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Map Updates for Road Closures

gnuarm

Model X 100 with 72 amp chargers
I was stuck in a backup for some hours last night in the mountains of North Carolina when a rock slide closed the highway. After they eventually got us out of the backup I then needed to reroute to reach my destination and might need an intermediate charge. The in car navigator could not help me at all since it would only point me along the very route that was closed. I contacted support and they said they could do nothing about it either and suggested I try using Google maps since that has the ability to choose alternate routes.

Doesn't that seem pretty lame? In a disaster like this one of the most important parts of the car was entirely dysfunctional. If the car can't navigate a route, you can't plan charging and it will become very hard to go anywhere with the confidence of making it.

Why would Tesla not provide a means for a rapid update to the roads data base to allow for emergency road closures? Heck, if the road closure had been entered into the system when I first reported it to Tesla, who knows how many others might not have been caught in the resulting backup?
 
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gnuarm

Model X 100 with 72 amp chargers
That's pretty unreasonable expectation.

Why is that? A navigation data base needs to be up to date to prevent exactly this sort of circumstance where Tesla sends dozens or hundreds of cars on a route that can't possibly be completed.

I'm not in my car at the moment. I wonder if Tesla is still routing cars to park at the rock slide?
 

bob_p

Active Member
Apr 5, 2012
3,726
2,922
This is why using any map data stored onboard will always have problems. Currently the onboard maps are used for controlling vehicle speed and where AutoSteer/NOAP can be enabled - based on map data that may be months or years out-of-date.

Routing using Tesla's cloud server is better, but those maps likely won't include real-time changes based on temporary closures or lane changes.

To support FSD, operating without any human interaction, will require solving this problem. Part of this will likely require having the onboard system properly interpret changing conditions - traffic barriers, temporary traffic signs, and even emergency responders manually rerouting traffic.

When Musk stated the FSD software should be "feature complete" by year-end, he was probably talking about driving the vehicle, based on correct data being provided to the AP software. That only solve part of the problem - when that data is incorrect or out-of-date, the onboard software will have to adjust to actual conditions - and the software doesn't appear anywhere close to that today...
 

gnuarm

Model X 100 with 72 amp chargers
This is why using any map data stored onboard will always have problems. Currently the onboard maps are used for controlling vehicle speed and where AutoSteer/NOAP can be enabled - based on map data that may be months or years out-of-date.

Are you sure this is relevant? The images of the roads is not what is important. It is the routing info.

Routing using Tesla's cloud server is better, but those maps likely won't include real-time changes based on temporary closures or lane changes.

I don't think I get any choice about how the routing works. There is no reason why the routing can't use real time updates. That's what the "traffic" info is which is factored into routing. By the time I was in the hotel that night, Google maps was showing the road as closed. In fact, I think it was showing the blockages while I was still stuck in the backup, if not the road being closed. The car doesn't try to route me on that part of I-40 now, but it still doesn't show as closed... very odd.


To support FSD, operating without any human interaction, will require solving this problem. Part of this will likely require having the onboard system properly interpret changing conditions - traffic barriers, temporary traffic signs, and even emergency responders manually rerouting traffic.

When Musk stated the FSD software should be "feature complete" by year-end, he was probably talking about driving the vehicle, based on correct data being provided to the AP software. That only solve part of the problem - when that data is incorrect or out-of-date, the onboard software will have to adjust to actual conditions - and the software doesn't appear anywhere close to that today...

I don't really care about the full self driving. It is a long way away and is likely to have legal consequences that will prevent me from using it when it first comes out. Routing is an issue with EVs because of the criticality of charging. It is 100 times easier to refuel an ICE than an EV. Tesla gets that this is a major issue which is why they have provided the advanced navigator. This is one aspect of the navigator that needs to be fixed to prevent people from being completely stuck from weather related emergencies. Real time updates of road closures is essential.
 

cpa

Active Member
May 17, 2014
3,246
4,409
Central Valley
I am the first to admit that I do not know how this navigation stuff works. No clue. I do know that it is not reliable. I generally do not use it. i rely on other information.

Since the first of the year, we have had numerous storms blowing through California. Snow, rain, mud, and other natural hazards have closed highways and roads--some permanently until further notice; others temporarily until CalTrans can clean up the mess or eliminate avalanche or other dangers.

Even on my cell phone, Google Maps and Apple Maps are always--always--anywhere from 4-24 hours late in reflecting road closures or reopenings. When CalTrans finally plows, cleans up, and reopens the highways with permanent winter closures, the notification on CalTrans website is instantaneous as are the message boards across the state. Internet mapping lags by hours if not days.

I have also been stuck in traffic when law enforcement closed off the freeway in both directions in pursuit of a suspect in a crime. There is no telling what could befall us when on the road.

Perhaps the lesson from this is that one should have an alternate method to get to one's destination due to unforeseen circumstances.
 

gnuarm

Model X 100 with 72 amp chargers
I am the first to admit that I do not know how this navigation stuff works. No clue. I do know that it is not reliable. I generally do not use it. i rely on other information.

Since the first of the year, we have had numerous storms blowing through California. Snow, rain, mud, and other natural hazards have closed highways and roads--some permanently until further notice; others temporarily until CalTrans can clean up the mess or eliminate avalanche or other dangers.

Even on my cell phone, Google Maps and Apple Maps are always--always--anywhere from 4-24 hours late in reflecting road closures or reopenings. When CalTrans finally plows, cleans up, and reopens the highways with permanent winter closures, the notification on CalTrans website is instantaneous as are the message boards across the state. Internet mapping lags by hours if not days.

I'm not sure what your point is? It is pretty clear that this stuff could be done on a much more useful timescale. If CalTrans can do it, why not the Internet maps?


I have also been stuck in traffic when law enforcement closed off the freeway in both directions in pursuit of a suspect in a crime. There is no telling what could befall us when on the road.

Perhaps the lesson from this is that one should have an alternate method to get to one's destination due to unforeseen circumstances.

I'm not sure how you plan trips if you don't use the car navigator. When I've pointed out that it is hard to plan mileage and therefore pit stops to recharge, I'm always told to "Use the force Luke" meaning the in-car navigator.

I guess I would plan alternate routes if in this case there had really been any. But the real problem was the charging. That's not so easy to do, at least not with the in-car navigator. I guess abetterrouteplanner will let you remove chargers, but I don't think that will let you choose alternate routes. Google does that, but not with range indicated charging stops.

At some point it just gets to be too complicated to drive the damn thing on trips. I guess I'll have to buy a new gas guzzler and return the Tesla. It's not too late to return it, right?
 

cpa

Active Member
May 17, 2014
3,246
4,409
Central Valley
I use paper maps. Then I use PlugShare along with the Supercharger.info web page to see whereabouts along the way the Superchargers and destination chargers are. Pretty simple. For most trips, I don't even need a map; I just know the roads and highways. This stuff is easy for me, I guess.

I really do not think that technology is the panacea for mankind. We still need to rely on our senses, our wits, and our common sense.

At this juncture of EV driving, we need to take more personal responsibility. I don't think that we should rely upon third and fourth parties to give us guidance. We cannot contact these parties. We do not know how these parties do their voodoo. We do not know how accurate and how much review and scrutiny goes into the finished product before it is disseminated publicly. I do not believe for one moment that these third and fourth parties give a rat's ass about me or anyone else. They have other things in mind, and they surely do not involve being the benevolent overlords to guide us over hill and dale.

The navigation system is a mystery (at least to me it is.) And I am not the sort to wind up in a tough spot and then point fingers at something or someone else. If I get into trouble, it is my own damn fault, and I own up to it.
 

gnuarm

Model X 100 with 72 amp chargers
I use paper maps. Then I use PlugShare along with the Supercharger.info web page to see whereabouts along the way the Superchargers and destination chargers are. Pretty simple. For most trips, I don't even need a map; I just know the roads and highways. This stuff is easy for me, I guess.

I really do not think that technology is the panacea for mankind. We still need to rely on our senses, our wits, and our common sense.

At this juncture of EV driving, we need to take more personal responsibility. I don't think that we should rely upon third and fourth parties to give us guidance. We cannot contact these parties. We do not know how these parties do their voodoo. We do not know how accurate and how much review and scrutiny goes into the finished product before it is disseminated publicly. I do not believe for one moment that these third and fourth parties give a rat's ass about me or anyone else. They have other things in mind, and they surely do not involve being the benevolent overlords to guide us over hill and dale.

The navigation system is a mystery (at least to me it is.) And I am not the sort to wind up in a tough spot and then point fingers at something or someone else. If I get into trouble, it is my own damn fault, and I own up to it.

I'm not sure what you are thinking when you discuss personal responsibility for EV usage in this context. There is nothing specific to EVs regarding road closures. In fact, EV drivers are much more likely to be tuned into routing and the information available than an ICE driver because we have to be.

If this had happened to me in an ICE, I would feel the exact same way that there should be better online information regarding road closures, readily available through all the usual channels for trip planning EV or ICE. This experience has been a real eye opener in regards to just how poor some of this software really is.

BTW, the only thing sillier than expecting online data to be updated in a day with regard to road closures is relying in any way on paper maps. They are out of date the moment they are printed. At least an online data source has the potential of being updated in a short amount of time.
 
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gnuarm

Model X 100 with 72 amp chargers
I've noticed that abetterrouteplanner.com still doesn't show the road closures in the area of the rock slides. I posted to their forum the other day and just got a reply. Jason replied that this was an "interesting" problem and that they have to ignore road restrictions that are out of date. Seems to me if they knew there was bad data in the OpenStreetMap data base that they use, they would fix the data base rather than patching their software.

I couldn't find a way to fix the data in OSM myself. The info on potentially doing this relies on the reader having a good basis in using their tools already and I don't have the time tonight to weed through it all which might actually take me days.

So at this point I am very, very put off by the ABRP and OSM software. If a data base is not going to be dependable, it's better to not use it at all.
 

aesculus

Still Trying to Figure This All Out
May 31, 2015
4,530
2,599
Northern California
The in car navigator could not help me at all since it would only point me along the very route that was closed. I contacted support and they said they could do nothing about it either and suggested I try using Google maps since that has the ability to choose alternate routes.

Doesn't that seem pretty lame? In a disaster like this one of the most important parts of the car was entirely dysfunctional. If the car can't navigate a route, you can't plan charging and it will become very hard to go anywhere with the confidence of making it.

Why would Tesla not provide a means for a rapid update to the roads data base to allow for emergency road closures?
I cannot comment on your particular situation and how/why the in car navigator still wanted to route you through a closed road.

In my area we have a major interstate highway (I80) over the Sierra Nevada mountains that has been closed today. I just tried having the car route me to a destination on the other side of that closure that it always routes through. The navigator chose an alternative. So in my case just now Tesla was using recent/current road conditions and providing alternative routes vs going the way it normally would. Perhaps it depends on the quality of the data Tesla is getting from sources like Google which is probably location dependant. I80 over the Sierra's is one of the most traveled interstate highways.
 
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mxnym

Active Member
Mar 9, 2018
1,088
451
Bloomington, IN
I am also perplexed that you had this problem. I've had my Model X route me around closures and traffic problems multiple times even in fairly rural areas. However, I do have a strong opinion regarding the root cause. IMO, Tesla is entirely too cocky and makes terrible design choices because of it. For instance, the fact that I paid for EAP is not a good reason to prevent me from using standard cruise control, especially when an EAP component is malfunctioning or not yet calibrated, however, Tesla clearly thinks they know best. Sadly, while I'd like to give Tesla the benefit of the doubt an suggest that the problem is likely the navigation software still being in its infancy, I think the time for that has passed, and I suspect that the inability to tell the in-vehicle navigation to avoid a specific road segment is probably another manifestation of this same cockiness. It's rather disappointing considering that I could manually exclude road segments in my 12-year older ICE NAV and even in 90's trip planning software (way before you could go to Google Maps and print out directions).
 
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