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Supercharger Naming Convention -- a recommendation

Discussion in 'Tesla, Inc.' started by Ulmo, Nov 19, 2016.

  1. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

    Jan 19, 2016
    Vienna Woods, Aptos, California
    #1 Ulmo, Nov 19, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2016
    Well, @ecarfan already knows my opinion of this particular issue. So, he shouldn't be surprised with what I want to say now. But, I'll try to update my opinion with some more thoughtfulness:

    Last time I discussed this, one Tesla owner driver expressed that everyone using SuperChargers already uses the navigation in their car to find the SuperChargers, so the names just don't matter; they're just noise to the navigation system. I accept this as at least a partial solution to poor naming, and therefore, as far as that's concerned, nothing needs to be fixed. However, using Tesla's nav is not the only time people want to find SuperChargers. What I don't actually know is in practice how often this will come up. If it is extremely infrequent, then my complaint is rather a non-issue. Maybe I'm just fearful, but somehow I think it will come up sometimes, such as navigating with different software, but since that might be considered rare, for now I am willing to accept that my complaint is pedantic in nature at this point until proven otherwise. I originally learned of bad naming from transit systems like BART and other mass transit, often the name causing me 1-2 hour delays as they would misdirect me into the wrong place, and set me back 2 or 3 days in my chores since it often caused missed progress and other setbacks. But, in a car with self-nav, you can be your own pilot, can make any corrections, and the car's nav knows the right places to go if you use it. But, here is my opinion on naming, just in case this is proven to be an issue that needs some sense put to the names ...

    I prefer when things are named in such a way that they make sense. Names of things such as a product, concept, or business should be unique and searchable in the case of something we want to Google (not relevant here). But in this case, a name of a place, it ought to explain where it is. Sometimes, standardized government databases don't fully describe the location in a way that is seamless and sensible, and sometimes, stiff corporate policies can even be more rigid and senseless than even government databases, compounding the errors even further (look below about the Census designated area for Santa Nella). This can be seen in neighborhoods of big cities like Manhattan, and in counties and regions like Kern County and Merced County (the two superchargers which I had a slight disagreement with the naming policy). This seems to come up fairly frequently with SuperChargers, because they tend to be on freeways and highways far away from civilization, so the names kind of get sputtered around in a semi-random way according to which post office serves which zip code divided by what dividing line, and by the time an SC is installed, it is often very senseless.

    So, my refined opinion is that Tesla's policy on this ought to put a little "sensible salt" in there that allows an "additional field" that is somewhat more descriptive. This "additional field" should sometimes be a smaller area designator, such as a neighborhood of a large city, and sometimes a larger area designator, such as a region of a county or countryside, or a town that it is near to. I'll give some examples:

    For the new Bakersfield SuperCharger, Bakersfield being a community east of the new SC by about 15 minutes, I think it should have a smaller more specific attribute that describes where in Bakersfield it really is. There are about 3 or 4 names that would make more sense (one of which I called "I-5", another was the highway name that crossed I5, and another was the name of the rest stop area which was kind of like a town or neighborhood name).

    For this new Gustine SuperCharger, Gustine is a town about 15 minutes away north from the SC on Hwy 33, and that town is usually accessed directly from the direction of where ever you are, only 1/4 of the directions being from the direction of the SuperCharger (I experienced this often since I used to live near Gustine and often visited it from various directions), so the less specific "region" of the SuperCharger is "Santa Nella region".

    So, here's some naming strategies:

    Gustine (Santa Nella area)
    Gustine (near Santa Nella by I-5 and Ca-33)
    Gustine (nearest Santa Nella)
    Santa Nella Census Area

    Bakersfield (Stockdale Hwy at I-5)
    Bakersfield (on Stockdale Hwy by I-5)
    Bakersfield (nearest I-5 and Stockdale Hwy)
    Buttonwillow South

    I guess I just took the "sensibility salt" idea I expressed above and shoved it in some parenthesis. That seems to work pretty well. If Tesla adopts this as a policy, it will give them enough flexibility to hand-craft good names (including their parenthesis) that give a pretty sensible way to mentally locate these places without having to look down off the road at the exact address on your smartphone to see how it compares to the routes you need to use. I did also give one "superior name" for each that avoids parenthesis, but that suggests a mastermind that can also make decisions like naming the Buttonwillow site "Buttonwillow North" or "Buttonwillow #1" or something.

    Notice that my "nearest" almost has a second standard attached to it: if you shove the words to the right of "nearest" into your Google Maps search, up pops the right destination. If their policies were well crafted, they could even have a quick Google Maps, Apple Maps and Bing Maps search to make certain that any search composed of the words to the right of "nearest" always brings up an area very close to the SC, for ease in navigation. (Testing "Santa Nella, CA" in Bing Maps, it tells me that the Gustine SC is in Santa Nella's Census Designated Area, and it is the right area. Furthermore, trying "I-5 and Stockdale Hwy, CA" in Bing Maps brings up the SC area.)

    I understand how out in San Mateo County, Alameda County and Los Angeles County, where Tesla and SpaceX are located, Elon Musk is used to having a bunch of fairly small compact cities that are very cleanly defined and specific in their location, and have no intervening open areas where that gets ambiguous, since it's all one megapolis; there's very little nuance involved. But, that's obviously not the case everywhere.
    • Like x 2
  2. CalBlue 85D

    CalBlue 85D Member

    Aug 27, 2016
    SF Bay Area
    Off topic, but I'm interested to know which BART names are so far off? I can think of a couple of vanity names to appease cities in Contra Costa (Pleasant Hill / Contra Costa Centre and North Concord / Martinez), but neither of those is a couple of hours off base. I'm mostly interested since I often send friends and family off on the system and I'll like to make sure I'm giving them clear enough instructions for those people who may not be familiar with the area and maybe there are some issues that I haven't thought of telling them about.
  3. Pluto

    Pluto Member

    Nov 17, 2015
    Stockton, California
    I'd like to point out that for people traveling long distances, they may see the address of the location and the name of the location and believe they're distinct places. I'm pretty sure this is the reason for this discrepancy.

    That said, you mentioned an additional field. The locations Tesla uses already have an additional field, but it's typically meant for comments. For example, the Seaside location has a 24 hour lounge for Tesla owners that comes with a key code for entry after hours. This is visible within the nav app. Obviously they have really different purposes, but this concept does exist.

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