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Trip Planner / Range Assurance Test Results

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by Owner, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. Owner

    Owner Active Member

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    I wrote a blog post on my test of the new trip planner. The post is 3,200 words Road Trip Testing the New Trip Planner | TESLA OWNER .

    In summary with the current software, Tesla is trying to appease two opposing needs at the same time: range anxiety and optimal charging time. Unfortunately, these two needs are inversely correlated. If I want to have no range anxiety, I would fill up my battery as much as possible before continuing or at least add more of a cushion, but that would take up more time at the superchargers. If I want to optimize my charging time, I need to watch the driving speed and monitor the energy usage.

    The trip planner is working aggressively to get you out of the superchargers as fast as possible. But then as you leave the supercharger, the range assurance software starts to kick in and then get quite nervous that you need to charge quickly if you use more energy than the trip planner expected. The current setup can trigger quite a bit of range anxiety because there is so little margin between these two parts of the software causing a lot of early warnings.

    Here are my summary points that I think drivers should know when using these features.

    1. The amount of time to charge at each supercharger is relatively aggressive giving you an extra 25 miles to drive. If you want to drive faster than the speed limit or take any detours, you may wish to top off further.

    2. While driving from supercharger to supercharger and stopping perhaps for a few minutes just off the interstate, you may get some very scary warnings. Then the system may get very confused sending you off to an odd HPWC or even another supercharger.

    3. If you are inadvertently running low on juice, the list of charging stations Tesla uses does not include all available chargers such as Chargepoint, Blink, RV parks or municipal chargers.

    4. Once Tesla says that you are safe to continue on your journey, double check the amount of battery level before unplugging.

    5. You may get very inaccurate reports when you are out of cell phone range.

    I'm confident that Tesla will clean up this "Beta" software.
     
  2. Blu Zap

    Blu Zap Grinning member

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    @Owner
    Great info. Thanks for running this test. I have a trip coming up this weekend from the Bay Area to the San Diego area. Great info I will use as this is my first long trip with 6.2. Thanks!
     
  3. napabill

    napabill Active Member

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    The Trip Planner software should have never been given a general release, even with the "Beta" designation. The software is so flawed it is an embarrassment, especially when coupled with Elon's hype of "ending range anxiety." Here is my example from a trip I just completed yesterday:

    Started in Barstow, and entered my home address in Napa. Trip Planner correctly routed me to Mojave, then direct to Harris Ranch. In Mojave I charged enough to provide a 24% cushion.

    In route from Mojave I pulled off in Tehachape for Starbucks, which was maybe 3 miles off highway. I was at about 18% cushion.

    I then made the mistake of canceling the route and re-entering it. Trip Planner now wanted me to jog south to Tejon for a short charge. This adds about an hour to the trip. Even though I now had over a 20% cushion.

    I knew the route well enough that I ignored the Trip Planner detour and proceeded through Bakersfield up 99 to Wasco cuttoff. I kept re-entering Harris Ranch and kept being told to reverse field and drive south to Tejon. I went into the settings and turned off Trip Planner, then re-entered Harris Ranch. Gave me the correct routing.

    If I had been traveling in an area unknown to me I would have added well over an hour to my trip, with NO reduction in Range Anxiety.
     
  4. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    I did a trip to Nashville last week and every trip the planner did was forcing me to drive all the way to the Chattanooga SC, first. EVEN when I had ~140 miles of range and was driving 43 miles to the destination, it wanted me to drive hundreds of miles around the state just to get there. I agree, this should not have been a public beta. I finally turned the damned thing off.
     
  5. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    I have to agree... And getting around the idiotic routing is not intuitive.
     
  6. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    That's awfully disappointing. I haven't had the chance to use it yet and was hoping it would at least give reliable results through Superchargers, which would be my primary need. Especially since it's hard to keep up on where all the Superchargers are they're expanding so quickly. A route I took in the past might not still be the fastest.
     
  7. Tuan

    Tuan Member

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    It's useless for me also. I charged to 255 range miles at mojave. When I punched in Fresno to get home, it keeps routing me to Tejon. This trip is only 176 actual miles, so I knew I had plenty of range. I went home with 59 range miles left bypassing Tejon
     
  8. napabill

    napabill Active Member

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    Does the performance of Trip Planner give anyone else pause on TM's ability to program functions that actually involve the operation of the car? Does me.
     
  9. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model S VIN #5785

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    I used the new software on a long road trip from northern California to Illinois and back last month and I have to agree with you that the software has many issues. It gave some nonsensical routing advice that was difficult to manually override and before starting on a leg of a trip, it routinely overestimated the amount of battery that would remain at the destination. Partway through the journey, it would then underestimate the amount of range at the destination and throw up warnings to drive slowly. Things got much worse when the speed limit was 80 mph and I tried to drive at the speed limit. And it actually increased my range anxiety thanks to the uncertainty and warnings. On the leg from Murdo SD to Rapid City SD, it predicted over 20% range remaining when we left the supercharger in Murdo, and then went all the way down to 2% before I decided to slow down to 60 mph. We ended up making it with 5% remaining. To the software's credit, it did get more accurate the closer we got to the destination.

    Based on my observations, it appears that the range prediction software assumes you will be traveling about 65 mph on the freeway in good weather regardless of the actual speed limit or actual conditions and it assumes an unloaded car. There needs to be some way to set these parameters like you can with evtripplanner.

    There was also one stretch of I70 in Utah where the estimated range remaining bounced around between 17% and 25%. After looking at the predicted and actual range, it looks like the elevation was off by a few miles and the software would see the high energy usage from going up a real hill, compare it to it's prediction of going downhill at that point, and get confused.

    Once I had a rough idea of its limitations, I did find the software useful. Especially for estimating where we would be when it was time for dinner, time to sleep, etc. But it most definitely needs some major improvements before it lives up to the press release. The concept is fantastic, but the execution needs lots of work.
     
  10. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    Trip Planner isn't the only shaky software either. The long delays in getting updates for simple things like Valet Mode and the continued lack of battery preconditioning, end of charging scheduling, not to mention the Tesla official forums system (no search, really?) all bespeak a less than central position for software at Tesla. It will be interesting to see when and what comes out of the automatic driving project.
     
  11. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    Great comments. I think this reinforces why the trip planning needs to have customizability at the car's interface, but also customizable routing from a home based option that allows you to upload a trip plan to the car. I certainly hope they are spending significant time improving the nav as this should be one of the best features of the car, not one of the most frustrating.
     

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