Shifting

Auto Shift out of Park

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Note
Auto Shift out of Park is a BETA feature and is disabled by default.

When Auto Shift out of Park is enabled, Model S is designed to use inputs from various sensors to automatically select Drive or Reverse. The instrument panel displays the selected drive mode when the driver's door is closed and seat belt is buckled.

To override the selection, press the brake pedal and use the drive mode strip on touchscreen to shift into your desired drive mode (Drive, Reverse, Park; see Shifting Using the Touchscreen).

Confirm the drive mode selection and follow the instructions on the instrument panel before you press the accelerator.

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Warning
As always, be aware of your vehicle and surroundings before driving. Never rely on Model S to automatically select a suitable drive mode without confirming the selection before you start to drive.

If Auto Shift out of Park is unavailable, the instrument panel displays a message.

Model S automatically selects a drive mode when:

  • Auto Shift out of Park is enabled (touch Controls > Pedals & Steering > Auto Shift out of Park).
  • Model S is in Park.
  • The driver's seat belt is fastened.
  • The brake pedal is pressed.
  • All doors and trunks are closed.
  • The drive mode selector on the center console is not activated (see Shift Using the Center Console).
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Note
Model S does not automatically select drive modes in Valet Mode.

Auto Shift out of Park is disabled by default. When disabled, use the touchscreen or the center console to manually shift. To enable Auto Shift out of Park, touch Controls > Pedals & Steering > Auto Shift out of Park.

Shifting Using the Touchscreen

When you press the brake pedal when parked, the drive mode strip displays on one side of the touchscreen. Use the drive mode strip to shift Model S: swipe up for Drive, swipe down for Reverse or touch the P for Park. The drive mode strip is always available on the touchscreen when you touch Controls.

Finger pointing to icon of car with arrows pointing up and down
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Note
To shift from Drive into Reverse or vice versa, the driving speed must be less than 5 mph (8 km/h).
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Note
The touchscreen's drive mode strip displays the Park button only when the brake pedal is pressed and shifting into Park is allowed based on the vehicle's driving speed (less than 5 mph (8 km/h).

To shift into Neutral, open Controls to bring up the drive mode strip, then press and hold Neutral until Neutral engages.

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Note
The touchscreen is the preferred method to manually shift. However, in the unlikely situation in which the touchscreen is unavailable and therefore can't be used, the drive mode selector on the center console automatically activates and must be used to shift (see Shift Using the Center Console).

If you try to shift when it is prohibited by the current driving speed, the instrument panel displays an alert, a chime sounds, and the drive mode does not change.

Shift Using the Center Console

In addition to manually shifting on the touchscreen, you can shift by pressing P, R, N or D located on the center console. In most situations, these buttons are not available until you press one of the buttons to activate it. When active, the LEDs associated with each button illuminate and when you select P, R, N or D, the associated LED illuminates amber.

In situations where the touchscreen is unavailable (for example, experiencing a technical issue), or Model S is in Valet or Transport Mode, the drive mode selector on the center console activates automatically and there is no need to touch it.

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Note
You can also activate the drive mode selector on the center console by simultaneously and briefly pressing both scroll buttons on the steering yoke. However, if you press and hold both buttons simultaneously, the drive mode selector activates and the touchscreen restarts (see Restarting the Touchscreen).
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Note
The front trunk, rear trunk, and doors must be closed to shift using the center console.
Initials P, R, N and D on the center console with callouts
  1. Park
  2. Reverse
  3. Neutral
  4. Drive
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Note
When the touchscreen is available for shifting and you have manually activated the drive mode selector on the center console, the center console automatically deactivates if you don't shift within 10 seconds.

Park

Model S automatically shifts into Park whenever it determines that you are exiting the vehicle. For example, the driver's seat belt is unbuckled and the vehicle is stopped. Model S also automatically shifts into Park when the driver's door is opened or if no action is taken within one minute of shifting.

To manually shift into Park, press the brake pedal and touch the Park button on the touchscreen's drive mode strip. If the touchscreen is unavailable, press Park on the drive mode selector located on the center console.

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Note
The touchscreen's drive mode strip displays the Park button only when the brake pedal is pressed and shifting into park is allowed based on the driving speed.
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Note
You must always press the brake pedal to shift out of Park.
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CAUTION
Model S will not shift out of Park if a charge cable is plugged in, or if the charge port is unable to determine whether a charging cable is plugged in. In situations when Model S does not shift out of Park, check the instrument panel or touchscreen for instructions on how to proceed.
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Warning
It is the driver's responsibility to always ensure the vehicle is in Park before exiting. Never rely on Model S to automatically shift into Park for you; it may not work in all circumstances.

Drive

To manually shift into Drive, swipe up on the drive mode strip located on the touchscreen or, if the touchscreen is unavailable, press D on the drive mode selector located on the center console. You can shift into Drive when Model S is stopped or moving less than 5 mph (8 km/h) in Reverse.

Reverse

To manually shift into Reverse, swipe down on the drive mode strip located on the touchscreen or, if the touchscreen is unavailable, press R on the drive mode selector located on the center console. You can shift into Reverse when Model S is stopped or moving less than 5 mph (8 km/h) in Drive. You can manually close the park assist view on the touchscreen by touching the X in the upper corner.

Neutral

Neutral allows Model S to roll freely when you are not pressing the brake pedal. To shift into Neutral, do any of the following:

  • Open Controls, then press and hold the Neutral icon on the drive mode strip until Model S engages Neutral.
  • Choose Neutral from the drive mode selector on the center console.
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Note
When Model S is traveling over 5 mph (8 km/h) and you swipe up or down on the touchscreen's drive mode strip, a Neutral icon displays at the bottom of the drive mode strip from which you can also choose to engage Neutral.
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Note
You must press the brake pedal to shift out of Neutral if Model S is moving slower than approximately 5 mph (8 km/h).

Model S automatically shifts into Park when you open the driver's door to exit the vehicle. To stay in Neutral even when you leave Model S, you must engage Transport Mode (described next).

Keeping Your Vehicle in Neutral (Transport Mode)

Model S automatically shifts into Park whenever you finish driving and leave Model S. To keep Model S in Neutral when you exit, allowing it to roll freely (for example, pulling onto a flatbed truck), you must activate Transport mode:

  1. Shift into Park.
  2. Press the brake pedal.
  3. Touch Controls > Service > Towing. The touchscreen displays a message reminding you how to properly transport Model S.
  4. Press and hold the Transport Mode button until it turns blue. Model S is now free-rolling and can slowly be rolled (no faster than walking speed) for short distances or winched (for example, onto a flatbed truck).

For more information on Transport Mode, see Activate Transport Mode.

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Note
In Transport mode, Model S does not shift into a drive mode. You must first cancel Transport mode by touching Transport Mode again. Transport mode also cancels if you use the touchscreen or drive mode selector on the center console to shift into Park or if you manually apply the parking brake by touching Controls > Safety > Parking Brake.