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

The One Serious Flaw With The Model S

martinwinlow

Member
Jun 18, 2012
360
-28
Isle of Colonsay, UK
Just spent the best part of a week driving around unfamiliar territory in the wilds of Devon and have decided the S has a critical flaw.

Given that the touch-screen is such an integral aspect of driving and enjoying the S - and how much attention it gets when people first lay eyes on the S - it seems utterly unbelievable that Tesla would think it quite acceptable to supply the touch-screen in a form that reduces it to a useless (but very pretty) bit of dash real estate unless you have 3g or wifi coverage. Its main function when driving must be navigation and this goes straight out the window as soon as you have no internet access.

Meanwhile, my TomTom app on my smartphone carries on working perfectly fine, thanks very much, putting my £55k car to shame. It would be the height of naffness to have to mount my smartphone next to the touch-screen.

What was Tesla thinking?

Why not spend an extra £50 per car to provide it with sufficient extra digital storage for map data (should it need it) and a TomTom (preferably) licence?

Oh, and while I am in whinge mode... can something be done about the awful voice interface, please! MW
 

mgboyes

Member
Apr 16, 2014
812
26
United Kingdom
Just spent the best part of a week driving around unfamiliar territory in the wilds of Devon and have decided the S has a critical flaw.

Given that the touch-screen is such an integral aspect of driving and enjoying the S - and how much attention it gets when people first lay eyes on the S - it seems utterly unbelievable that Tesla would think it quite acceptable to supply the touch-screen in a form that reduces it to a useless (but very pretty) bit of dash real estate unless you have 3g or wifi coverage. Its main function when driving must be navigation and this goes straight out the window as soon as you have no internet access.

Meanwhile, my TomTom app on my smartphone carries on working perfectly fine, thanks very much, putting my £55k car to shame. It would be the height of naffness to have to mount my smartphone next to the touch-screen.

What was Tesla thinking?

Why not spend an extra £50 per car to provide it with sufficient extra digital storage for map data (should it need it) and a TomTom (preferably) licence?

Oh, and while I am in whinge mode... can something be done about the awful voice interface, please! MW

Yes the satnav is a joke. There is a rumour that a major overhaul of the whole system is coming along with v7.0.

To be fair to them, they were almost certainly thinking about California and/or the US, where 3G coverage is enormously better than the UK. We have the worst 3G network in Europe, so all the various flaws that result from crappy service are multiplied here.

Also there is a built-in satnav system; it's what drives the intstrument panel map display, which works without 3G. You can always just hide the map on the instrument cluster and just use that.

But I know that a lot of people keep a TomTom unit in the car as a backup :-(
 

anticitizen13.7

Not posting at TMC after 9/17/2018
Dec 22, 2012
3,638
5,761
United States
To be fair to them, they were almost certainly thinking about California and/or the US, where 3G coverage is enormously better than the UK. We have the worst 3G network in Europe, so all the various flaws that result from crappy service are multiplied here.

Also there is a built-in satnav system; it's what drives the intstrument panel map display, which works without 3G. You can always just hide the map on the instrument cluster and just use that.

Yes, from what I understand there are 2 different systems: a Google Maps on the main center panel and a conventional satnav in the panel in front of the driver which gives turn-by-turn directions. I don't think the latter requires 3G to work properly.

3G and 4G coverage in the U.S. is generally very good in most populous areas and along major highways, but Americans pay for this in part through horribly expensive wireless service plans compared to the rest of the world.
 

jbcarioca

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2015
5,106
23,415
...

3G and 4G coverage in the U.S. is generally very good in most populous areas and along major highways, but Americans pay for this in part through horribly expensive wireless service plans compared to the rest of the world.
True, probably, but I get better LTE connectivity even in Brazil than I get in the US, and the slow software of my tesla makes it worse. In the meantime I use my phone and Waze almost everywhere worldwide because of superior connectivity, up-to-date maps, notification of obstructions and traffic alerts. We really need vast improvements in mapping in our cars, including all the Waze features. That or the equivalent should be a part of standard features everywhere tesla is supported and/or sold. I am prepared to pay for the graphics upgrade and even for the 4G chip, if I must. After all I paid for it in my Phone. In the meantime I hope Tesla can fix the horrible Supercharger mapping problems to eliminate the absurd backtracking in the current version.

This is my chief gripe in my Tesla. I'm glad it's my biggest irritation!
 

roblab

Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
3,371
2,425
Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
Yes, it's a wonder anyone can get from Point A to Point B nowadays. :rolleyes:

I went on vacation in the UK a few years back, drove all over, found neat hotels, found neat castles, found neat churches, got 72 mpg on the rental Prius, had tea and scones every day, found seagulls in my room in Dover, met friends and toured the Isle of Wight. They used Nav to find their way to the ferry, and they live in Gosport, right there. I never used Nav my whole vacation, and I was the tourist. I still barely use Nav on my Tesla, and I have 75,000 miles on it.

I guess once you start using it, your personal mental maps and nav ability go away.
 

trils0n

2013 P85
Feb 12, 2013
1,527
1,947
SF Bay Area
Is the UK version different than the US version in this regard? The 17 inch maps certainly stop displaying without 3G, but the instrument cluster nav is onboard and available all the time.
 

spc

Member
Jan 28, 2015
112
32
Edinburg, TX
the instrument cluster nav is onboard and available all the time.

I dont think so, it only turns on if you select a turn by turn destination, and one is not able to zoom out to see a little more.
Perhaps if we could just switch the google nav OFF and use the local maps on the main screen just like we would a Garmin or Tom Tom and display the map without a destination set.
 

trils0n

2013 P85
Feb 12, 2013
1,527
1,947
SF Bay Area
I dont think so, it only turns on if you select a turn by turn destination, and one is not able to zoom out to see a little more.
Perhaps if we could just switch the google nav OFF and use the local maps on the main screen just like we would a Garmin or Tom Tom and display the map without a destination set.

I guess we are talking about the same thing. By available all the time I meant it is possible to use it without 3G connection. It is true you have to set a nav destination and can't just view the maps.

That would be a nice feature to be able to view the onboard maps on the 17 inch screen when there is no 3G connection. Would be a nice if it switched over automatically when there was no signal.
 

AudubonB

One can NOT induce accuracy with precision!
Mar 24, 2013
8,026
26,293
I'm in absolute agreement with the OP's frustration, and I'm an American. I do understand that most Americans - and by extension, most US Tesla owners - live in areas well covered by 3G, etc. However, not only do not all of them do {insert my favorite poster child - me - here} but, more importantly in the Big Picture, it is in areas of the US that are not covered by such connectivity where the utility of good map coverage comes to the fore!

The Model S is a magnificent vehicle; this is one area where it most definitely can use some very large improvement.
 

Krugerrand

Is Cat
Jul 13, 2012
10,818
52,364
Tesla friendly place
I went on vacation in the UK a few years back, drove all over, found neat hotels, found neat castles, found neat churches, got 72 mpg on the rental Prius, had tea and scones every day, found seagulls in my room in Dover, met friends and toured the Isle of Wight. They used Nav to find their way to the ferry, and they live in Gosport, right there. I never used Nav my whole vacation, and I was the tourist. I still barely use Nav on my Tesla, and I have 75,000 miles on it.

I guess once you start using it, your personal mental maps and nav ability go away.

My husband and I often purposely try and get lost, then spend the day discovering all sorts of wonders. Invariably we never stay lost for long. Not sure how or why that happens, but it does. Must be like you say, some sort of internal system.
 

smac

Active Member
Aug 4, 2013
1,745
837
Nottinghamshire
I just wish they'd roll out the API, then we could download an improved sat nav app ;) (Plus loads of other stuff that truly made the screen more useful)

Personally I've not really needed the sat nav yet (it's hard getting lost between home and the office), ironically I also get perfect 3G along the route, so I don't share the frustration.

Out of interest what do you not like about the voice interface? Are you talking about the voice recognition bit?
 

martinwinlow

Member
Jun 18, 2012
360
-28
Isle of Colonsay, UK
With *3 times* the amount of 'road' per square mile in the UK compared to the US (List of OECD countries by road network size - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) I would not try that here (UK - England especially - where it is probably 5 times+ - not many roads in Scotland and Wales - mostly hills... and sheep) without good local knowledge or a decent satnav... unless you have a diesel camper van!

As regards my OP whinge, I have re-read the manual and, indeed, maps are 'on board' for the dash display/satnav. Quite why they can't be used also when there is not web connection is a puzzle. It is a bit irksome not being able to se what route the satnav has decided is best. This does raise another Q, tho... if I want to drive in Europe are maps already 'on board'? If not how does one get them?

And 'roblab'... are you *serious*? If you did manage without a satnav in England, I can only assume you weren't driving an EV, that you had a very open itinerary, lots of cash for fuel and the patience of a saint! MW
 

arg

Supporting Member
Aug 22, 2012
1,794
1,749
Cambridge, UK
And 'roblab'... are you *serious*? If you did manage without a satnav in England, I can only assume you weren't driving an EV, that you had a very open itinerary, lots of cash for fuel and the patience of a saint! MW

Or a map?

Maybe I'm a dinosaur, but the Model S is my first car where I've routinely used satnav (despite having it available before). This is slightly out of necessity (needing to keep an eye on range), but mainly because I like the Tesla nav much better (when it is working).

I've never liked the fact that with traditional satnav you have to put all your faith in its direction and just follow them blindly - yes, you can go and interrogate it to find out the route it has chosen, but not easily on a small screen and not practical to use while driving. With the Tesla system you've always got the big map there to let you see if you like what the nav has chosen and to make your own diversions based on local knowledge and/or the google traffic display. You can fiddle with the big display in odd moments like when stopped at a traffic light without losing track of the navigation instructions on the other screen if you suddenly need to move.

Of course, it's the fact that it works so well under good conditions just makes the limitations all the more frustrating...
 

thegruf

Active Member
Mar 24, 2015
2,278
1,975
indeterminate
Question: as the maps are Google based do they behave like android maps?
If you set a route before you leave (in range of wifi) the map tiles are all pre-loaded for the route, this means you can navigate without mobile reception.

I am thinking quite a bit of this is Google functionality more than just Tesla.
 

arg

Supporting Member
Aug 22, 2012
1,794
1,749
Cambridge, UK
Question: as the maps are Google based do they behave like android maps?
If you set a route before you leave (in range of wifi) the map tiles are all pre-loaded for the route, this means you can navigate without mobile reception.
.

Unfortunately not. This is one of the many things that could readily be done but isn't (the other prime one is only offering the direct address entry when there is no network connection at all, leaving you high and dry when there is a network conection available but too slow to use).
 

jpcarreiro

Member
Dec 1, 2014
22
7
London, UK
Fingers crossed for that V7 they do upgrade the maps to the "latest" Android version. At the very least I would expect it to use the vector maps instead of bitmaps and to "download" the full route like Android has been doing for a couple of years.
 

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