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Parking Sensors

I just reserved a new Model S but my only hesitation to purchase is the lack of front and rear parking sensors. I love everything else about the Model S but I can't figure out why they would not have parking sensors. All comparable (gas) cars have them as standard options these days. I currently drive a Maserati Quattroporte, which is very lacking on the tech side, and it even has parking sensors. I am really hoping it becomes an option on the Model S before mine goes into production. Front sensors make parking much safer and easier and rear sensors give great audible feedback if you are looking out the rear window. Is there some kind of technical reason why the Model S does not have them? Hopefully other drivers out there agree and if you do please voice your opinions as maybe we can get this added.

Priorities probably. Knowing how development usually goes, they dropped off the list for 1.0
to get production going. There have been lots of requests for this feature, I'm sure TM knows
people want it. I've also heard there are hooks in the wiring harness for sensors, so it might
even be a retrofit feature for current owners if they do it.

Having said that, the rear camera apparently does a nice job for the backing up case, so it's
really just the nose that is an issue.

Multiple previous posts on this. We NEED front and rear sensors as well as the camera with guidelines.

I find with the great backup camera and now that I have learned to gauge the distance, I can back into spaces with no fear of scraping the bottom of my bumpers.

I also would love the sensors in the front however... :)

Same boat as you, except I currently drive a BMW M5. The parking sensors plus a few other options would be great - especially on a car that costs $95K. I may be withdrawing my deposit and wait for the 2.0 generation to be produced.

However, with the cost increase coming next year, this would boost the cost to $101K, and now you are at a price point that requires the additional options.

Would be interested if you are going through with it now or waiting.

Sensors in the front would be real nice. The Model S is quite a large vehicle and it is sometimes tough to judge how close you are to an object. I wonder if a front camera behind the nose cone is possible to implement.

If they make people happy, have them as a add on, I have no use for such things but do want the volume sold on MS so TM is more successful. As long as they do not come push up the base price!!!

"need" is a strong word, dborn. I don't need parking sensors. I would welcome the addition and I would use them if available.

Well, except for one thing, if having parking sensors means having those crappy little plastic nubs on the front and back of the car, then I am very glad they're not there. I'm always surprised to see when expensive luxury cars have those stupid ugly blemishes aall around the front and back of the car. It might seem stupid, but I honestly wouldn't buy a car with those. I hate those things.

The Model S is only 5 inches longer than my current car. I'll manage.

It seems weird to me that the people who are used to buying really expensive cars are pickier than those who this car is double what they ever spent before.

I have never owned a car with parking sensors, and I have never missed them. Sure, when you first get the car you park cautiously and get out and see how much room you had left, but within a week or two you know the boundaries of the car.

Likewise for many of the other "must have" things people keep listing.

For me, I would never buy a car in this price range if it was an ICE (well, maybe if I was wealthy enough it was pocket change). Heck, buying the LEAF at $28k after tax credits was a lot. So, I am buying it because I want to vote with my money for a world-changing car, and get an EV that is capable of making out-of-town trips with ease. After that and the basic features of a car, the rest is just gravy -- and there is plenty of gravy in the Model S, such as the big touchscreen, massive storage space, great acceleration and handling, etc.

The S is only 4 inches shorter than my garage is long. The City of Seattle wouldn't let me enlarge my garage during a recent remodel, so I really do need the front sensors. My interim solution is the old "hang a tennis ball on a string from the ceiling" trick. Less than elegant.

@sthornton - what about the pads on the floor?

Joanne fabric sells this big foam padding of various thicknesses and they will cut to size.

I know this because I used it to make a good bag for Guitar Hero controllers when the game first came out and before any tailor made cases were available. lol

I am thinking about going and getting more of this padding because the way my garage is, there is this vertical pole that encroaches into the parking space a bit; its purpose is to protect the furnace which is positioned such that if the pole was not there, it would be possible to crash into the furnance. I've just been careful these past few years to not hit it, but with my Model S, I want to be more careful, so I think I'm going to wrap the pole in a few layers of foam padding.

Yeah, I use one of those stick-on "speed bumps" on the floor. Works great.

Where did you get that? I was also thinking of chock blocks stuck to the floor. I have very little room for error. Damn City of Seattle rule makers...

Aha! You need the more advanced technology with a ping-pong ball.

I tell you guys, with the massive price bump in Europe, we do expect these 'luxury' items as some call it.

The European pricing will cost TM quite a bit of sales, since its probaby way more expensive than people thought.
speaking for myself.....


Just buy a mirror, mount it to the front wall, and tilt it 45 degrees
down. Then you can park within an inch of your wall with no problem.

Well, except for one thing, if having parking sensors means having those crappy little plastic nubs on the front and back of the car, then I am very glad they're not there. I'm always surprised to see when expensive luxury cars have those stupid ugly blemishes all around the front and back of the car. It might seem stupid, but I honestly wouldn't buy a car with those. I hate those things. (olanmills)

I seem to remember a rumor that said that this is precisely the reason why the Model S does not have parking sensors: Because Elon hates those "stupid ugly blemishes". Based on what I know about Elon, I find this very believable. I also believe that Tesla will figure out a way to do invisible parking sensors, but it takes some additional time.

if you look at Mercedes S class cars they dont have crappy little plastic nubs
but they have parking sensors kind of radar device (?)
I am no technican

@volker look at parking It has already been worked out. Not very costly either. I really don't know why they left this out.

It was either parking sensors or a working drivetrain. I think they made the right call.

I'm another of those people who has never wanted or needed all those fancy gadgets on a car. Admittedly I drive a muscle car, but my reluctance to rely on tech comes of working with high tech gear a lot. I prefer to do things myself. When I'm parking, I use my own senses & judgement rather than rely on something someone else put together. IMHO if you rely too much on technology, you can't function without it. I'd rather not loose my edge thank you.

@Vawlkus - "...parking sensors or drivetrain..." - most of the things that people are asking for have been standard on cars for years and are a 'solved problem'. No reason why TM couldn't have bought them from Mercedes. Yes there would be some integration costs, but I think it is clear that many owners would have paid another 4 or 5 k for an enhanced tech package.

10% import duty, 29% VAT - the "bump" goes to your governments. Ask them for the luxury add-ons. I'm sure they'll oblige!


I'm not sure where we got it. But just Google "parking bumpers." It's about 2.5' long, 4" wide, and 2' high, with angled sides and adhesive on the bottom. My wife will know, but she's not home now.


After some research, that type of solution looks like a winner! Many come with lag bolts to hold them to the concrete. Thanks for the tip!

"No reason why TM couldn't have bought them from Mercedes."

There's no way you could possibly know this, unless you work for Tesla in the appropriate position.

On the other hand I can think of several reason why Tesla either could not, or might not have wanted to include parking sensors on Model S 1.0.

This sort of question has come up before about other possible features that were not included in the Model S.

Either you can believe that Tesla was simply ignorant of the feature possibility, that they were too incompetent in some way to make it happen, or that they had other reasons for skipping the feature.

There's no way to know unless you work there or unless the publicly tell us.

@dborn. That looks like a great solution. Is that available in US, or only Europe? Also, would love to hear if anyone has installed anything like this on a Tesla.

@ mlaiken. They ship all over the world. If you write to them, they will answer. I asked if they were planning a kit for Tesla, and the reply was their universal kit was just that. My guess is that once the car is released in Europe there will be pressure for a custom kit.
Indeed, I believe that at least one kit has been fitted to a model s. it was over in TMC. The same person had modified his car with radar detectors and the mobile eye system. I am in Australia, but I understand that Ed & Al's in California do this kind of work.

@dborn thanks for the info. I will certainly consider taking my MS to a a place like Al & Ed's if Tesla doesn't add sensors prior to my config. I knew there would be ways after-market but am hoping Tesla will offer these options from the factory. Thanks again for the suggestions as I will certainly keep them as potential options.

I asked about sensors as well and they told me they were prewired but not yet installed. I likewise hope they make a retrofit kit available to us 1.0 customers. The MS feels like a big car - in many ways it feels bigger than my Porsche Cayenne so parking sensors are a must. It's especially important because I want to be able to get close in front parking without scraping/ramming the lower part of a front bumper on a curb.

@sthornton, my wife thinks she bought it at Schucks (now O'Reilly Auto Parts). The adhesive seems to be holding quite well, even on a fairly uneven concrete floor. Of course I did stand on it with the Tesla. :)