Project Highland Tesla Model 3 stalkless steering wheel revealed in Fremont factory drone video



It was a normal day drone camera recording over Tesla’s Fremont car factory last week by YouTuber Caliber197. This is when an unusual event was taking place at the factory’s well-known vehicle test track.

Tesla was in the process of conducting driving tests on the next-gen Tesla Model 3 aka Project Highland. Covers intentionally hid the car’s front fascia as well as the rear end.

However, the design-refreshed front fascia of the Project Highland Model 3 was revealed in a leaked photo last month. But still, a lot of detail needs to be witnessed for this upcoming Tesla Model 3.

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The drone operator cameraman in this video (watch below), took the opportunity to take some closeup shots of the new Tesla Model 3 during testing. He was lucky enough to give us a few visual details of the interior.

At one moment, as the car’s driver door was open, we can witness a glimpse of the redesigned steering wheel of the upcoming Tesla Model 3. Tesla has made changes to this new steering wheel and it is now looking closer to a Tesla Semi steering design.

Steering wheel of the Next-gen Tesla Model 3 spotted in a Fremont factory flyover drone video.
The steering wheel of the Next-gen Tesla Model 3 spotted in a Fremont factory flyover drone video. Credit: Caliber197 / YouTube.

To hide the interior elements, Tesla has also covered the dashboard of the design-refresh Project Highland Model 3. Tesla has most probably changed the design and texture of the dashboard for the next-gen Model 3 but it has been obscured by the cloth which covers it.

At one point in the video, the driver puts the car into reverse gear using the on-screen scroll function just like in the new Model S and Model X. Tesla invented this new method of shifting gears because of the lack of stalks on the design-refreshed Model S/X steering wheels.

This suggests that the Project Highland Tesla Model 3 steering wheel will also come with a stalkless steering wheel. The automaker will continue to implement its futuristic UI in upcoming car models. Tesla usually does not backtrack from a design decision, so all future cars would incorporate steering wheels without stalks.

Looking at the picture below gives us a peek through the Model 3 prototype’s windshield, we can see that there are apparently no steering wheel stalks attached.

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Tesla employee putting Project Highland Tesla Model 3 prototype in reverse gear using the center touchscreen scroll-down function.
Tesla employee putting Project Highland Tesla Model 3 prototype in reverse gear using the center touchscreen scroll-down function suggesting no stalks are present on the steering wheel. Credit: Caliber197 / YouTube.
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Video: Project Highland Tesla Model 3 spotted testing at the Fremont factory test track.


Iqtidar Ali
Iqtidar Ali
Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii

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