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What's everyone's take on our nav system?

Deagle

New Member
Oct 17, 2015
2
0
Boston, Ma
​whI've had my 90D for about 8 weeks and I have used the nav a few times and it's done a fine job. I'm planning on a trip to NYC soon and I'll be relying on it more than ever. In reading posts in the forum and Tesla's official site, many complain about how accurate it is. Some want Tesla to adopt Waze and others just rely on their phones. Anyone hear about any updates coming from the mother ship ?
 

David99

Active Member
Jan 31, 2014
4,850
7,026
Brea, Orange County
Many complaints are from the early days. It has gotten better with each update. I still think that Waze is better, but Tesla's navigation isn't that bad. Depending on where you go it might work just fine or not so well. Here in Los Angeles car pool lanes or express lanes make a big difference. Tesla's navigation seems to be completely unaware of it while Waze is. Since I can use both the HOV and express lanes I can't reply on Tesla's navigation in those cases. Everywhere else I use it most of the time. The energy prediction is definitely a huge plus for Tesla's navigation. When it comes to road closures or being up to date, Tesla's navigation is always far behind.
 

BertL

Active Member
Aug 19, 2015
2,018
1,573
Carlsbad, CA
My suggestion is, or at least the way I have treated mfgr-supplied Nav systems in my former Lexus', MBZ, BMW, and now Tesla is:

  • If I'm traveling to places that have been around a long time, say opposed to relatively new subdivisions or where there are perhaps relatively new major roads or interchanges I may know about, I just use my built-in Nav. It will get me there, albeit sometimes not as quick as other options.
  • If I'm traveling to somewhere that I know has had a lot of construction or may be new development, I do a quick check of the route at home via Google or Apple Maps before I leave, then put my car Nav back into operation for most of the duration... This allows me to override if something doesn't seem right along the way... As a side note, I have been known to create a PDF of the route from Google/Apple Maps and put it on my iPhone, as a backup just-in-case (have done that twice when I moved from East to West coast and drove each of my cars one-way on a different route each time) -- but I'm also a bit of a paranoid person that likes his Plan B's to be in place. ;)

The primary issue for me is the map database in the vehicle itself is never going to be 100% current -- it's not with any mfgr, and I've found it sometimes takes months or years to get especially new more rural roads or subdivisions into the generally-used mapping databases, then more time to become available from a mfgr into their fleet... If you want 100% up-to-the-date, your best bet today is to use a crowd-sourced real-time system like Waze which will also give you more local traffic information to-boot. From my experience, Google and Apple Maps are generally your next best bet for currency. Different people have different needs, e.g. I travel a couple times a year to places where I am without cell phone access for 30 mins+ and it's spotty in others, so therefore real-time cellular-provided mapping is not always possible for me if I don't want to have extended black-out periods. I also find the convenience of using my built-in Nav is great for most purposes, besides, on a long trip, my MS allows me to have a matching Energy Trip display up to help keep my range anxiety under control -- that does not work so well if you don't use the Nav.

Good luck on your trip.
 

eddie11228

Member
Nov 11, 2014
16
0
United States
I really don't use it, almost at all. Every time I need to go somewhere and I need to use the GPS, I fire up Google Maps on my phone. Checking traffic to/from work/home, I use Google Maps. The suggested routes from Tesla are sometimes ill-advised and the time estimations are always quite off compared to the reliable accuracy from Google Maps.

I really wish Tesla would just somehow piggyback off of Google Map's routing and estimation algorithms. Don't try to reinvent the wheel when the wheel has already been perfected by someone else.
 

pete8314

Vendor
Jun 4, 2012
2,358
660
DFW, ex UK
I always seem to use Waze as my primary solution. Tesla's is the best factory-installed system I've used, but Waze wins with it's fast routing around traffic and speed trap warnings.
 

halg

Member
Nov 25, 2015
129
43
Georgia
​whI've had my 90D for about 8 weeks and I have used the nav a few times and it's done a fine job. I'm planning on a trip to NYC soon and I'll be relying on it more than ever. In reading posts in the forum and Tesla's official site, many complain about how accurate it is. Some want Tesla to adopt Waze and others just rely on their phones. Anyone hear about any updates coming from the mother ship ?

Sometimes the Nav can be strange, sometimes the nav asks me to drive to a different route but if I keep driving down the street I will get the destination.
 

hiroshiy

Supporting Member
Apr 6, 2013
2,403
1,855
Tokyo, Japan
As a former Japanese nav user, Tesla nav is like 10 years old except the map display. It lacks the following items:

No accurate lane display. At a split highway, it doesn't show how many left lanes go to A and how many go to B.
No highway exit display. It only says/shows distance to the exit, but in that way I have to keep watching the nav to know my exit. In some locations in Tokyo we have a few exits in 200m or so. Also it doesn't show how long I use the toll road, like "you're going to use the toll road for 5km".
No option to turn off highway or toll road. I always check highway congestion info on the web so if it will be crowded I don't want to use the toll road. In addition Tesla tries to use toll roads even for a short distance, like $4 in 0.3 miles!
It doesn't avoid traffic jams well. Maybe it uses Google data, but sometimes Google Maps shows better routes.
No altitude data in nav. There are many routes with two or three layers of roads. In such a case Tesla goes up and down and make wrong route choices. It doesn't use GPS to see the altitude, or to detect underground tunnels. In underground tunnels traffic data is also unreliable.
It doesn't have road width information. Thus it tries to use the shortest route, which usually include very narrow roads that I can't drive or taking one minute to make just one turn.
At least in Japan it is configured to recognize two-lane-each-direction road as two, opposite-going separate roads. Thus it always ignores No U turn signs.
At least in Japan, it doesn't have traffic rules. For example, during evening shopping hours or morning student commuting hours, some roads are closed for cars. Tesla nav ignores those all the time. It also ignores No Right Turn signs (RHD) as well.

Above things are all well implemented in other manufacturers navigation systems.
 

Andyw2100

Well-Known Member
Oct 22, 2014
6,542
2,393
Ithaca, NY
I travel a couple times a year to places where I am without cell phone access for 30 mins+ and it's spotty in others, so therefore real-time cellular-provided mapping is not always possible for me if I don't want to have extended black-out periods.

Perhaps you haven't heard, but recently Google Maps has added the option to download maps ahead of time so that you can use navigation "offline." That may be an option for you for those times you'll be travelling into dead zones.
 

bob_p

Active Member
Apr 5, 2012
3,705
2,815
While Tesla has made some improvements in the NAV software since getting my P85 in early 2013, overall the software still lags behind my previous Lexus and Toyota cars.

The real-time traffic is easier to see on the map now - and the software redirects the route based on changing traffic conditions. But my 2006 Lexus would provide a text pop-up warning about upcoming traffic issues (such as an accident ahead) - the Tesla software doesn't provide any information on the cause for upcoming traffic problems.

While there have been improvements in storing favorites and pointing to the map to set a destination, there still is no ability to customize a route - no waypoints, can't set preferences for toll roads or highways, etc. And the software doesn't provide any information on upcoming POIs (which can be useful on a trip to quickly find upcoming restaurants, shopping or hotels).

Integration of charging stations into the mapping has helped, along with range assurance to warn drivers when they may be at risk of running out of a charge. But, Tesla could do so much more to help planning and tracking a route - such as providing a lot more information about the upcoming supercharging stations, like how many spots are available or predictions of availability when the car reaches the station.

And, the inconsistency between the navigation maps and the touchscreen apps continues to be a problem. Tesla originally promised annual map updates - in 3 years, I can only recall seeing one map update. While the touchscreen maps are updated very quickly when roads change - the navigation maps are already out of date when we get the updates - and we aren't getting them very often. For a car that is continuously connected to the Internet - and most of the cars are likely connected to WiFi overnight, difficult to understand why we can't get more accurate maps.

Overall, Tesla seemed to place a high priority on having everything look good - which it does on both the dashboard and 17" display. But from a functionality standpoint, at least so far, they seem comfortable with providing only the basic functionality - and haven't been interested or had the resources to fully utilize the potential of the Model S hardware, software and network capabilities - and provide a "market leading" navigation package...

So, instead of using the built-in navigation in their $100K cars, many Tesla drivers are likely opting to bet mounts for their smartphones or GPS nav devices - and use those tiny screens instead of the built-in system...

Still hoping that we'll see some significant improvements in an upcoming software release...
 

msnow

Active Member
Jul 14, 2015
4,951
2,236
SoCal
I generally use my iPhone's Apple Maps because I've learned I can't trust Tesla's nav. I think once they dial it in it will be great but it's taken me in circles one too many times.
 

Discoducky

P100DL, 2021 M3, 3 CT reservations and counting
Dec 25, 2011
3,587
4,990
My mountain
Tesla Google Maps = pretty good

Waze = awesome
Pretty much how I feel, but would add that I "trust, but verify" with Tesla turn by turn and general route. For instance on my commute to work, Waze knows, and I say that because it is always right to within a minute, how long it will take for my commute to work. Tesla nav is ALWAYS off by 5 to 10 minutes. And the route will change and they'll both agree, but Tesla nav is ALWAYS saying I'll get there 5 to 10 minutes sooner than Waze.

Also, there's a bit of other wierdness to Tesla nav that others are pointing out, but would assume Tesla will address this in the future.
 

mikeash

Active Member
Oct 26, 2014
1,105
703
Fairfax, VA, USA
I find the nav system to be adequate. It's the best system built into the car. It's good enough for me, to the point that I never bothered installing a phone mount. I did find myself using phone navigation during a trip to the Delaware beaches from DC, as the Tesla system picked some weird routes in the absence of an obvious major highway to use. On longer trips I'll bring a magnetic phone mount so I can switch to phone navigation if it becomes necessary, but for the most part it's good enough.
 

bhzmark

Active Member
Jul 21, 2013
3,440
5,175
While Tesla has made some improvements in the NAV software since getting my P85 in early 2013, overall the software still lags behind my previous Lexus and Toyota cars.
- no waypoints,
- doesn't provide any information on upcoming POIs (which can be useful on a trip to quickly find upcoming restaurants, shopping or hotels).
.

2004 prius would allow you to set a waypoint warning that was customized to the direction of travel. It was most useful to set a proximity alarm so that when you were traveling southbound on the toll road at mile marker 23.5 it would give a warning to remind you to check your speed b/c that is a common speed trap ahead. Setting up those directional proximity alarms was great. 11 years later -- Tesla can't do that. a 2004 Acura Nav would allow you to leave breadcrumbs to see where you've been, this doesn't do that either.
 

miked112

Member
Aug 22, 2013
27
5
New York
New owner, just took delivery of my 90D a week ago so my experience is limited but my initial impression is that this system is far ahead from a user friendliness perspective of any car with integrated nav I've ever owned (Acura, Audi, BMW, Infiniti, VW) - I just got in the car, said where I wanted to go in the microphone and that's it. And everything I have tried works - from a specific street address and town to "McDonald's" or "Lollipop Lane". For me, that is night and day from the nonsense of low-res maps, spinning wheels or sluggish menus or unresponsive voice interfaces I've had in prior cars. Realize that there are many features missing and that some of them like the energy planning are clearly not fully baked but as a non-power-user I wouldn't replace Tesla's system with anything I've seen.

I read that the in-dash map is from Navigon while the touchscreen GUI is Google maps - seems to me that could be a big reason why navigation has been relatively static, I can only imagine the integration issues when you're trying to keep systems from two vendors integrated and in sync, especially when one of them moves as fast as Google.
 

JenniferQ

Supporting Member
Sep 13, 2015
1,261
514
San Diego, CA
miked112 - I agree with all you say. I am always amazed at how well the system understands my voice commands. My MBZ was awful and then when that didn't work you had to flip and scroll and push a bunch of buttons to input data and could only do that at a complete stop.

I am taking my first real "road trip" next week and as it's only to Vegas, I know the SC stops anyway. I'll try to use it as is, but turn off if anything funny happens along the way. Looking forward to it!
 

scott jones

Member
Mar 27, 2014
212
40
Indiana, USA
I WONT buy another Tesla until they allow third party apps like WAZE.
I will always use WAZE because I want thee most up to date traffic speeds and problems and NOTHING bests thousands of other drivers reporting in! Also I love knowing where cops are even if I'm not speeding it's fun to see how accurate it is.
 

freeewilly

Member
Jul 22, 2015
579
187
Brea, CA
Tesla NAV is better than any other mfg NAV I ever used. Best function is the google search, all the other mfg NAV still need to enter key word, location city...etc. Google map is up-to-date, my 2 yr old BMW map feel old and don't have many streets nearby my house (new developments)

Waze is the best, period. More accurate traffic information, show accident and heavy traffic spots, especially report the police location.

- - - Updated - - -

I WONT buy another Tesla until they allow third party apps like WAZE.
I will always use WAZE because I want thee most up to date traffic speeds and problems and NOTHING bests thousands of other drivers reporting in! Also I love knowing where cops are even if I'm not speeding it's fun to see how accurate it is.

Just curious what car has Waze build-in now?
 

miked112

Member
Aug 22, 2013
27
5
New York
Just curious what car has Waze build-in now?

None I'm aware of. Part of the problem is that integrated nav systems are typically locked in years before the car comes to market, unlike smartphone apps that can get unlimited updates and take advantage of new phone hardware as soon as it's available.


Agree that Waze is the best and I would love it in my Tesla (along with Spotify and while I'm at it Overcast) but I'm comparing to other integrated nav systems and not the smartphone state of the art. There may be some in the newest cars that are caught up to or surpass Tesla's (looks like the one in the new Volvos might) but what I've seen in the latest Audis, BMWs and Lexus is further iteration on the same old crap.
 

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