I test drove a 2016 Mazda CX-9 yesterday and couldn’t help but think about Tesla the whole time.
I was waiting on my wife’s CX-5 to finish inspections at the dealer. They offer free emissions inspections for the first 3 years. We can revisit everything that is wrong with those two sentences later.
I’m not very good at sitting still, so I was walking around the showroom while I waited. One of the sales people noticed me checking out the void in the dash of the CX-9 for the heads-up display. He offered a test-drive to see it in action. Sure, why not? I had no interest in buying the CX-9, but it beats watching daytime TV in the waiting room.
The heads-up display was a really clean system. It didn’t have that little pop-up paddle configuration. It appeared to just float beyond the windshield. It was cool, but it was mostly just duplicate information from what I could find a couple inches lower in the conventional dash with physical tachometer and speedometer.
The test drive didn’t do much to get me interested in the SUV, instead, it got me even more excited about Tesla and the upcoming Model 3.
A kick-ass HUD is pretty much expected for the new Tesla. The Mazda gave me a really good basis to let my imagination run wild on what it might be like. From everything we mere mortals can asses, we know that it won’t be duplicate information. It will likely be the only location for the information, keeping the interior a very minimalistic design while offering rich information.
Then I started to get a little carried away.
What if they achieve the augmented reality HUD that other manufacturers have teased in concepts? (calm down Shawn. don’t get too carried away)
What if navigation and Autopilot information is overlayed to seamlessly align with the drivers view, safely and effectively allowing us to confirm that the vehicle can see everything it’s supposed to? (Too late. I’m already getting excited!)
What if the smaller touch screen in the Model 3 somehow suggests that Tesla is just making way for information all over the ENTIRE windshield? (oh man, my hearts racing!)
(Pauses to calm down)
Yeah, speculation aside, I’m really excited to see what Tesla does with the production Model 3. Although I’m admittedly biased, every other car these days are just sad comparisons to the awesomeness of Tesla. In this particular situation, the annoyance of sitting in a dealership waiting for an emissions test to be performed reminded me why Tesla is my only choice for my next car, and why I would be stupid to settle for anything else.
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