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

ThomasD

Member
Nov 22, 2019
916
400
Breckenridge Co Ky
Maybe people are wanting the same capabilities or more than an ICE truck. Not only would I have gps mapping but off the beaten path I would have printed out topographical maps of the areas I was visiting. and take them with with me. I would also have emergency two way radios. Also I would take with me an emergency locator beacon. This is not my Truck but I have had some of this equipment in my vehicles when traveling off from civilization.
7d07ce38d2860b1577ee71d78f6ccad3.jpg
 

S4WRXTTCS

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
5,390
6,108
Snohomish, WA
I agree with the OP, But I doubt Tesla will do any of that.

If/when I do get a CyberTruck I'll probably do the same thing as I do with my 4x4 Camper Van. Where I use a mix of GPS, paper maps, and offline phone apps.

Hopefully Tesla will have Starlink integration by the time I get it.
 

lotusland

Member
Jun 30, 2011
296
350
I'm off-network somewhat frequently, in my car sometimes but mostly hiking or biking. If I need navigation I rely on my iPhone, in airplane mode but with GPS on, and some form of nav software -- usually Gaia but I also use manually-created maps from Caltopo. It would be great if any Tesla could offer this kind of nav approach, but I'm not going to hold my breath and it's not even close to a deal breaker for me. Gaia integration with off-line and user maps would probably be the easiest way to go.
 
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skygraff

Member
May 15, 2018
178
136
Chicago
Kind of wish you could plaster something else up on the main display than a bunch of grey blocks. You can sort of hide them by putting something else up but the map layer is always persistent. Didn't think to try it but I wonder if Mars will display without a cell signal.
 

smatthew

Active Member
Jun 9, 2018
1,234
2,039
CA Bay Area
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.

You are completely right. Having up to date MVUM maps AND calling the ranger station for updates is always the right thing to do before going on forest service roads. The call only takes a minute, and in my experience forest rangers are super cheerful and love to help out. I always do that before I head out on forest roads. (PS: During covid most ranger stations are listed as closed. That just means closed to the public. They're there and are answering the phones)
That's why I knew I needed to re-route, but couldn't get the car to do it. I knew the route to take.
The thing I do trust the car on is energy estimates. If it knows the route, it does a decent job of energy usage estimation if you follow the speed limits it thinks exist. And watching energy usage quickly alerts you if your speeds or weather are going to cause a problem.
Hence the car needs the ability for the driver to say "We can't use this road" That was a function on my 2008(I think) Magellan gps (PS: Best GPS I ever had. Tried to upgrade like 5 year later and I returned the new unit immediately. Eventually it's maps were out of date, but while it worked it had a very simple and intuitive interface. It was one of the first units that didn't say "Re-Routing" when you missed a turn)
 
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smatthew

Active Member
Jun 9, 2018
1,234
2,039
CA Bay Area
I'm off-network somewhat frequently, in my car sometimes but mostly hiking or biking. If I need navigation I rely on my iPhone, in airplane mode but with GPS on, and some form of nav software -- usually Gaia but I also use manually-created maps from Caltopo. It would be great if any Tesla could offer this kind of nav approach, but I'm not going to hold my breath and it's not even close to a deal breaker for me. Gaia integration with off-line and user maps would probably be the easiest way to go.

Never heard of Caltopo - I'll check it out!

This is definitely not a deal breaker for a Model 3. What percentage of Model 3 owners will ever take their car on a forest road? 1% maybe? But if Model Y comes with off road mode, and with the Cybertruck coming, it may be a little more of an issue for some drivers. Honestly, I feel a little ridiculous when I pull up at a remote alpine lake in my LR RWD M3 and some guy in a huge 4x4 truck has to wait behind me as I drove slowly the last 1/4 mile to avoid wrecking my suspension. Please note: I may have felt ridiculous, but the guy almost instantly told me I had done the right thing. I'm used to truck drivers occasionally being unkind to non-truck drivers, but this guy was like "Oh yeah you gotta drive slow in a passenger vehicle on this road. Nobody wants a blowout." And then he told me the best spots to go fishing at! 5 minutes later I had caught a beautiful brook trout.

I hope nobody thinks I'm knocking these vehicles. I love my Tesla. I just know that Tesla sometimes needs to hear suggestions from the community of users who have actual road experience and can provide constructive feedback. So when they see us having a discussion about this, I hope someone at Tesla listens.
 

Backpacker42

Member
Nov 1, 2019
26
53
Sunnyvale
Take my M3 off-road and had not noticed issues, since I know I would get no service at all. Print the applicable topos on paper beforehand and use old-fashioned GPS. My only issue is where do I hook the tow hook in the rear?
p20191005_081426.jpg
 
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PNWLeccy

Member
Jul 11, 2019
874
702
Seattle
Take my M3 off-road and had not noticed issues, since I know I would get no service at all. Print the applicable topos on paper beforehand and use old-fashioned GPS. My only issue is where do I hook the tow hook in the rear?View attachment 561283
Tow hook port is in the front bumper. Hook is in the frunk.

Side note: I like the exoskeloton backpack- very old school! I used one of those in college when I use to borrow equipment from our gear sharing club
 

bpjod

Supporting Member
Nov 5, 2016
446
2,122
Alberta, Canada
I have the same problem with my canoe.

Solved it with topo maps and a compass. GPS is nice, but not necessary. Don't want to count on it when I'm 1 week's paddle away from civilization either - the batteries or the unit could die, I'd hate to be stranded.

As for running out of charge - monitor your battery usage carefully. Make sure you leave enough juice to get back home. Same as I do with my food supplies when canoeing or fuel when off-roading.

Sheesh, kids these days...
 
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smatthew

Active Member
Jun 9, 2018
1,234
2,039
CA Bay Area
I have the same problem with my canoe.

Solved it with topo maps and a compass. GPS is nice, but not necessary. Don't want to count on it when I'm 1 week's paddle away from civilization either - the batteries or the unit could die, I'd hate to be stranded.

As for running out of charge - monitor your battery usage carefully. Make sure you leave enough juice to get back home. Same as I do with my food supplies when canoeing or fuel when off-roading.

Sheesh, kids these days...
Yeah, planning food for a trip is easy. X days, X number of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
So can you explain how to calculate how much battery will be used when going up a mountain? Or through a series of passes, going up, down, up, down? Is there a formula I should know?
 

bpjod

Supporting Member
Nov 5, 2016
446
2,122
Alberta, Canada
Yeah, planning food for a trip is easy. X days, X number of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
So can you explain how to calculate how much battery will be used when going up a mountain? Or through a series of passes, going up, down, up, down? Is there a formula I should know?

Planning food is easy once you have experience and know how much food you need to get you through a day of backpacking, canoeing, etc. It's not the same as when you spend a day at home.

My father who spends 1/3 of the year out in the wilderness has his daily needs calculated to the gram. He plugs the number of days he and his girlfriend will be away from civilization in to his spreadsheet and his grocery list and meal plans for every day are spit out for him to the gram. It didn't start that way, but years of experience and careful notetaking has gotten him to this stage. I recall my first few expeditions where I either came back with lots of excess food or else food was sparse the last couple of days. It is only with experience I learned how much to pack for myself and my wife/kids.

The early BEV pioneers (only 10 years ago!) had little to no car charging infrastructure. They figured it out. How? Experience. In the winter I load up every cubic inch of space in the car as well as a roof box, then pack 4 people in the car and head out into the Canadian Rockies for adventure. The car's predictions are wildly inaccurate with the roof box, then made worse when the roads are covered in snow, it's -35C outside and there's a headwind to contend with. Running out of battery in these conditions could be quite dangerous so I never rely on the car's trip planner for these journeys. I've gotten much better at predicting the car's capabilities on these trips with experience.

With off-roading you won't be going highway speeds (usually) so that eliminates one huge range-killer. Climbs will be a drain, but regen will recover much of that on the descent. The uneven surface will be a range suck. Mud, sand, rock gardens, they'll all be a drain too. Start small. Keep an eye on energy consumption. Build up to longer and longer excursions. Always head out with far more battery capacity than you think you'll need. With experience you'll learn what kind of consumption you're getting. Then you'll be able to calculate what's possible. 500 miles of highway range will probably translate into 200+ miles of off-road range which is a pretty long off-road excursion.

Even those off-roading today have the same issues with gasoline: will they get far enough with the fuel in their tank? Do they need to bring extra fuel? 5 gallons extra? 10? With experience, they get better at calculating their needs.

I don't expect Tesla to calculate this stuff for me. In fact figuring all that stuff out is an important and fun part of the experience IMO. It's why we leave the beaten path and head out for adventure!
 
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PNWLeccy

Member
Jul 11, 2019
874
702
Seattle
We also need an electric version of a Jerry can which is an important backup when going off the beaten track.

I think with advent of Rivian and a few others, hopefully some sort of solution will be produced in the near future to serve this purpose.
 

camalaio

Active Member
May 28, 2019
1,483
2,086
Vernon, BC, Canada
I completely agree with the sentiment, and it's easy to expand upon. No forest roads required.

The navigation data is separate from the visual data. Navigating can technically work, but the paths are low res and have no context. This was extremely confusing when looking for a CHAdeMO charger in a port town (which we had plugged in the address for hours prior).

I've driven a lot in Western North America. There are huge gaps in signal for critical highways and some more remote towns. For an EV these are a terrible situation.

Charge level plummeting due to unexpected weather? Good luck. Even with ridiculous amounts of pre-planning I was close to stranded twice. I knew exactly what I was getting into and still needed to make emergency CHAdeMO stops (thankfully one I remembered existed from PlugShare the day before, the other we got signal on our phones right before). Oh yeah, and we needed our phones - needing a roaming plan just to use an EV across the border was... weird. But very necessary. EVs need offline charger databases until they're as common as gas stations. For that matter, EV stations really just need to adopt credit card payments too. My 2014 Honda Crosstour had offline maps with POI, gas stations, forest roads. Sure they were outdated, but that's a heck of a lot better than having no data.

And for every day, there's mountains here. My local area is populated. I lose signal driving to work briefly - if using Spotify, this completely breaks media streaming and Bluetooth until a restart. Fastest subscription cancellation ever. I'm talking a 10 second gap in connectivity, and it just completely breaks the media. Wild. If only I could plug in an aux cord.

And the bug report feature? I went to report a connectivity related bug that way. Turns out that feature doesn't work without connectivity! (Actually, probably no voice commands do).

And I definitely take this thing off road. Forest roads are actually quite fine. I'm absolutely one of those people driving a "city" car where I "shouldn't" because it actually works just fine.

Personally I think we're gonna end up with a few embarrassing stories of stranded/discharged Cybertrucks.
 

PNWLeccy

Member
Jul 11, 2019
874
702
Seattle
I completely agree with the sentiment, and it's easy to expand upon. No forest roads required.

The navigation data is separate from the visual data. Navigating can technically work, but the paths are low res and have no context. This was extremely confusing when looking for a CHAdeMO charger in a port town (which we had plugged in the address for hours prior).

I've driven a lot in Western North America. There are huge gaps in signal for critical highways and some more remote towns. For an EV these are a terrible situation.

Charge level plummeting due to unexpected weather? Good luck. Even with ridiculous amounts of pre-planning I was close to stranded twice. I knew exactly what I was getting into and still needed to make emergency CHAdeMO stops (thankfully one I remembered existed from PlugShare the day before, the other we got signal on our phones right before). Oh yeah, and we needed our phones - needing a roaming plan just to use an EV across the border was... weird. But very necessary. EVs need offline charger databases until they're as common as gas stations. For that matter, EV stations really just need to adopt credit card payments too. My 2014 Honda Crosstour had offline maps with POI, gas stations, forest roads. Sure they were outdated, but that's a heck of a lot better than having no data.

And for every day, there's mountains here. My local area is populated. I lose signal driving to work briefly - if using Spotify, this completely breaks media streaming and Bluetooth until a restart. Fastest subscription cancellation ever. I'm talking a 10 second gap in connectivity, and it just completely breaks the media. Wild. If only I could plug in an aux cord.

And the bug report feature? I went to report a connectivity related bug that way. Turns out that feature doesn't work without connectivity! (Actually, probably no voice commands do).

And I definitely take this thing off road. Forest roads are actually quite fine. I'm absolutely one of those people driving a "city" car where I "shouldn't" because it actually works just fine.

Personally I think we're gonna end up with a few embarrassing stories of stranded/discharged Cybertrucks.
These are a few good examples of where things are optimized for an ideal future which is a very Apple approach. The base assumptions are that everyone will have high speed connectivity wherever they go and things that are often thought of as necessary are deemed unnecessary (think removing the headphone port from the iPhone). These often prove to be the correct decision long term but can be consumer hostile in the bridge between the imperfect present and ideal future.

The lack of offline navigation/side loaded nav, analog/aux port, even heated steering wheel (which I suspect is due to Elon’s vision of a robotaxi future where FSD relegates all to passengers), etc. are all examples of how this car is built for the future and not always for the reality of now.

Admittedly, the scenarios we are talking about are largely edge cases but it is frustrating when Tesla half-asses some of their attempts. Camp mode is a classic example of an agile approach focused on pushing out features without doing enough testing. This is why I like seeing that Rivian is doing lots of real world testing of their cars in remote locations. Their approach will probably be more thought out but probably will receive less frequent updates so it’s a trade-off but we will see if/when we actually get a production vehicle!
 

camalaio

Active Member
May 28, 2019
1,483
2,086
Vernon, BC, Canada
These are a few good examples of where things are optimized for an ideal future which is a very Apple approach. The base assumptions are that everyone will have high speed connectivity wherever they go and things that are often thought of as necessary are deemed unnecessary (think removing the headphone port from the iPhone). These often prove to be the correct decision long term but can be consumer hostile in the bridge between the imperfect present and ideal future.

The lack of offline navigation/side loaded nav, analog/aux port, even heated steering wheel (which I suspect is due to Elon’s vision of a robotaxi future where FSD relegates all to passengers), etc. are all examples of how this car is built for the future and not always for the reality of now.

Admittedly, the scenarios we are talking about are largely edge cases but it is frustrating when Tesla half-asses some of their attempts. Camp mode is a classic example of an agile approach focused on pushing out features without doing enough testing. This is why I like seeing that Rivian is doing lots of real world testing of their cars in remote locations. Their approach will probably be more thought out but probably will receive less frequent updates so it’s a trade-off but we will see if/when we actually get a production vehicle!

It makes no sense to build a car that only lasts so long "for the future" though. Zero sense. I don't know if this is why the car is the way it is (I'm mostly refusing to believe it). We can already see this with EV charging networks - "it will get better", absolutely, but look at the time it's taken and I still can't just pick a direction and drive. Charger availability fully dictates where (and sometimes when) I can go. Now to say it might be designed for needing high speed uninterrupted connectivity 100% of the time despite no carrier wanting to take on that huge infrastructure development because it's not at all in their interest? Good luck, Tesla. (and it won't have Starlink in the future, Elon's previously addressed that question). Most hilariously, I've heard assertions that highways need mm-wave 5G nodes along the whole thing to enable vehicle autonomy. We've hardly strung lights along all major routes let alone high speed connectivity!

From my very biased perspective I also don't agree these are edge cases, but again I'm mostly in the West. Mountains interfere with signal and it's hard to have perfect connectivity everywhere (and honestly, I don't expect it - signal gaps are fine, every other device I've used handles that as gracefully as possible). I get the impression mountains and signal gaps are rare for most folks? But even driving through completely flat parts of the US, I've been hours without signal.

Not having a heated steering wheel because of robotaxi reasons is a take I haven't heard before :p

One of my favourite examples of Tesla half-ass engineering, to add to your good point, is Sentry. Hear me out. 300W of power to run a glorified dashcam? That's a disaster. Clearly a hype feature that it was not at all designed to support optimally. Ditto for Summon Standby. So unfortunate, but so successful. Like you mentioned, other manufacturers have a shot of doing things much better (unfortunately, this is more or less just doing things "the old way").
 

PNWLeccy

Member
Jul 11, 2019
874
702
Seattle
It makes no sense to build a car that only lasts so long "for the future" though. Zero sense. I don't know if this is why the car is the way it is (I'm mostly refusing to believe it). We can already see this with EV charging networks - "it will get better", absolutely, but look at the time it's taken and I still can't just pick a direction and drive. Charger availability fully dictates where (and sometimes when) I can go. Now to say it might be designed for needing high speed uninterrupted connectivity 100% of the time despite no carrier wanting to take on that huge infrastructure development because it's not at all in their interest? Good luck, Tesla. (and it won't have Starlink in the future, Elon's previously addressed that question). Most hilariously, I've heard assertions that highways need mm-wave 5G nodes along the whole thing to enable vehicle autonomy. We've hardly strung lights along all major routes let alone high speed connectivity!

From my very biased perspective I also don't agree these are edge cases, but again I'm mostly in the West. Mountains interfere with signal and it's hard to have perfect connectivity everywhere (and honestly, I don't expect it - signal gaps are fine, every other device I've used handles that as gracefully as possible). I get the impression mountains and signal gaps are rare for most folks? But even driving through completely flat parts of the US, I've been hours without signal.

Not having a heated steering wheel because of robotaxi reasons is a take I haven't heard before :p

One of my favourite examples of Tesla half-ass engineering, to add to your good point, is Sentry. Hear me out. 300W of power to run a glorified dashcam? That's a disaster. Clearly a hype feature that it was not at all designed to support optimally. Ditto for Summon Standby. So unfortunate, but so successful. Like you mentioned, other manufacturers have a shot of doing things much better (unfortunately, this is more or less just doing things "the old way").
Yea I never had much issue with losing service when living on the east coast but experience it much more often since moving out west. I feel Tesla would be smart to develop some sort of offline mode where if the Tesla trip planner recognizes you will be navigating through low service areas it proactively downloads maps.

Superchargers should have at least NFC to use CC loaded to your mobile wallet. I believe CA even passed some legislation that requires a payment input method on all chargers so that you dont need to download a million different apps. Maybe there is a happy medium here w/o having Tesla retrofit existing chargers?

With Tesla having such an integrated software/hardware stack they have some unique opportunities to create a seamless ecosystem but they need to allow for bluetooth /authentication tokens/etc. for connectivity when out of service range as they push forward. It will be a huge disappointment to many truck owners who can accomplish seemingly simple analog things that they could do in their old ICE trucks because Tesla is too "smart" for it's own good. Competition is always a good thing and I'm excited for some startups to push Tesla to shore up some of their weaknesses
 
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TX_M3P+

Member
Mar 6, 2020
559
388
Austin, TX
If this is an issue that every in-car nav system has, then why it is a problem Tesla needs to solve? I get that you need to know power consumption data for a trip and that it would be ideal for the car to do this for you when you are using non standard roads, but it seems to be an issue for all car manufacturers, not just Tesla. In the meanwhile, all the other external options seem to be better than having nothing at all, you just have to be smart with your power consumption and try not to get yourself into a situation where you don't have enough juice to get back to your starting point or to a charger.
 

camalaio

Active Member
May 28, 2019
1,483
2,086
Vernon, BC, Canada
If this is an issue that every in-car nav system has, then why it is a problem Tesla needs to solve?
It is not a problem with all other nav systems. In fact, it's probably not a problem with most of them I'd argue. The ones I've used have all been offline-capable from various brands. Some even leave little breadcrumb marks where they don't have road data for if you drive on them, so at least you can see where you've driven if the data isn't otherwise there.
I get that you need to know power consumption data for a trip and that it would be ideal for the car to do this for you when you are using non standard roads, but it seems to be an issue for all car manufacturers, not just Tesla. In the meanwhile, all the other external options seem to be better than having nothing at all, you just have to be smart with your power consumption and try not to get yourself into a situation where you don't have enough juice to get back to your starting point or to a charger.
As for why Tesla would need to solve it, like the OP mentioned, POI and charging stations are potentially more important than listing gas stations in an ICE vehicle (yet, even ICE navs often have offline data for gas stations), especially in 2020, reacting/planning to EV state of charge is far more difficult than gas station availability. So basically because Teslas are EVs. This doesn't mean Tesla is the only EV that should strive to solve this however. But they are the one with the largest number of owners that have feedback on EV needs/wants!

I also disagree that planning is always the solution. Some things you can't plan for or just don't expect (especially if not familiar with the area). These are less detrimental to ICEV for all the aforementioned reasons.
 

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