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Is the Stalkless Steering Wheel in Tesla a Logical Way to Use the Turn Signal

Clean slate dashboard and futuristic untouched driving experience, as if driving with your mind. Sounds like a Tesla? Well not really but Elon sure wants aesthetically futuristic-looking autonomous drive-ready vehicles. Removing stalks and putting every control on the screen is part of that thought school.

Now, traditionally for ages we are used to having and using stalks to signal when making a turn but how about using a steering wheel button for it?

Some do accept the change with open arms saying you adapt and just get used to it. But some people aren’t sure if this new way of doing things is really effective or if people like it. In this blog, we’ll talk about a stalkless steering wheel and if it is at all an easy and logical way to signal a turn.

Tesla Stalkless Steering

Navigating Tesla’s Stalkless Steering Wheel Experience

Everyone is aware of how Tesla wants to be minimal in its design getting rid of the traditional elements from their vehicles. No big buttons, handles, stalks, physical controls, or anything that becomes an eye sore or distracts.

But, isn’t that what removing the stalk would do? Distract.

Anyways, Tesla launched the refreshed version of the Tesla Model S and X in 2021 with no stalks and also introduced the yoke into the picture. Yoke did not go down well with everyone as the controversial backlash was substantial at the time. Tesla gave into the pressure and reintroduced the round wheel option sans the stalks.

Tesla Model S/X New Steering Wheel Design: Futuristic Yoke, or Just a Bad Joke?

Last year, the same thing Tesla did with the Model 3 refresh. No stalks.

Model 3 Highland is a mass car unlike the Model X and Model S and thus attracting more backlash. Meaning not everyone is on the same page to make the change to new driving controls. One Tesla owner over the mayhem says that if you don’t like what you see maybe not buy the Tesla.

“It’s a cost cutting measure. If you don’t like the implementation then just buy a different car. There is tons of competition to the model 3 now. It’s your money, go and buy the car that best meets your need.”

byu/HelmutGolli from discussion

What Changes With Stalkless Steering Wheel?

Earlier the turn signal and gear selector stalks were the traditional norm in a car. People got so used to of the driving style as almost every carmaker followed using the stalks as a standard fixture.

Picture yourself sitting in the driver’s seat of the Model 3, and what do you see?

Uncluttered dashboard and a sleek, tablet-like center infotainment touchscreen staring right back at you. But wait, where are the buttons? And the physical switches? Like the ones, you are used to seeing.

They’re nowhere to be found. This isn’t your typical car interior but the minimalistic design of a typical Tesla.

Tesla is striving hard to remove all human action inside their EVs. Small steps to do that are offering autonomous driving suites, a single control screen, no stalks, no handles, and stuff. While they might have a sleek appearance, the stalkless steering wheels in Tesla vehicles don’t necessarily offer significant improvements.

In terms of vehicle control, even when adjustments are made to the steering wheel, turning signals, and other things, the confusion lies.

Some even argue that Tesla is great but these changes aren’t really making the driving experience any better. Online forums are full of conversations where individuals are making deliberate arguments and points that make sense.

One Reddit user ‘Thud’ says:

“To me, it’s not a dealbreaker, if my next car is another Tesla. I can get used to it, sure. But there is absolutely zero benefit to the customer for removing the stalks. None. It’s a cost-saving decision, nothing more. Personally I’d rather have the cars cost $100 more and include stalks.”

byu/HelmutGolli from discussion

Is It Easy To Use Or Logical?

Changes are the backbone for every big revolution and stalks could be just one of those for Tesla. When people go all uptight and say it just doesn’t work for them are being totally dramatic. Because it definitely is not that of a big deal.

Not having stalks is not the worst scenario in a Tesla if you think rationally.

It was first seen as crazy when Tesla got rid of the driver cluster and had only one center control screen. However, now no one thinks of it as a big deal and the same goes with other upgrades and changes.

One Reddit user gently reminds how everyone first criticized these changes and moved on to liking them. He said:

“People freak out just to freak out. It’s the same thing like when model 3 was first announced and there was no driver’s display, and everybody was up in arms about it. Now barely anyone makes it a talking point and it’s fine, or the people who said the yoke is stupid despite most actual owners liking it. It’ll be the same thing here, people will complain for the sake of complaining, but people will still buy the cars and it’ll be a non issue. I’m saying this as someone who has a refresh S with the yoke and no stalks, and absolutely loves driving it.”

byu/Pro_JaredC from discussion

Another Reddit user mentioned how the stalkless wheel is no deal-breaker but it comes with its challenges. He said while gear shifters on the screen are still okay, getting used to using blinkers through the wheel is another thing.

He suggests using textured buttons so there is no confusion while using them while driving.

byu/HelmutGolli from discussion

Here’s a small roundup to discuss the pros and cons of having a stalkless wheel.


  • Cost-effective to produce
  • Easy to use
  • Minimal distraction while driving
  • Clean aesthetically pleasing design
  • Quick drive with predictive shifting


  • Difficult to get used to
  • Slower to operate
  • Very confusing and difficult to operate on roundabouts
  • People miss the sheer physical touch operation satisfaction

What Tesla Owners Think Of Stalkless Steering Wheel?

Tesla’s decision to implement stalkless steering wheels might have stirred opinions among owners. While some find it easy to adapt to the new setup, others might feel frustrated with the lack of traditional stalks for signaling.

The buttons on the steering wheel can be confusing because they’re not always in the same place. When you’re driving through roundabouts, sometimes the buttons are on the right side or at the bottom of the wheel. Depending on how you’re turning the wheel, you might have to press the top or bottom button. This can make it tricky, especially if the arrow directions on the buttons change.

BMW also faces similar issues with their hard-to-use turning signals along with other big carmakers like Mini, Lexus, Volkswagen, etc.

Even though Tesla went for controls on the steering wheel, using physical buttons or dials can often be simpler and more natural. Ford, for example, added a dial to the screen of their Mach-E to mimic the ease of turning a knob.

Just like your keyboard having all those buttons makes typing easier than tapping on a flat touchscreen. There is a sense of satisfaction when you press a button and you hear a mild tapping sound.

The same goes for video game controllers—they have a mix of buttons, sticks, and triggers because it’s easier to control games that way.

Technically, Tesla could replace the steering wheel with a touchscreen, letting you drive with just your finger, which would be even easier than turning a wheel. But most people find it more comfortable and familiar to have something physical to interact with.

We are not saying that Tesla should come up with an on-screen steering wheel to control with your finger but we are saying they can.

Is Anyone Bothered About The Buttons?

Cars have changed a lot recently. They’re safer and easier to drive, but some things have become trickier.

Before, you could adjust the radio or change the temperature without looking away from the road. You just had to feel for the buttons or knobs and control without looking. But now, many popular carmakers are making a cost-effective choice to put control on touchscreens instead of buttons.

This can be distracting and potentially dangerous if you need to make some changes while driving. How about changing the speed of wipers while signaling a turn on a roundabout on a rainy day on a busy street?

Thankfully, one organization is boldly talking about the issue.

Matthew Avery, director of the strategic development department of the European New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), said that many car companies are relying too much on touchscreens. This means important controls are on a screen in the middle of the car, making drivers look away from the road. This raises the chance of accidents because drivers get distracted.

He said to get the highest safety rating under new rules, cars will have to use buttons, dials, or stalks for things like hazard lights, turn signals, wipers, calling for help, and honking the horn.

Starting in January 2026, Euro NCAP will have new rules. Cars they test will need real buttons and knobs to get the infamous five-star safety rating.


Tesla might be thinking ahead of its time by removing stalks and bringing changes to the vehicle’s interiors and exteriors. Some people are not very happy with the change and have valid reasons as well. However, we humans have an amazing mind and can unlearn or re-learn almost everything in this whole wide world.

This debate shows how cars are changing, trying to be more modern and sleek. But, it’s also important to think about safety and what drivers find easy to use.

Groups like Euro NCAP are pushing for real buttons and knobs in cars to keep things simple and safe. So, while technology is exciting, it’s essential to find a balance between fancy new features and what works best for drivers.

What do you think? Stalks or no stalks?

Purnima Rathi
Purnima Rathi
Purnima has a strong love for EVs. Whether it's classic cars or modern performance vehicles, she likes to write about anything with four wheels, especially if there's a cool story behind it.


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