Radar detector in your Model S?

Is anyone thinking of using or installing a radar detector in your Model S? I wouldn't call myself a habitually fast driver, but after my test drive, I can see myself getting caught up in the driving experience more than I currently do in my Prius. (Or I may just become a habitually fast driver.) That said, I'd like to know in advance before I drive past a speed trap. Personally, I don't like clutter in my car, and the thought of a wire dangling from the windshield isn't appealing, so I'm considering an installed detector like the Escort Passport 9500ci (

Has anyone talked to a Tesla rep to see if a Tesla service center would do the installation? Because the anatomy of Model S is unlike any other car, I don't know if I would trust another installer to work on my car.

I had a valentine 1 before and worked great, but when i got a ticket from a non marked cop pacing me I threw it away, I was way too confident with my v1.

Not a radar detector, but I will be putting a front-facing camera, and possibly rear as well. I have a BlackVue 400 (

I'm trying to decide how best to install it. It would be fantastic if TM could run the power cable in the trim as they are building the car. Wonder if I should ask them? :-)

I have an older escort 9500 in my Audi s4 and wouldn't go anywhere without it here in nj. It's saved me dozens of times. It would be great if TM could build in the wiring for such a device to avoid aftermarket install. Currently I have the cord running over my dash with the detector mounted on the dash. Doesnt look great but it's not in the way. Will absolutely look install one in my S with the torque this baby!

$1700 for the escort 9500! Holy smokes! I have a very old Valentine and it's really mostly useless these except for the photo radar vans and even those it seems to pick up late anymore.

I'd love to get a nice detector, but I haven't had a ticket in, uh, not sure, maybe 15 years?

Here in Colorado there is a bunch of Lidar speed enforcement (facilitated by the front license plate). Radar detectors just don't work in this scenario. Rather than collecting "performance awards" I found it easier to just mind the speed limit. Most of my enjoyment is getting from zero to speed limit quickly anyways...

I use a Valentine 1 also. Great, but I don't want that cord going from the only available 12v outlet at the base of the armrests all the way up to the dash. And neither I nor anyone outside of tesla should touch the wiring in that car! Anyone know of a wireless radar detector that is worth owning?

I've never had a radar detector but use cruise control instead. I just set it a couple mph over the speed limit and don't worry about tickets. Like KJR4235 said getting to speed is the fun.

9 out of 10 times I'll use cruise control, but every once in a while I'll get caught up in the moment and just go. Unfortunately one of those times I got a ticket (my only one--knock on wood) on a very familiar road in a place I'd never seen a speed trap before. I know no detector can prevent all tickets, but it doesn't hurt to have an edge.

I was also wondering if the wiring of a custom installed detector can be placed while the car is being built, but I'm guessing it would impact the production line too much. I'd be happy if they'll do it at a service center.

If you want to break the law, please do it in something else than Model S. Buy a Porsche or Ferrari, you go faster and get yourself or somebody else killed much more efficiently that way.

Timo, are you serious? Equating driving safely like most of us do and exceeding the speed as breaking the law is well you know.

@Mel, doesn't compute, please rephrase the sentence. (seriously, I didn't understand what you said).

Let me try, with enhanced punctuation:

Timo, are you serious? Equating driving safely (like most of us do), and exceeding the speed [limit], as 'breaking the law' is ... well, you know --

The speed limit is about three things:

1. Sight distances. (Engineering)

2. The lowest common denominator driver. (Well, you know...)

3. Political motivations. (Income).

Even you could develop a new breed of politicians (e.g. not crooks) there is little that can be done about LCD drivers--and the roads are full of them.

I speed, but never where it's unsafe to. I drive 25 MPH in school zones and residential areas and 5 MPH in the supermarket parking lot. But at 2am on one of the open and scenic highways out here and no headlights or taillights in sight?? You bet your sweet tushie that I'm giving my Model S a good pushie! ;)

Timo, what I was tying to tell you , in my imperfect way, is to get out of the passing lane

@Mel, ah, you are one of those arrogant drivers that don't care about other road users that I see doing unbelievably stupid passing every time I take a bit longer road trip. I'm sure they all think they are driving safely.

Breaking the speed limit is breaking a law. Please do that in something else than Model S.

Traditional radar detectors are no longer very effective now that laser has become so common.

Check out the Trapster app - it's free and warns you of any speed traps you're approaching if they've been reported by another trapster user. The 21st century equivalent of flashing your headlights :-)

Timo, please don't judge. Nothing good can come of it.

In a 55 mph zone, I'll generally keep my speed between 55-65. I live in the northeast, so even at 65mph, I'm still getting passed quite a bit. That doesn't mean a cop can't pull me over, and that's what I want to avoid. In my opinion, driving 55 mph in 65+ mph traffic is more dangerous than driving 65, but I won't argue that exceeding the speed limit is technically breaking the law.

If I'm in traffic that's going much faster than me, I feel more comfortable speeding up and keeping pace, than being the one everyone is swerving around and risk being hit by someone going 75 mph while texting.

Just my $0.02.

[...] there is little that can be done about LCD drivers--and the roads are full of them. (jerry3)

Well... you could install real driving school requirements and serious driving tests. From a German point of view, you practically give away driving licenses for free in the US. It's not all rosy over here, too, but I'm convinced that the German approach to acquiring that "license to kill" does help to some degree.

I tend to drive with the traffic regardless of the speed limit since this is the safest speed to travel at. I have Escort in both of our current cars. I consider these like insurance due the fund raising efforts of police departments. Since NJ likes laser I also have a laser scrambler on one car.

I plan on moving the laser scrambler to the Tesla and one of the detectors.

I agree they just hand out driver license out in the US with very little training. Very often on the NJ Garden State Parkway the far right lane of of 3-5 lanes will be the quickest and have the fewest cars in it.

I'm with KJR! Where I live, it is WAY too crowded to speed safely. 80% of most cars on the road can go over 100+ MPH no problem. Showing off with excessive high-speed is NOT impressive to anyone! On the hand, handing a 10 MPG muscle-car their ass, as you wisk off the light to the speed limit, is the MOST impressive thing you can do in any vehical PERIOD!


Real driving school requirements would require actual political willpower and an increase in fees. The nanny government criteria is that no skill, thought, or acceptance of responsibility should be required.


Just to play devils for a second, wouldn't stringent licensing requirements exactly fall into the "nanny government" idea, and just handing out licenses as we do not be?



I wouldn't think so. Stringent licensing requirements put the onus on the driver to act properly because they are trained. Nanny systems put the onus on the technology in the vehicle to prevent the driver from doing whatever.

To take a non-car example: Child safety caps on bottles take the place of the parents keeping the medicine in a storage area that children can't get to. The nanny system assumes that parents won't take the precaution of keeping medicine out of children's reach so a technical solution is used.

I find it amusing that the term "LCD drivers" is being used on the Tesla Model S forum and 17 inches is off-topic. ;)

Real driving school requirements would require actual political willpower and an increase in fees. (jerry3)

Ooops, you got me there. That's obviously a no-go! ;-)

So did anyone get actual information if Tesla service can wire V1? I wire did up myself in BMW 5, it's trivial since there is power under SOS button panel and it's easily accessible. I am not sure if that would be easy in Model S.

And please - I am asking technical question, please don't give lectures how to drive or that if I am going to speed or whatever. I haven't had a ticket in 16 years so spare me please. I consider radar detector as my right to know I am being watched.

I spoke to a Tesla Service tech in Florida who had installed a radar detector for a customer in FL, including wiring it back into the cockpit through the firewall - a non-trivial exercise. Don't know what make/model it was.

@nickjhowe - You just made me stop and think. Is there still a firewall when there's no fire (ICE) under the hood? And if so, why? And oes it need a new name now? :-)

@Geek EV - great question, and one that I hadn't considered. Maybe there isn't, but to get from inside the passenger compartment to the Frunk isn't easy by the few accounts I've seen - requiring removing a big portion of the dash. "Rear Frunk Wall"? "Fruncabin wall"? LOL

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