A Frozen UI at 65MPH

This is part of a series that covers my experience with a Tesla Model Y.

I was driving home from a ski trip recently on I-70 E in Colorado. My wife wanted to call my daughter and went to switch the connected Bluetooth device from my phone to hers. She connected her phone and made the call, but she couldn’t get the audio to come out of the car speakers. She ended up talking directly on the phone while trying to disconnect and reconnect a few times.

At some point my wife finished her call and went to click the icon on the Tesla screen to disconnect and nothing worked. She tried pressing the car menu button, the spotify icon, even the climate controls. Nothing worked.

At this point I was driving 65mph on a busy highway, with snow on the side shoulders. Not the place to worry.

I knew the car should keep running, but there is something a little uneasy about not being able to change any settings while driving down the road. We debated what to do for a few minutes. I knew there was a reset procedure, but I wasn’t interested in testing it while driving.

We kept going down the highway, planning on taking an exit and then rebooting. As my wife searched for information online as to what to do, the screen actually restarted itself. Not the full restart I’ve seen with software updates, but apparently a soft restart of the UI. After 10-15s after the screen went dark, I had a working UI again.

Hard and Soft Reboots

We looked up the procedure and there are both hard and soft reboots of the car. A soft reboot can be done in the Model Y by holding both steering wheel buttons down until the car resets. This should only be done while the car is stopped, which is what I expect.

A hard reset, and power cycling the car, comes from the UI itself. You should allow the car to be powered down for 2+ minutes before doing anything.

In general, I’m not overly worried about the UI rebooting, but I do think that this is a case where a secondary screen, running an independent OS, would be good to keep the driver informed of at least speed.

Am I Concerned?

Not now. The car seems to work independently of the UI, which is what I would hope was the case. It’s lightly disturbing, but that’s about it. Now I know what to expect.

Software Updates

Usually there’s a notification in my app of a software update. It also appears in the UI. I used the UI to do one manually, watching the screen give status info similar to how a PC or mobile does. Very uninteresting.

For all of them since the first one, I usually just approve the update in the app at night. The car is plugged in and I haven’t worried about watching it. I’ll check in the am, and I haven’t had issues.

I do see UI elements moved, which is slightly annoying, but not critical. Mostly I watch the release notes would better use images to describe movement of stuff so I don’t have to hunt around. It took me 3 or 4 minutes to find my steering wheel heater after one update, which was annoying and distracting as I kept looking at various stop signs during a drive.

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Frozen UI at 65MPH

  1. JeffModen says:

    Speaking of UI’s in vehicles…

    Not a Tesla but I have a “screen” in my truck that also serves as the backup camera output. I usually don’t look at that screen unless I need to select a different station on my radio by touching poorly positioned “selector” buttons at the very bottom of the screen that simulate the old “radio buttons”.

    The trouble is that, many times, there’s a message on the screen of “Warning, Taking your eyes off the road can be hazardous” AND… it requires you to “touch a button” on the screen to get the normal display to work. I hope I’m not the only one that sees the totally ironic and complete idiocy of that message and the related “touch” requirement especially at when I’m driving, regarless of speedd.


  2. Glenn Berry says:

    FWIW, I very rarely change any settings in my Model 3 once I have them the way I like them. I agree that it is annoying when settings move in the touch screen UI after a software update.


Comments are closed.