As you may have heard, Hertz is planning to buy 100,000 Teslas in the next year or so. This article will cover one cool feature related to Tesla rentals from Hertz (or anyone) that we haven’t covered yet, and will also delve into how that feature could be improved — and hopefully will be in time.
To start with, there’s an option in Tesla vehicles to save certain settings as a driver profile. At the moment, this basically entails the seat position and the steering wheel position. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s quite convenient to be able to restore a seat to a specific driving position that you find comfortable. I use this feature multiple times a day. Why would I be changing around my seat several times a day? Well, in the school pickup line or at the charging station or some other places, I need to whip out my computer and work (edit or write CleanTechnica articles). In those situations, I need to move my seat back. (I actually have a “Pickup Line” profile as well as my normal driving profile.)
Tesla influencer Kim Paquette, in a kind of suggestion or request in response to the Hertz news in October, asked if a Hertz Tesla rental car could recognize existing Tesla drivers and automatically adjust to our Tesla profile settings. Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded that this feature was indeed coming.
.@elonmusk so we walk up to our Hertz rental with our keycard, and the car is automatically configured to our driver profile and settings? 🙏
— Kim Paquette 💫🦄 (@kimpaquette) October 25, 2021
That feature is coming
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 25, 2021
As far as when it’s coming? Well, we didn’t even get the popular “two weeks” answer from Elon (which typically means something much longer than two weeks and has become a running joke among Tesla fans), so maybe it will come in a few months, maybe in more than a year — we’ll see.
As noted above, this doesn’t automatically adjust a whole lot of settings. It does put the seat in exactly the position you’re used to, which is certainly appreciated by most drivers, and it adjusts the steering wheel to the place you like it as well. Furthermore, it aims the air conditioning vents in the specific direction you want them aimed.
The idea this triggered for me, which I’m not sure is practical or in the works but I assume should be, is tying your profile to various other accounts in the Tesla infotainment system — YouTube, Netflix, Disney+, Hulu. Without a doubt, most of us would prefer to not have to log into such accounts. We’d prefer to have the logins tied to our profile settings.
Not only would this be useful when renting a Tesla; it would be a nice feature for some families in which different people are using the car and want their own accounts logged in when they are parked somewhere and can enjoy some entertainment.
For people very concerned about privacy who don’t trust Tesla to manage account logins in that way, it should be an option whether to link those logins to driver profiles or not.
We’ve also basically skipped over a big matter up till now. We’ve just been talking about driver profile settings, but what about other people in the car? For quite a long time, Tesla owners have been waiting on the option to give front passengers their own profiles. At some point (it’s been so long that I don’t even remember how far back), Elon said that front passengers would get this option. Until this feature comes, no automatic adjustments are made to the passenger seat from any profile settings, and the air vent changes are based on the driver’s settings (though, with the air vents, you are fundamentally setting them for both seats anyway via the driver profile — and you could have one profile for when someone is in the car with you and one for when you’re alone).