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A review of the Trip Planning Tool

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by Cottonwood, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    My P85D is in Boulder, CO with 6.2. Given that I drove to San Diego and back a few weeks ago, I decided to give the Trip Planning feature a try to see how it worked compared to my manual trip planning.

    The first test was to put in a trip to Del Mar, CA from the car's location in Boulder, CO. Here is the screen that resulted:

    Trip Planning.JPG

    That was the route that I returned on. It is obvious that the Trip Planner leans heavily towards minimizing the number of Superchargers used rather than minimizing total travel time. I was surprised that Barstow, CA was skipped between Primm, NV and Rancho Cucamonga, CA, and that Beaver, UT was skipped between Richfield, UT and St George, UT.

    I decided to do a comparison of times with and without the intermediate charging stop. My method was to use EV Trip Planner to predict energy use, travel time, and distance traveled. I set the parameter to an 85 with 19's, speed 1.0, and the rest default. Remember that 1.0 speed means average Google travel speed, not posted speed limit. For charge times, I assumed the rated miles predicted by EV Trip Planner plus 50 miles; this is about a 20% reserve, when the charge state changes from green to yellow. I calculated the charge times calculated using Tesla SuperCharge timer - Google Sheets. The results were consistent with the charge times calculate by the Trip Planner.

    Trip Planner Analysis - Google Sheets shows my analysis results.

    Here is a summary:










    Start Intermediate End Without Stop With Stop Time Saved
    Richfield Beaver St George 3:09 2:58 0:11
    St George Las Vegas Primm 3:14 3:12 0:02
    Primm Barstow Rancho Cucamonga 3:42 3:14 0:28
    Stopping in Barstow is a big win, stopping in Beaver is a slight win, and Las Vegas is a wash. Travel time on and off the highway to Vegas is what makes that a wash. Barstow is a big win because Las Vegas to Rancho Cucamonga is a stretch, especially with a 50 mile buffer.

    It is obvious that the Trip Planner function picks fewer Supercharger stops rather than minimizing travel time.

    My next test was to plan a route to Pagosa Springs. To do that quickly requires hypermiling from Silverthorne to Pagosa or stopping at the HAL2 in Salida. Neither of these are in the Trip Planner mindset. The actual route was through Silverthorne, Grand Junction, and Farmington, Supercharger centric, but the long way around.

    The last test was the most surprising. I asked the Trip Planner to pick a route to the Flagstaff, AZ Supercharger. I thought that it would pick the route via the original 4-corners S-turn. The surprise was that the Trip Planner could not find a route.
     
  2. robby

    robby Member

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    Nice review. My main gripe with Trip Planner is that it has no support for round trips. That means I'll have enough charge to reach my destination, but not necessarily enough charge to get back. For ski trips, visiting family, and anything else without destination charging, this is problematic.
     
  3. arijaycomet

    arijaycomet Member

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    Great review! I didn't take any photos (sorry) but here in Cleveland, Ohio decided to test my 6.2 update with a few navigation entries. When I plugged in Chicago it had me stopping at the first and third supercharger I would pass, which is indeed how I would go anyhow. But what was really more interesting was entering Salisbury, MD -- the trip for Reach the Beach that I'm taking in a few weeks.

    If you run EV Trip Planner, it has me stop at all the superchargers along the way (Cranberry, Somerset, Hagerstown, Salisbury). However, the 6.2 trip planner had me skip Somerset. However, to achieve this I'd have to spend 50-60 minutes charging at the first and third charger. Based on my experiences supercharger, I should be able to stop more frequently but for shorter charges. Staying in these sweet spots should provide better "time usage"... or so I'd think.

    What would be super cool would be for two nearly identical cars (preferably with autopilot features for sake of automatic cruise control, speed based)-- and have one car stop at EVERY supercharger for as long as EV trip planner would say you need for the next supercharger (or even just as long as the car said you needed)-- versus one car taking the Beta trip planner route, and see who reaches final destination faster. It seems to me that based on many reviews I've read on here, driving faster, charging for slightly longer, but visiting every charger so that you can chage in the "mid range" of SOC is still ideal, versus what Tesla wants here (which is less stops more charge time at those stops).....

    Just my findings and thoughts... which basically match yours!
     
  4. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    You can think of Tesla's approach in two ways:
    - They're allowing for the potential of busy Superchargers, which would slow charging
    - They're trying to minimize their costs so want people to minimize Supercharger time in order to lower contention so they don't have to expand sites as quic, ly.
     
  5. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    The current Trip Planner maximizes total Supercharger time, rather than minimizing it.
     
  6. napabill

    napabill Active Member

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    I'm getting confused (which doesn't take much!:smile:) If you have a trip computed by Trip Planner (6.2) and you choose to charge anyway at an unrecommended SC, does it alter the trip accordingly? I would assume so. So I'd likely stop for quick top-ups, whether recommended, or not.
     
  7. arijaycomet

    arijaycomet Member

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    Precisely. Based on my rough estimates, stopping more frequently SHOULD save about 10-20% less time AT the superchargers themselves. Again I've calculated this VERY roughly, based purely on my past experience supercharging in Ohio (Maumee & Macedonia), and in Cranberry PA. I'll admit my supercharger visits are limited though, but I really think charging for 50-60 mins will not be as effective (top of SOC, etc) so we are 100% in agreement there.
    I'd assume that it would see you charged along the way, and perhaps reduce the charge time needed at the next charger. But it would still probably try to double up. For example let's say your trip went through 6 superchargers, but your 85/85D could span every-other. IT would start by planning to hit chargers 2, 4, and 6. But if you stopped at charger 1, it would still want to charge to a high SOC at 2, and continue onto 4, 6. So every time you stopped at the "interim" chargers, it would still assume you'd stop at the next one to get to that high SOC and skip the following one. In this example, the odd numbers. At least, this is my assumption of how it might work.

    When my friend/I hop in my Tesla in 2.5 weeks we'll find out, since right now the planner wants me to skip the Somerset PA charger and I won't do that. I'll stop there for lunch most likely, and we'll get a real view of how it works and see what happens. But I bet it will adapt .. just like the regular old nav used to redirect...
     
  8. rickgt

    rickgt Enthusiast owner/member

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    Very interesting points

     
  9. SmartElectric

    SmartElectric Active Member

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    The other thing to consider is that Tesla might be making different assumptions than ev trip planner (or any other method) on the minutes used up getting off the highway, to the charge location, time to park and engage charger cord, getting back in vehicle, negotiating parking lot exit, then re-enter highway.

    Also, charging to a greater SOC at fewer stops might make the car more efficient in terms of pack conditioning/efficiency and then allowing a longer time period between charges to allow pack to cool, reducing overall trip consumption.

    Perhaps there is also something to be said for driving with more juice in the tank to lower range anxiety of the non-expert owner? Those with experience are willing to drive faster as they get close to the charge location to get to the lowest SOC so there is less charge taper.

    Smaller number of times on/off highway may also reduce complexity of travel, less parking, less negotiation of local roads, less talking with other Tesla owners...joking.

    Who knows why they chose this, but for sure, it's just another way to get to the destination. Experts can ignore it and drive higher speeds with lower SOC...
     
  10. NoMoGas

    NoMoGas Member

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    don't forget that the trip planner communicates with the superchargers so if one is full if they have you charge at another for a longer period of time so that you can skip the crowd at one or the one the cars will be converging on.
     
  11. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    It certainly should be possible for the trip planner to know about SpC usage at upcoming stops, but I haven't seen anything from Tesla that suggests it is so. Have I missed something?
     
  12. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Elon has mentioned that this sort of information would be available in the future, but there is no indication that it is in the current version.

    The Trip Planner is obviously in a "Beta" stage. I am surprised that it would give up almost 30 minutes in total trip time by skipping Barstow.

    The times computed by EVTripPlanner do include the extra time to get on and off the highway for the extra stops, so the extra time for a stop is accurate.

    I still wonder why it can't find the Supercharger route from Boulder to Flagstaff...that was the first cross-country route...
     
  13. taurusking

    taurusking Member

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    I don't have the new update installed yet. I am surprised that there is no support for round trips...that is bummer.

    Also I wish Tesla Nav allows to enter multiple locations ...more like via points to the final destination...I like the way google maps (web based interface) which allows multiple locations to be entered
     
  14. RichardL

    RichardL Member

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    EV Trip Planner is still the Gold Standard for these activities - I recently wanted to plan a trip driving through the Gold Country up Hwy 49 in California - I was able to specify my home starting point on the Peninsula, Sonora, Nevada City and Home again and it routed me through Superchargers perfectly. The only thing it seems to lack is your starting charge level - without Way Points and round trip planning this new version is severely flawed
     
  15. ruby110

    ruby110 Member

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    Does anyone know if the Trip Planner dynamically updates the projected charge time based on the energy use getting to the SC?
     
  16. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Missouri Supercharger routes - Page 2 shows the Trip Planner Tool's extreme bias to using Superchargers only.

    If you look at the detail, you will see it suggesting to charge for 1:10 in Mauston, WI to make it to Albert Lea, MN rather than an intermediate stop at La Crosse, WI. Stopping at La Crosse, WI is probably necessary in the winter and in the summer would probably save 20-30 minutes total time.
     
  17. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    #17 mspohr, Apr 5, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2015
    6.2 Trip Planner Review - Don't trust it.

    The 6.2 update arrived while we were on vacation in Arizona so we had a chance to try it out on our return journey. Unfortunately, it's needs a lot of work and is not ready for real time use.
    We plotted a trip from Scottsdale to Livermore and it planned stops in Buckeye, Quartzsite, Indio, Tejon, Harris Ranch and Manteca.
    First major problem was the leg from Indio to Tejon. When charging in Indio, it told us we were good to go but as soon as we started it told us to "Drive Slowly". At 85+ temp and 80+mph traffic this is a non-starter. It's odd because I knew that there were two other SC on this route (Rancho Cucamonga and Cabazon) but they didn't route through them and they didn't even show on the map. They were literally hidden from view on the map. You have to cancel the route to see them. I cancelled the route and routed to Rancho Cucamonga to charge. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have even made it up the over the pass to Tejon.
    Second problem was the stop in Manteca it added on the last leg from Harris Ranch to Livermore. Totally unnecessary 35 mile detour since you can go from Harris Ranch to Livermore (only 141 miles) directly.
    Minor problem is that the estimates of charging time are wrong (by a lot). First stop in Buckeye it said 1 hour charging time on arrival but after 5 minutes charging it said we only needed 10 more minutes.
    You can't see Superchargers that are not planned stops and you can't plan intermediate stops such as my wife's detour to Bloomingdale's in Glendale. EVTripPlanner does a much better job of adding stops and calculating routes. Unfortunately, EVTripPlanner doesn't work in the Tesla's crippled web browser.
    Bottom line is that this software is a good idea but needs a lot of work before it will be useful. Fortunately, it's just software so it can be fixed.

    *Mod note: Threads merged
     
  18. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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  19. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    Can you tell us what the posted speed limit is? I suspect the trip planner is based on posted speed limits, not general traffic speed.
    Also, did you try clicking on the star in the upper right corner of the Nav map?
    I haven't tested this much myself yet, however it appears to show chargers along the route, including superchargers??
    We are taking a trip in a couple weeks where I will test this out more.

    Thanks for your time:)
     
  20. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    The posted speed limit is 75 in AZ and 70 or 65 in CA. I don't think I would have made it over the pass to Tejon even if I had kept to the speed limit in the slow lane.
    There is a "lightning bolt" symbol in the upper right corner and I clicked this but didn't notice that it did anything but I didn't know what it was supposed to do. I don't know why they can't just always show superchargers on the map all the time. There should be no reason to hide them any time. Once it plans a route, it hides the superchargers that are not stops.
     

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