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Navigation Maps outside of cell service

Discussion in 'Model 3: User Interface' started by postersw, Sep 4, 2019.

  1. postersw

    postersw Member

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    I find that I get no navigation maps when I am outside of cell service (which happens frequently in Washington State, especially when in national parks or forests). I first noticed this a few weeks ago when driving in Mt. Rainier national park. I don't have this issue in my Outback (which has a full navigation database). Do others owners have this same issue, or is there something I've missed? Maybe these cars should carry a warning: "Caution - do not take out of cell-phone range".
     
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  2. samThree

    samThree Member

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    I have the same problem. When ever I went to places with no cell coverage navigation goes blank. Happened at Stanislaus national forest.
     
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  3. joebruin77

    joebruin77 Member

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    Yep, happened to me too while driving along Highway 1 - Pacific Coast Highway on my way to Big Sur. Once we came back into cell range, navigation returned to normal.
     
  4. NYCR160

    NYCR160 Member

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    Had the same issue in the east while going to Mt Washington this time last year...
     
  5. Watts_Up

    Watts_Up Active Member

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    I guess it's time to get a Starlink antenna.
     
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  6. RichardL

    RichardL Member

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    The maps on the central display are from Google maps and are downloaded as you go. There is also a set of navigation maps that are stored. This allows a route to be displayed even though you are out of cell coverage - you see the turns and the junctions, just not any of the surrounding detail.

    At least that is how the S and the X work, I assume the 3 is still the same (I am waiting for my 3 to be built)
     
  7. joebruin77

    joebruin77 Member

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    We just used our iPhone. Google maps still seemed to work even though we were not in cell range. If you anticipate going into an area without cell coverage, just bring up google maps before you leave cell range. You can use this as a backup in case the Tesla nav goes out.
     
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  8. joebruin77

    joebruin77 Member

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    Unfortunately, it does not work in the 3. When I was out of cell range, the map display went completely blank. And the navigation kept telling me to do things that would have taken me in the exact opposite direction of my destination. Nav in the model 3 is completely unreliable if you are out of cell range.
     
  9. acarney

    acarney Active Member

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    So I assume FSD basically stops working then, right? I mean general AP should work, but Nav on Autopilot would need the routing data as well.... I would guess there are lots of areas with weak to no cell service, so I'm surprised the car doesn't cache the route... possibly something that will be rolled out with the big "feature complete" FSD update...
     
  10. Knightshade

    Knightshade Well-Known Member

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    Pretty sure Elon mentioned the antenna would be the size of a large pizza box and not practical for cars
     
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  11. Nagaman

    Nagaman Member

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    I’m just waiting to order a Model 3 (because I’m hopping something will come of the Maxwell tie up pretty soon) so I find it hard to believe mapping requires phone connection because in Australia we have many black spots particularly inland from the coast.
    I have a Tom Tom subscription but I don’t think it will help unless I continue with the nav device.
    I’m an old n grey pre computer guy so forgive my incompetence in this area as I’m a mechanical type.
     
  12. drtimhill

    drtimhill Member

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    Curious, that's not my experience with my M3 .. I'm also in WA state and yes, there are black spots where the car loses cell connection, and you lose the Google maps view. But I still get the basic "road only" view just fine.

    Also note that using Google or Apple maps will also have this problem (and more) if they lose cell coverage, since neither of these store a full database of offline maps on your phone. If they DO work when the Tesla doesn't, then that's probably down to different cell coverage from your phones carrier. There are probably other times when the Tesla DOES have a connection and your phone does NOT, but you dont notice these so much since you aren't using your phone.

    If you truly want map coverage that works anywhere, you need to get one of the phone GPS apps that has full offline maps (I use Sygic as my backup for this, its a pretty good GPS app imho).

    --Tim
     
  13. postersw

    postersw Member

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    I also thought that the basic road-only view (without the satellite view) would work outside of cell-phone service range - but it doesn't. My road-only display shows nothing, and gives utterly ridiculous navigation instructions. So, I guess there should be a warning label on the dashboard that says:"When out of cell-phone range, don't get lost, and don't get a flat".
    Seriously, I think that in this day and age, with such a 'technically advanced' car, its utterly flabbergasting that the navigation totally fails when you are outside of cell range (Even google maps allows me to cache a route on my phone).
     
  14. acarney

    acarney Active Member

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    Maybe this is why we haven’t seen the coast to coast FSD demo... middle of the USA might have some dead spots at key areas where FSD needs to switch freeways or something... :p
     
  15. postersw

    postersw Member

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    Fortunately, if I truly want map coverage that works anywhere, I just have to drive my Outback, instead of the Tesla. (And I get the added benefit of a spare tire!).
     
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  16. diamond.g

    diamond.g Active Member

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    Interesting, is there any way for you to record this interaction? I think it would be useful to those of us who rarely are outside of cell coverage. Plus someone maybe could tweet it to Elon and maybe it would get fixed. After all we all have downloaded something like 4-5 GB of map tiles, so there has to be "something" locally stored.
     
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  17. drtimhill

    drtimhill Member

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    If you get silly navigation then its possible you have poor or no GPS satellite signal. We’re you in a mountainous area? If it’s lack of GPS then no map solution is going to work for you on any device.

    I did double-check my findings over the weekend, and drove through a “black spot” up in the Cascades .. the Google map view vanished but I was left with the roads, and the nav system continued to guide me for over 10 mins until I got out of the black spot.
     
    • Informative x 1
  18. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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    Google Maps iOS and Android apps probably have some caching and look-ahead downloading.

    To be really on the safe side, download offline maps onto your phone while at home/before your go somewhere w/no cell signal.
    Download areas and navigate offline - Android - Google Maps Help
    Download areas and navigate offline - iPhone & iPad - Google Maps Help
    No or insufficient GPS signal is unlikely outdoors unless there's something overhead (e.g. concrete or metal roof) or you're in such a narrow area that your GPS receiver can't at least get a lock onto 3 satellites overhead. I had this problem when I carried a Magellan Map 330 in Japan in 2001 w/the narrow streets. In some cases, I had to walk in the middle of a narrow road w/buildings on both sides to get a signal. There can be similar probs w/tall buildings all around you.

    Fortunately, the prob w/buildings is generally solved on smartphones now due to databases of wi-fi access points vs. location to supplement spotty GPS.
     
  19. North75

    North75 Member

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    I did some driving this summer outside of cell range in New Hampshire mountains.
    To me it seemed like that if I started navigation with cell coverage it would keep navigating fine and showing the map (some detail loss) while out of cell coverage. I could also navigate the return trip when starting with no cell coverage.

    But if I drove without the car actively navigating, the maps would basically completely disappear when I lost cell coverage.

    I'm guessing it downloads some portion of the maps when you use navigation so it can just use GPS if it loses cell coverage.
     
  20. PhantmMenace

    PhantmMenace Member

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    I think Tesla needs a cache feature. Perhaps if you navigate to a destination with or without cell service maps should cache the whole route regardless. I thought this was common in most apps nowadays.
     
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