Radar Detector in Model S

With the kind of speed the Model S has, does anyone have experience in adding a
Radar Detector? Does Tesla have an option to integrate into 17 inch monitor?

Hi Tom. This has been discussed elsewhere on this forum. Since there is no search function, head over to (the page explains why it is called that) to search the forums and punch in 'radar detector'; you'll get a bunch of hits.

This thread over at TMC may be of interest to you:

As an FYI, Radar detectors aren't legal everywhere, so Tesla wouldn't be able to add in support for one in their UI. Depending on how apps are handled, you may or may not be able to get one in that way, although IMHO I'm leaning heavily towards 'not'. If Tesla has to review and approve all apps for the S, then it's a definite not.


Adding software to support a radar detector is not the same as installing a radar detector. I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me Tesla could add software support for radar detectors, car-mounted miniguns or anything else without running afoul of the law, as long as they didn't actually install the illegal hardware.

As far as notification of fixed radar installations in sat nav systems goes, which is illegal in Germany, the vendors' solution is to make it a separate component that can be uninstalled by the user. It is usually preinstalled but disabled and can be enabled by acknowledging that it must only be used where it is legal. Of course! ;-)

The catch is that by installing UI support it could be argued that Tesla is tacitly approving of an illegal practice / use of illegal technology.
They aren't installing it, but they can be though of as going "Nope, no radar detectors here *wink*wink*nudge*nudge*".

It wouldn't amount to more than a wrist slap, but I doubt Tesla can afford any legal foolishness like that.


Consider that radar detectors are legal everywhere but Virginia and D.C. in the US.

Also consider that talking on a cell phone is illegal in some places while driving. Would you say that car makers who enable bluetooth connectivity or other means for using a cell phones while driving are at risk of legal action?

There's more to the world than the US ;) I'm Canadian, and I don't know of a province where radar detectors are legal. Dunno what it's like in Europe or Asia.

For the record, I HAVE heard of lawsuits entered against cell phone companies after tickets were issued for drive while on cell phones, although I don't THINK any have been won (and I hope they never ARE won either).

I didn't see the mini-gun option on the configuration page. Will this be a software upgrade? I want one! I am too often caught behind woefully slow (read "law abiding") drivers and this will only get worse when driving the Model S. ;-)

How about getting TM to enhance the nav system by noting the location of brothels and drug dens? :)

I believe you can already do that on Google maps.


Now Brian, we don't want to use our miniguns on other drivers. The minigun would be an option for owners who want to be prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse, which I believe is due to begin on December 21st.

I have the Escort 8500 installed in my S, and it works GREAT! (I'm Dadaleus on TMC and the one whose car is discussed in the thread above.)

I never had radar before, so it's amazing to me how well this works. Every time it goes off, sure enough I see a highway patrol officer shortly after. Interestingly, here in California, CHP cars seem to broadcast radar signals even when they are just driving. They must have some kind of display in their cars that shows the speed of cars around them.

I'm not using it to be able to get away with anything. But I once got a ticket for someone else's speeding because the officer misidentified which car his radar had picked up. So I like to know when radar is being used so I can use extra caution to avoid these situations.


at what location on the windshield did you install your Escort? I was under the belief that there is no gap in the windshield where radar could get through to the Escort?


I wish that I had Dadaleus' setup in my Model S, but I don't trust anyone to install it. I am hoping once they get a local service shop setup soon, I can either have Tesla install something (doubtful) or they can at least coordinate with a local installer who can be trusted not to destroy my car. I have never had a speeding ticket, but I think this car is going to be the death of my clean record.


Ok, but what if they drive like zombies, would that count?

Closer to topic, a radar detector can also attract tickets. I have several friends who happen to be police officers. They have mentioned several times that if they see a radar detector, and can issue a ticket, they will, even at speeds they would normally ignore (e.g. three to five miles over the posted limit).

They seem to take it as some sort of personal insult. I didn't ask why.


Take heart - speeding tickets can almost always be beaten if you're willing to fight them. The only catch is that you may have to waste a day sitting in a court room, and possibly $50-$100 or so on a traffic ticket lawyer.

There are also some apps that can help prevent tickets. Trapster is one that I use, but unfortunately it doesn't seem like a lot of other people are using it. "Escort Live" is another one I've heard about but haven't tried yet.

@jamesgx, I am in the exact same boat. Want to put one in, can't trust nor want to be the first for an installer.


Are you serious about the $50-$100 lawyer? Even a few years ago (before I retired), that would buy you only about 10-15 minutes. I shudder to think of what you'd get . . .

Between the local police using Lidar and the amount of false positives from speed reading signs etc. I gave up on the radar detector. The ride is much quieter & the music doesn't get interrupted.


Yes, here in Houston there are firms that apparently do nothing but traffic tickets. The lawyers have loads of clients and they spend all day in the courtroom going down the list. What you get for that fee, in my experience, is expedited disposition of your case, since those with lawyers are handled before those without. Also, the traffic attorneys are usually pretty chummy with the prosecutors and/or judge, so they can usually get your ticket dropped outright if the (alleged) offense is not too severe.

Michael Emrich: It's an installed unit (8500ci plus) so it's not on the windshield. I'm not even sure exactly where the equipment is--I just have a little display mounted inside.

I had it installed at Al & Eds of West Hollywood. They have a lot of experience with Tesla Roadsters, and now probably have the most experience of anyone with the Model S.

Want to find some of that experience more North here in the Bay Area. Maybe if I buy all the stuff and ask the builders at the Fremont Factory? :)

"Hey! PSSSSST... you in the Tesla Motors Factory Jump Suit, can I borrow you for 3 hours?"

BYT, I wouldn't be surprised if Ellie of West Hollywood knows someone in the Bay Area he could advise on it. He's pretty well connected, even inside Tesla. You should give him a call and at least ask for advice. I've talked to Tesla employees who would love to do this kind of stuff on the side, but they are absolutely forbidden by Tesla.

Kurtis Harville at AMS in the bay area just successfully equipped my Model S with an Escort 9500ci in under 4 hours, totally professionally done. I've been going to them for all my high end work for years. (408) 248-1111

Not sure if this is feasible, but I'd like one hidden behind the front end plastic with a Bluetooth connection to the 17" display, which is running an Escort app in the corner. Seamless!

Thanks Dadaleus and Branden!

@Branden, what did he charge you for the install and think he can do the MobilEye installations as well?

Kurtis can do it for $2900, installed. It's a premium price for premium work.

I'm sure he could do a MobileEye too, these guys take on any challenge. Be advised, those MobileEye or similar systems use X band radar to measure distances so it makes the radar detectors freak out if you don't disable the X band sensor (which I recommend anyway since it's always false positives)

Hope this helps.

Sweet i might look into that too. Yeah, no x band needed.

Hmmm some iffy reviews on that place though. Can you post pics of the install?

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