tesla patented a new steering wheel with touch controls and haptic feedback, and the diagrams published in the application showed a round steering wheel, not a yoke like that which was introduced just over one year later.
Tesla is also all about production efficiencies, and there would definitely be a streamlining of production and reduction in costs with no more gear stalks being installed in all of their vehicles.
Additionally, Elon Musk has previously said Auto Shift was coming to all vehicles that have purchased Full Self-Driving (FSD) Capability as an optional setting. With this change they appear to be taking it a step further.
It is unclear if existing vehicles will still get Auto Shift, but hopefully they will as all it will require is a software update, and the existing stalks can be used as a backup if needed.