Model 3 = first iPhone
iPhone = computer + phone
Model 3 = computer + car
So says Forbes reviewer Geoffrey Fowler. His overall view of the car was rosy– a clear thumbs up– but it was his portrayal of the car as a gadget-on-wheels that is most salient:
Over three days, I navigated the steep learning curve to operate this iPhone with wheels, and ended up convinced it is the car of the future. Tesla is setting the agenda for the auto industry. The Model 3, through cellular, WiFi and Bluetooth connections, is constantly online in ways mass vehicles haven’t been before. Its computer, dashboard, key, motor, brakes, battery, power plug, and cameras (I could go on) are all sending and receiving data. Tesla is turning the car into the largest connected device you’ll own.
Our book (pre-order now!) goes into more detail on this computer-on-wheels model, but we should give credit where credit is due. Elon Musk has had this vision for longer than most of us. With an over-the-air software update, Tesla cars instantly perform better, just as software updates improve your iPhone.
Like the smartphone, however, a gadget-car is not without drawbacks. The reviewer found several, including privacy and hacking concerns, and the serious issue of the distraction from using the touchpad. Elon Musk is apparently less concerned about such distractions: