March 20, 2023

Good news for Tesla Model 3 and Y owners who dream of having physical buttons to control certain features of their vehicle. Indeed and thanks to this accessory developed by a Norwegian company, it is possible to affix several buttons under the central touch screen.

ctrl bar tesla
Credits: Øyvind Husby

For several years now, the central touch screen of the Tesla has been regularly singled out for its lack of practicality and its dangerousness. For good reason, having to rummage through the various menus to access a specific feature while driving can lead to tragedy. This is precisely what happened in 2020 to a German driver, who had an accident while trying to increase the speed of his windshield wipers via the control screen of his Tesla.

However, a Norwegian startup may have the solution to this problem. Indeed, this Oslo-based company has just presented the Ctrl-Bar, an accessory that allows add physical buttons to the central touch screen of the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y. “Ctrl-Bar gives users quick access and tactile response that only physical buttons can provide. Ctrl-Bar attaches securely to the bottom of the main center display. Premium black glass finish blends seamlessly with the display frame“, describes the company in its crowdfunding campaign on indiegogo.

Finally physical buttons in the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y

This panel, connected directly via a hidden USB cable to the Tesla’s infotainment screen, offers a total of six buttons. The two round dials are dedicated exclusively to the change in temperature in the passenger compartment. On the other handthe four small push buttons are customizable and the driver is free to assign the functionality of his choice. According to the startup at the origin of the project, we can notably program Defrost mode, seat heating, dog mode, opening your garage door and many other commands.

Another nice addition, the Ctrl-Bar also includes a row of LEDs. Practical for illuminating the passenger compartment and the footwells at the front of the vehicle. Note, however, that the Ctrl-Bar works via a companion Android application. Indeed, when you touch a button on the Ctrl-Bar, your smartphone acts as a relay and sends the information to your car using the Tesla API.

Also read: Elon Musk touts Tesla’s amphibious capabilities in new video

ctrl bar tesla
Credits: Øyvind Husby

By extension, it is therefore imperative to maintain an Internet connection on your phone. To avoid possible latencies in the transmission of orders, the company has set up a system: “To avoid a degradation of the user experience, the Ctrl-Bar has a central screen that displays changes in real time. If you want, for example, to increase your temperature from 65 to 70 degrees, you must turn the knob five notches to the right. The display will show your new temperature as you turn (66F, 67F, 68F, 69F, 70F). When you’re done turning, the system sends the new temperature to your car (in less than a second)“.

For the moment, the Ctrl-Bar has not yet reached the objective of its fundraising campaign set at €25,000, but we are slowly approaching it with already more than €17,000 collected. In case of advance purchase, the Ctrl-Bar will be offered at 239 € instead of 329 €.

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