Thank you, Norway.
A Norwegian company called Greenmission has developed an aftermarket control panel for the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, effectively adding physical controls to the Tesla's touchscreen-reliant infotainment interface. The company set up a profile on Indiegogo to crowdfund the production version of the prototype Ctrl-Bar panel and to put it into production. After just a few hours, the goal of 25,000 euro (roughly $27,000) was reached. In fact, the Ctrl-Bar reached over 150% of its fixed goal, which proves how much demand there is out there.
It makes sense, considering the Tesla Model Y is the best-selling car in EV-friendly Norway. And as good as the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y are, the 15-inch buttonless infotainment screen remains divisive. If you read our road tests of these models, you'll see that the infotainment and quality issues are the only things worth complaining about.
Research has also shown that infotainment screens are distracting, so this little device will inevitably make the car safer.
The Ctrl-Bar slots in neatly underneath the 15-inch screen and comes standard with four physical buttons and two dials. A LED lighting system sits underneath the panel and illuminates the console below. We didn't notice the lack of illumination as an issue, but we wouldn't say no to a free feature.
There is a catch, however. The Ctrl-Bar does not connect directly to the infotainment system. It connects to the Tesla App on the owner's phone via Bluetooth. When one of the buttons is pushed, it sends a signal to the phone, which then controls the car's features via the phone. The Ctrl-Bar may sit directly below the infotainment screen, but there is no connection between the two entities. This does mean you'll constantly need a strong 5G connection for the app and infotainment to chat with each other.
There will be a delay, as expected, but Greenmission claims it's less than a second. The Ctrl-Bar also has a small display, making it easier to control things like the temperature.
The two outer dials are there to control the temperature. The four smaller buttons can be programmed to access various functions, including seat heaters, defrosters, Dog Mode, and Homelink. These buttons can also open the frunk, trunk, and charge port.
Greenmission also says it will continue to upgrade the system when new features become available via Tesla's famous over-the-air updates. It will also take advice from customer feedback to refine the experience.
Finally, and possibly best of all, the Ctrl-Bar can check for fixed speed traps and will give the driver a visual alert. It will also give you an audible warning whenever you go above the speed limit; mercifully, the owner can set the threshold.
Given how brisk the 3 and Y are, we're sure many Tesla owners will love the above feature.
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