Single-pedal driving was briefly mentioned at Tesla’s recent Q3 earnings call by Elon Musk and the company’s CFO, Zach Kirkhorn. The news has many Tesla owners wondering when the feature will be released, particularly as it could positively affect their driving experience.
During the call, Musk and Kirkhorn announced that a single-pedal driving feature will arrive together with the upcoming performance update for the Model S, 3, and X within the next few weeks. They mentioned that single-pedal driving would improve the vehicle's performance.
“There’s also the single-pedal driving that will improve the range as well. Yes, It’s easier to drive and it improves the range,” said Musk.
Other details about the update, such as its release, were kept sparse.
Based on a Reddit post in the r/TeslaMotors subreddit, owners of the electric cars are excited about the upcoming feature. It seems that the function was long overdue, particularly as Tesla's electric cars today do not offer a true single-pedal driving experience.
When it comes to single-pedal driving, it seems that most EV owners prefer the Nissan Leaf’s system over the one found in Tesla vehicles. The Leaf’s system makes using standard brakes almost obsolete as the car will come to a full stop without using the brake pedal. Nissan’s single-pedal driving mechanism also feels better for drivers since it seems to feel heavier or stronger than the one in Tesla cars.
Another issue people have with Tesla’s current regenerative braking process relates to Autopilot. According to members of the Tesla subreddit, the driver-assist system often opts to use regular brakes over regen braking.
Tesla may address these concerns when the single-pedal driving feature rolls out. The electric carmaker could follow Nissan’s example and have Tesla vehicles come to a complete stop without drivers stepping on the brake pedal. It may also make the single-pedal driving experience heavier or stronger for drivers.
Tesla could also program Autopilot to use regen braking more. However, Tesla may not be wholly responsible for Autopilot’s preference for standard brakes.
Tesla cars are built with pedal sensors that observe and record the driving behaviors of a person. So the program may learn to rely on regen braking more once more drivers get used to single-pedal driving. It does take a while to get used to using only one pedal, especially for those who have been driving for years. It is awkward at first, but worth it in the long run—according to electric car owners.