Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Tesla has a lot of offline software improvements to make unless they want upset Cybertruck owners

smatthew

Active Member
Jun 9, 2018
1,234
2,039
CA Bay Area
Posting this in the model 3 forum, because this effects adventurous model 3 drivers. But will be a bigger issue once Tesla has a more off-road capable vehicle.

Tried taking your car out of cell service? It's not fun. The car doesn't have a POI database. You have to know the exact address to navigate to (PSA: Not every location has an address you can enter offline. Lakes do not have a mailing address - nobody sends them letters anymore "Dear lake, how are you today? Tell the fish I said hi". Forest service campgrounds don't have addresses, just GPS coordinates and mile markers), OR If you plug all your destinations into navigation before you lose network access you can still navigate to them. IF the road is still open. But, the car's on screen map does not fully show forest roads. It will use forest roads to navigate to a destination, but while navigating, you can only see the road you're on. So when the road branches, it's very tough to tell which road to take because navigation says nothing, and the screen only show the current road. If the car would at least cache the satellite maps, that would help (And it would save Tesla money on cellular costs. My Model 3 loads the same satellite images over cellular every day that I drive). Yes, the car does have a base satellite map in the nav system, but the resolution is not good enough for navigation.

PS: Out on forest roads you can't expect to see signs. Often, locals will remove signs so that others can't find their favorite lake or dispersed camping spot. Last week I found one forest road where locals had posted a "Road closed in 8 miles sign". I called the rangers and it was definitely not closed. But it goes to show that you need good navigation and can't rely on signs.

There's also no way to re-route, or mark a road as closed. I was staying at the grassy flat forest service campground in Gasquet, CA and I wanted to go to Buck Lake on Thursday. Navigation would only give me a route that included a forest road that has been closed for like 2 years. Without being able to use navigation, how am I going to know if I have enough power to get there and get back? I tried using ABetterRoutePlanner and it didn't even know the lake existed.

I realize most Model 3 owners are not going on dirt forest roads. But I bet a much higher percentage of Cybertruck buyers will.

Tesla should allow owners to side load maps, or provide a "map download center". GeoPDF is an open standard for viewing geo-referenced maps. I should be able to load topographic and MVUM (Motor Vehicle Use Maps - forest maps that show forest road quality) maps and be able to reference them from my car. Heck, doesn't the car already have topo maps in it? How else it is taking into effect elevation changes for route planning?

Also, does any else else have issues with the car's cell connection not re-establishing for 30 minutes after being out of cell range overnight? I swear my car had much better cell coverage prior to my HW3 upgrade. Prior to HW3 my car would have cell service long after my phone lost it. Now it's reversed - I'll have two bars of LTE on my phone or iPad and the car will have nothing. I scheduled a service center visit, but my vehicle logs don't show anything wrong with the cellular modem.

The car also needs to have an alternative way to control it when it doesn't have cell coverage. Why can't the bluetooth implementation be expanded to allow the app to fully function? Having to crawl up to the front of the cabin to change the temperature at night is annoying. Why can't I use bluetooth and summon to move my car a few feet in my campground? If the bluetooth connection is secure enough to unlock the car, open the frunk, and authorize the car to drive, surely it's good enough for other controls? Or have the car broadcast a wifi network that your phone can connect to in order to control the car.

Maybe they'll just include a Starlink antenna in the CyberTruck and allow the truck to act as a hotspot. Or maybe they'll start using a cell modem that use AT&T & Verizon to ensure the widest coverage. Most likely, they'll ignore the problem until Elon decides to go camping in a CyberTruck and realizes how deficient the system is once it loses cellular service.
 
Jun 27, 2020
42
31
Euless, TX
I don't think the MCU's mapping capabilities are that much of a worry. I would have the same set of problems with my RAM when I had it...actually, the problems would be worse since it used fixed map data that updates yearly instead of daily/weekly (based on Tesla's release schedule). Furthermore, you can always share directions from your phone with Google or Apple Maps, and both of them support latlongs and downloaded maps fine.

(Tesla uses AT&T for cellular connectivity, btw)
 
  • Helpful
Reactions: Matsayz

EnrgyNDpndnce

Member
Sep 12, 2016
624
1,014
Charleston, SC
Some great points @smatthew. I have never taken the 3 camping but have been down several unpaved roads headed to state parks for a day. The longest stretch I have gone without any signal was over 30 minutes one time while driving off the beaten path in southern Kentucky. Roads were paved, albeit narrow and rough. I kept wondering “when am I going to get a signal again?” Was really glad I had plenty of charge remaining.

No doubt there will be a number of issues Tesla has to address for the first time in Cybertruck.
 
  • Like
Reactions: afadeev

smatthew

Active Member
Jun 9, 2018
1,234
2,039
CA Bay Area
I don't think the MCU's mapping capabilities are that much of a worry. I would have the same set of problems with my RAM when I had it...actually, the problems would be worse since it used fixed map data that updates yearly instead of daily/weekly (based on Tesla's release schedule). Furthermore, you can always share directions from your phone with Google or Apple Maps, and both of them support latlongs and downloaded maps fine.

(Tesla uses AT&T for cellular connectivity, btw)

You can't send directions to a Tesla. You can send an address. I could use maps on my phone, but that doesn't calculate power consumption. And when traveling up and down mountains you need to be able to calculate power consumption so you don't get stuck.

If a Tesla ran out of power on a forest road, it could literally be there forever. AAA doesn't cover forest service road tows. And lots of tow companies often won't risk scratching their vehicles. Not to mention it would have to be a flatbed tow-truck (can't use dollies on dirt road), which cannot turn around on a forest service road. Unless you expect them to drive in reverse for 10-15 miles.

A ram 1500 awd has a gas tank with a huge range (550-790 miles). And you can throw a 5g gas can in the bed of the truck which will get you another 125 miles. Can't do that with a Tesla.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Eclectic

smatthew

Active Member
Jun 9, 2018
1,234
2,039
CA Bay Area
If anyone is serious about navigating when off the grid they need to get a capable GPS unit, and load the appropriate maps onto it. These are affordable and relatively easy to come by and use. I have a Garmin Oregon that's almost always in my car for this.

Will your GPS calculate power usage for the trip? That's the problem.

BTW - I have Avenza maps on my phone and I load the appropriate maps before I leave on a trip.

I think it is ridiculous to say "Oh, never mind that big fancy computer in your car. Go buy a $400 GPS, then spend $100 a year per region on topo maps for it, and $75 a year just to enable basic roadway navigation" No, Tesla just needs to improve.
 
Last edited:

skygraff

Member
May 15, 2018
178
136
Chicago
In my day, we used these awkward things called maps!


It is unfortunate how much needs to be served to the car and I absolutely agree that Tesla should’ve allowed some buffer for that, especially if you set your destination to somewhere it can predict will be without service. In the meantime, if you can predict it, google will let you save maps offline. I did that in a couple of national parks.
 
  • Funny
Reactions: Big Ike

kbecks13

Active Member
Dec 27, 2017
1,915
2,269
SoCal
If anyone is serious about navigating when off the grid they need to get a capable GPS unit, and load the appropriate maps onto it. These are affordable and relatively easy to come by and use. I have a Garmin Oregon that's almost always in my car for this.

I agree and you probably should have a real one anyway, BUT it would be pretty badass if the car could load this for you (maybe store on the USB drive used for dashcam) so it's available when offline for certain regions. Google lets you do this with your phone for maps, so something similar but for Tesla?

We already carry a phone + the car which both have GPS in them, may as well get the most out of it!
 

smatthew

Active Member
Jun 9, 2018
1,234
2,039
CA Bay Area
Perhaps this is simply is not the right vehicle for such folks...
You mean the cybertruck isn't meant to leave pavement? That's odd.
The Performance Y doesn't have track mode - it has off road mode.
My model 3 does great on 95% of forest roads. The only thing that stops me is ground clearance on extremely rutted roads.

The issue isn't the suitability of the vehicle - it's an issue of needing software improvements. Which Tesla is really good at given enough time.
 
  • Disagree
Reactions: SmartElectric

mmanner

Member
Feb 28, 2017
99
83
Nashville
You mean the cybertruck isn't meant to leave pavement? That's odd.
The Performance Y doesn't have track mode - it has off road mode.
My model 3 does great on 95% of forest roads. The only thing that stops me is ground clearance on extremely rutted roads.

The issue isn't the suitability of the vehicle - it's an issue of needing software improvements. Which Tesla is really good at given enough time.

I don't think he meant that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: doghousePVD

outdoors

Always roaming
Aug 10, 2014
1,602
2,754
in the moment
My 3 seems to navigate the backwoods of Wyoming just fine with no GPS mapping as long as I put in the address prior to leaving. Sure the signal goes out, and tiles stop loading, but directions still are there. I let my maps load, then don't change the view to hold the image. I drive up to many places that have no address. Even a lake. Hold down, and it gives you directions. If one does not take the time to look at the route, well I don't get that. I do that when I put just about any address outside of 15 miles from home.

I personally would never trust car navigation for fire roads or forest service roads. These roads change based on seasonality and condition. I take a gazetteer and a GPS. Topos for my hike. A call to a ranger station prior is always a good thought as well. Once in Montana they were doing road maintenance on a section. As in you ain't getting by. I can't expect a car to know that. Ranger Bob doesn't go onto Montana DOT and mark NF114 is closed for the day.

Downloading side maps. Great idea. Tweet worthy.:)

Forest roads can be nasty. Leave a car at the bottom of a FR you could be looking at 10-15k to have it pulled out. The Feds will force your hand quite quickly to have your insurance company extricate the vehicle. Watching a truck get pulled up with snatch blocks and much of the work done by hand is truly amazing work of engineering. Be careful out there.
 

sduck

Mr. Duck
Nov 6, 2017
1,429
1,423
Nashville TN
Will your GPS calculate power usage for the trip? That's the problem.

BTW - I have Avenza maps on my phone and I load the appropriate maps before I leave on a trip.

I think it is ridiculous to say "Oh, never mind that big fancy computer in your car. Go buy a $400 GPS, then spend $100 a year per region on topo maps for it, and $75 a year just to enable basic roadway navigation" No, Tesla just needs to improve.
Of course it would be great if Tesla implemented maps/software that worked when off the grid. I'm not saying it's a bad idea. BUT, in the meantime, until tesla does this, my gps solution is perfectly valid, even though it won't replace ALL the features that tesla could implement. And FWIW my garmin was 400$ - you got that part correct, but a lifetime subscription to maps that have navigation built in is only a 175$ cost, once. Which reminds me, it's probably time to check for map updates for it. (I'm a geocacher, have owned many really cool GPS devices since 2002)
 

Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
1,514
1,004
Syracuse, NY
Posting this in the model 3 forum, because this effects adventurous model 3 drivers. But will be a bigger issue once Tesla has a more off-road capable vehicle.

Tried taking your car out of cell service? It's not fun. The car doesn't have a POI database. You have to know the exact address to navigate to (PSA: Not every location has an address you can enter offline. Lakes do not have a mailing address - nobody sends them letters anymore "Dear lake, how are you today? Tell the fish I said hi". Forest service campgrounds don't have addresses, just GPS coordinates and mile markers), OR If you plug all your destinations into navigation before you lose network access you can still navigate to them. IF the road is still open. But, the car's on screen map does not fully show forest roads. It will use forest roads to navigate to a destination, but while navigating, you can only see the road you're on. So when the road branches, it's very tough to tell which road to take because navigation says nothing, and the screen only show the current road. If the car would at least cache the satellite maps, that would help (And it would save Tesla money on cellular costs. My Model 3 loads the same satellite images over cellular every day that I drive). Yes, the car does have a base satellite map in the nav system, but the resolution is not good enough for navigation.

PS: Out on forest roads you can't expect to see signs. Often, locals will remove signs so that others can't find their favorite lake or dispersed camping spot. Last week I found one forest road where locals had posted a "Road closed in 8 miles sign". I called the rangers and it was definitely not closed. But it goes to show that you need good navigation and can't rely on signs.

There's also no way to re-route, or mark a road as closed. I was staying at the grassy flat forest service campground in Gasquet, CA and I wanted to go to Buck Lake on Thursday. Navigation would only give me a route that included a forest road that has been closed for like 2 years. Without being able to use navigation, how am I going to know if I have enough power to get there and get back? I tried using ABetterRoutePlanner and it didn't even know the lake existed.

I realize most Model 3 owners are not going on dirt forest roads. But I bet a much higher percentage of Cybertruck buyers will.

Tesla should allow owners to side load maps, or provide a "map download center". GeoPDF is an open standard for viewing geo-referenced maps. I should be able to load topographic and MVUM (Motor Vehicle Use Maps - forest maps that show forest road quality) maps and be able to reference them from my car. Heck, doesn't the car already have topo maps in it? How else it is taking into effect elevation changes for route planning?

Also, does any else else have issues with the car's cell connection not re-establishing for 30 minutes after being out of cell range overnight? I swear my car had much better cell coverage prior to my HW3 upgrade. Prior to HW3 my car would have cell service long after my phone lost it. Now it's reversed - I'll have two bars of LTE on my phone or iPad and the car will have nothing. I scheduled a service center visit, but my vehicle logs don't show anything wrong with the cellular modem.

The car also needs to have an alternative way to control it when it doesn't have cell coverage. Why can't the bluetooth implementation be expanded to allow the app to fully function? Having to crawl up to the front of the cabin to change the temperature at night is annoying. Why can't I use bluetooth and summon to move my car a few feet in my campground? If the bluetooth connection is secure enough to unlock the car, open the frunk, and authorize the car to drive, surely it's good enough for other controls? Or have the car broadcast a wifi network that your phone can connect to in order to control the car.

Maybe they'll just include a Starlink antenna in the CyberTruck and allow the truck to act as a hotspot. Or maybe they'll start using a cell modem that use AT&T & Verizon to ensure the widest coverage. Most likely, they'll ignore the problem until Elon decides to go camping in a CyberTruck and realizes how deficient the system is once it loses cellular service.

So you basically want everything under the sun. Got it. Elon's on it.
 
Jun 27, 2020
42
31
Euless, TX
Solid points!

You can't send directions to a Tesla. You can send an address. I could use maps on my phone, but that doesn't calculate power consumption. And when traveling up and down mountains you need to be able to calculate power consumption so you don't get stuck.

If a Tesla ran out of power on a forest road, it could literally be there forever. AAA doesn't cover forest service road tows. And lots of tow companies often won't risk scratching their vehicles. Not to mention it would have to be a flatbed tow-truck (can't use dollies on dirt road), which cannot turn around on a forest service road. Unless you expect them to drive in reverse for 10-15 miles.

A ram 1500 awd has a gas tank with a huge range (550-790 miles). And you can throw a 5g gas can in the bed of the truck which will get you another 125 miles. Can't do that with a Tesla.
i
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top