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Friday, September 26, 2014

Be My Guest, Be My Guest

If you've ever had the pleasure of going to a truly top-tier restaurant-- the kind of place that does NOT keep crayons tucked alongside the menus-- then you know what anticipatory service is like.  Don't misunderstand me, I can't remember the last time I went anywhere that nice...  but once upon a time, I did.  The waiter was amazing, delivering sauces, refills and other tidbits before I could even start looking to see where he was.
Chatting with Austin (my cousin in Colorado) one night, I was trying to convey how the Model S is designed to anticipate your needs.  It all starts when you walk up to the car to reach for a handle that isn't there...  or is it...?

We traveled to China about 10 years ago and were GREATLY amused at how the service in restaurants was so poor.  It wasn't like we were out in the far flung provinces either, we were a part of Guangzhou chock full of Western nuts (the sleep deprivation from a 12-hour time change makes everyone a little cuckoo).  Walking in the front door the waitress looked very expectantly at us.  Hmm.  Table?  Oh yes, table!  We'd sit down, soaking in the exotic meat locker level air conditioning...   Um... Menu?   Oh yes, menu!  Okay, order?  Yes, order!  And so on, uninformed participants in some kind of restaurant employee training program.  It was quite strange.  

Entering a normal car is pretty much like a Chinese restaurant in 2004 Guangzhou.  You walk up... then let yourself in.  Then you have to prompt the car to wake up with a key.  It doesn't DO anything without you first "explaining" to the car what you want.

The Tesla though... ah, here's a first-class maitre d'.   Approach the car with confidence.  Reach for the invisible door handle and WHOOSH it slides out to greet your hand!  Open the door and immediately the screens power up and await your next move.  Sit down and as the door closes the music swells.  Want to start driving?  Then start.  Want to go somewhere?  Push a button, ask the car and it will show and tell you how.  Soon this feels quite natural; your every whim anticipated.

So I'm trying to explain to my cousin how this all works and... it just isn't working in chat-nuggets.  You know, those one or two lines you tap out with gnarled fingertips and auto-corrected England.  Arg!  

Seeing is believing, after all, so I walked out to the garage.  Time for a video!

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