The Tesla Model 3, Tesla’s groundbreaking all-electric sedan, has recently received an update that brings with it some exciting new features. Notably, the Model 3 now incorporates functionalities previously exclusive to its higher-tier siblings, the Model S and Model X. One such feature is the Auto Shift out of Park.
Auto Shift out of Park, akin to Tesla’s Autopilot, is a beta feature that comes disabled by default. However, once activated, this function harnesses data from the car’s array of sensors to intelligently select either Drive or Reverse automatically. What’s impressive is that the driver can monitor the chosen drive mode directly on the touchscreen when the driver’s door is shut, and the seat belt is fastened. The touchscreen becomes a digital cockpit, displaying the car’s decision. Should the need arise, drivers can easily confirm or override the Model 3’s choice using the touch-based drive mode selector.
While Auto Shift out of Park may seem like a modest addition, it promises to provide substantial convenience to Model 3 owners. Beyond its immediate benefits, this feature hints at the potential for something more significant. Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, has previously suggested that Tesla vehicles could eventually utilize Autopilot cameras to determine the most suitable drive mode. In this context, Auto Shift out of Park becomes the initial step toward a more ambitious and automated future.
In terms of gear selection, the new Model 3 Highland offers three distinct options. Alongside the touchscreen-based drive mode selector and Auto Shift out of Park, the vehicle is equipped with a manual gear selector. However, there’s a unique twist—the manual gear selector in the Model 3 Highland is situated on the overhead console.
The Model 3 Highland Owner’s Manual clarifies that the manual shifter on the overhead console is usually inactive unless the driver initiates it. When activated, the P, R, N, and D buttons illuminate, signaling their availability. This feature proves particularly useful when the touchscreen is inaccessible or when the vehicle operates in Valet or Transport Mode.
Interestingly, Tesla has provided a way to manually shift gears even when the touch-based gear selector is functioning. Drivers can activate the drive mode selector on the overhead console by simultaneously pressing both scroll wheels briefly. However, it’s crucial to avoid holding the two scroll wheels for an extended period, as doing so triggers the drive mode selector and initiates a touchscreen restart.