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The One Serious Flaw With The Model S

Dec 12, 2014
64
7
United Kingdom
As the car's 3G connection is so naff, I intend to tether my phone so that I can get 4G (unless my car comes with LTE as some cars now have in the States). Surely this gets it working in most instances? Or is it still as bad?
 

arg

Supporting Member
Aug 22, 2012
1,794
1,749
Cambridge, UK
As the car's 3G connection is so naff, I intend to tether my phone so that I can get 4G (unless my car comes with LTE as some cars now have in the States). Surely this gets it working in most instances? Or is it still as bad?

3G vs 4G isn't directly the issue: there's nothing wrong with the car's 3G hardware, and if there is good 3G coverage 3G speed is plenty for the car's purposes.

However, in the UK the car is (primarily) attached to the O2 network, and O2 doesn't have any 3G (or even 2.5G) coverage in rural areas. Currently, 02 don't have 4G coverage in those places either, though that may well change in the future.

So, our beef with Tesla is:
1) Poor choice of carrier for the UK
2) Car's software assumes good coverage and doesn't do some of the things that it could reasonably be expected to when coverage fails.

Tethering to your phone can help a lot - provided your phone isn't on O2, in which case it won't help at all.
 

PB85

Member
Jun 16, 2014
11
0
Silverstone UK
overview/experience and advice

Hi
The Thread is good - the Nav is poor - due to lack of 3G signal.
also the 'blue' route is still to 'thick' and makes viewing traffic hold-ups hard work.

The dash GPS based (turn by turn) navigation is good but you MUST select a new,previously unvisited, destination while you still have a 3G signal. pre-load before leaving.

Hence when you are in mid wales (or on the M40) both with almost no 3G, you can select your next destination from the 'last destinations' where it has been saved.

The only down side is when your day/workload changes and you need a genuine new destination - and have no signal....

Yes we can all navigate - between places - but the mileage and charging remaining information is what we miss when the 3G goes.

The ever insistence to always take you to a Supercharger - just seems to over emphasise the cars dependence on them. which is not my experience.

an example - fully charged, I choose to drive from Towcester to Exeter Supercharger 168miles (with in range) , and the Nav tells me to charge in Bristol. Difficult to get it to ignore this or not want to go there -Why?

Cashing maps - and holding data, would help poor 3G performance.

Thank you for taking a moment to review
PB85
 

arg

Supporting Member
Aug 22, 2012
1,794
1,749
Cambridge, UK
Hi
also the 'blue' route is still to 'thick' and makes viewing traffic hold-ups hard work.
I don't find that a problem now that red/yellow traffic is drawn on top of the blue.

The dash GPS based (turn by turn) navigation is good but you MUST select a new,previously unvisited, destination while you still have a 3G signal. pre-load before leaving.

Hence when you are in mid wales (or on the M40) both with almost no 3G, you can select your next destination from the 'last destinations' where it has been saved.
Yes, good advice.

The only down side is when your day/workload changes and you need a genuine new destination - and have no signal....

Strictly speaking, the real problem is only when you have a crap signal rather than no signal at all. With no signal, you can enter a street address. At one place I stay, setting the route before taking the car out of the garage (where there's no signal at all) is a workaround for the 2G signal outside.

Yes we can all navigate - between places - but the mileage and charging remaining information is what we miss when the 3G goes.
Not much that can be done about this.
The ever insistence to always take you to a Supercharger - just seems to over emphasise the cars dependence on them. which is not my experience.

an example - fully charged, I choose to drive from Towcester to Exeter Supercharger 168miles (with in range) , and the Nav tells me to charge in Bristol. Difficult to get it to ignore this or not want to go there -Why?

You can get it to ignore, but it's a pain in the arse to have to do it manually every time.

Select 'trip' (under the list of directions on the main screen) and it shows you all the charging stops it has inserted. At the bottom there's a button 'remove all charging stops'. It will then calculate the direct route and tell you the predicted charge at destination.
 

Worand

Member
May 14, 2015
17
1
United Kingdom
My screen has a very intermittent blue line. It draws initially (but not from present position) then diappears after a while and comes back very intermittently. Sometimes I can see a few miles of blues line a few miles ahead. Started happening one day and has been the same since. Any ideas?
 

arg

Supporting Member
Aug 22, 2012
1,794
1,749
Cambridge, UK
My screen has a very intermittent blue line. It draws initially (but not from present position) then diappears after a while and comes back very intermittently. Sometimes I can see a few miles of blues line a few miles ahead. Started happening one day and has been the same since. Any ideas?

Have you rebooted the console? I see this from time to time and a reboot clears it.

(if you haven't rebooted before, you do it by holding down both of the little scrollwheels on the steering wheel for several seconds - screen will go blank and reboot. You can also reboot the speedo in the same way by holding down the buttons above the scrollwheels. Perfectly safe to do while driving, although somewhat unnerving!).
 

Ugliest1

S85: "Sparky"
Aug 19, 2013
1,401
1,645
Victoria BC Canada
My screen has a very intermittent blue line. It draws initially (but not from present position) then diappears after a while and comes back very intermittently. Sometimes I can see a few miles of blues line a few miles ahead. Started happening one day and has been the same since. Any ideas?

I had that problem yesterday when travelling between Victoria and nearby westest-coast Sooke (30km NW of Victoria, with the odd area where cell service becomes problematic). I interpreted it to be interrupted data service to the car. It doesn't normally happen (in the sense, I'm not normally in areas of poor external service). On the other hand, the car's bluetooth or 3G occasionally quits entirely, temporarily, at random intervals. So far it's always come back within a few minutes. :)
 

tfboy

Gimme the Caaaaaar!
Jan 7, 2016
79
17
Reading, UK
From what I remember, the in dash satnav is based on Garmin Navigon which works without a 3G connection as maps are built in. The touchscreen using google is internet-based.

They are working on improving it - the Tesla rep I spoke to a few days ago about this said that the API used by Tesla and Google is still under development - it's not the same UI you get when using maps on the PC which is why it's so inferior and you can't for example drag to alter route, etc.

It's one thing that should improve over time.
 

thegruf

Active Member
Mar 24, 2015
2,278
1,975
indeterminate
I was told recent cars are fitted with 4G hardware and Tesla are negotiating an EU wide deal for 4G connectivity which will be released somtime in 2016. (3G is currently O2 in the UK at least).
Just hope that they dont go near Vodafone which is the worst network for overall coverage by far in the UK.

I am optimistic that we will see some good improvements in the UI through 2016+, I would speculate that v7 was a major update to the fundamental platform that will permit much better development in times to come.
 

MarkScott

Member
Oct 21, 2015
13
0
Hampshire, UK
To my mind the main issues with the Model S navigation system are not the disappearing touchscreen maps, they are much more fundamental:

1. There's no ability to program a route with intermediate stops ("via" somewhere) - this is basic, you can do it on a £50 standalone unit.

2. There's no ability to tell the system that there is a blockage ahead (here, or up to a couple of miles from here), and have it re-route - again this is basic.

These are within Tesla's control to fix, whereas the lack of 3G signal across significant parts of the UK is not.
 

smac

Active Member
Aug 4, 2013
1,745
837
Nottinghamshire
A bigger flaw than routing or blockages in my view is that once you have the destination set, the range assurance kicks in and tells you to slow down constantly :(

I've been driving round with it telling me to slow down to below 50 near enough constantly. I ignore it carry on at 70 (your honour) and still arrive with stacks to spare. (Those on Speak EV will have seen my demonstration ;) )
 

tfboy

Gimme the Caaaaaar!
Jan 7, 2016
79
17
Reading, UK
To my mind the main issues with the Model S navigation system are not the disappearing touchscreen maps, they are much more fundamental:

1. There's no ability to program a route with intermediate stops ("via" somewhere) - this is basic, you can do it on a £50 standalone unit.

2. There's no ability to tell the system that there is a blockage ahead (here, or up to a couple of miles from here), and have it re-route - again this is basic.

These are within Tesla's control to fix, whereas the lack of 3G signal across significant parts of the UK is not.
When I asked Tesla about this, they said it was a current limitation of the API with Google - the navigation isn't using the sams API as we benefit from using the web interface where you can drag and plan via routes.
I was told that they're working on this and it's as much a Google limitation as a Tesla one. How that then links in with the Navigon on the dash, I don't know. Maybe there is also a limitation on the interface with the Garmin software...

From my understanding as the initial route is only done by the touchscreen and Google, you need some form of data signal for it to do the route, and if you lose data connectivity during the drive, you lose the touchscreen / Google side, but the Garmin Navigon on the dash continues to function in its limited way, so there must be a hand-off from Google to Navigon. Maybe this communication is also part of the reason why you cannot currently do diversions and it's not just a Google API limitation...
 

smac

Active Member
Aug 4, 2013
1,745
837
Nottinghamshire
@tfboy, sounds to me Tesla just blowing off any responsibility. Every failing is from a supplier, or technology partner, or external factor. or <insert today's reason> .. it's never a problem of their own making. It's just their MO. (And understandable given the company is all about being right with their vision, they must continue this air of infallibility).

I've heard some right yarns over the last two years so excuse my cynicism!

Don't get me wrong the cars are great, and you will no doubt love your (P?)90D. Dealing with Tesla can be a bit less stellar, especially the further you get from Freemont and the Silicon Valley clique, so set your sights lower and avoid disappointment.
 

arg

Supporting Member
Aug 22, 2012
1,794
1,749
Cambridge, UK
From my understanding as the initial route is only done by the touchscreen and Google, you need some form of data signal for it to do the route, and if you lose data connectivity during the drive, you lose the touchscreen / Google side, but the Garmin Navigon on the dash continues to function in its limited way, so there must be a hand-off from Google to Navigon. Maybe this communication is also part of the reason why you cannot currently do diversions and it's not just a Google API limitation...

It's fairly clear that Google is only used to look up a destination you enter and obtain a geographical location for that (lat/long or similar), and all the actual navigation is then done by the Navigon subsystem (with the result being super-imposed as a blue line on the Google map). So they aren't really using Google for actual navigation at all.

However, at least there is now a way to enter a street address bypassing the Google lookup in case of present-but-flaky internet coverage (previously it was only possible if there was no internet connection at all, and the widespread 2G-only O2 coverage meant you couldn't enter a destination at all). I thought this was a new feature in 7.1, but someone on the TM forum claims that it appeared some time ago.
 

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