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Research

Interaction with the car

The Tesla Model S is an electric car. Because the range on electric cars is limited, users try to get the maximum out of their battery. However it is not communicated to the user how to make the battery last longer, frustrating users and resulting in many different theories on how to squeeze more out of the battery.

Because it’s confusing how to use the battery efficiently, some users pre-heat the car every single day in an effort to pre-heat the batteries and get the maximum out of them. However, users can’t automate this and often have a reminder set in the morning of every working day to then manually pre-heat the car via the mobile app.

The mobile app, steering wheel (controlling the Instrument Cluster and a button for voice commands) and the Main Computer Unit on the right, the 17 inch touchscreen.

Besides the mobile app, users can interact with the car by using the steering wheel and it’s buttons controlling the Instrument Cluster (IC) and by using the Main Computer Unit’s (MCU) touchscreen.

The users

Tesla cars are used by many different people, all using their cars in different ways. From soccer-moms to cab drivers. We decided to focus on Tesla owners using their car for business purposes, as this is one of the most common users we encountered. The business people we investigated drive from home to work on a daily basis or have multiple meetings throughout the day, at different locations. We identified two types of business drivers:

Commute drivers
Daily commute drivers. From home to work and back. They can often charge at home and at work. The car’s range is more than enough for them.

Meeting drivers
Drivers who have multiple meetings throughout the day at various locations. They’re often not sure whether they’ll have to charge during the day, or if their even able to.

The business driver is also quite tech-savvy, like most Tesla drivers are. They enjoy trying out new technology and frequently test-drive new apps on their phones. They also like to multi-task while driving; calling their colleagues and clients, checking in with wife or husband, listening to the radio or a Spotify playlist and so on. The car is a very personal device.

Managing meetings is a tough job to do.

The problem

Users find managing their meetings to be a stressful and mentally heavy task. An overall unpleasant experience.

For both the commute and meeting driver, managing meetings and scheduling their rides to ensure arriving on time is a daily struggle.

Especially for the meeting drivers who have multiple meetings throughout the day. Calculating when to leave in order to be on time for the next meeting is quite a heavy mental task. Factor in the limited range of the car, traffic information, a possible charge along the way, a meeting that runs a little longer and you’re having a tough day. 

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The Tesla Travel Strategy.