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Trip navigation without the Tech Package

Without the Tech Package, the maps feature is oddly limited. I can see where I am on a real-time map (so obviously it has GPS and dynamic mapping) and I can look up an address so it shows me where that is with a flag, but it won't show me a suggested trip route.

A person at the dealer said you have to buy the Tech Package to get that because of some additional hardware that is needed. Hardware is needed to draw a line on a screen? Something sounds odd.

Anyone know the technical reason that the 17" display cannot show the trip route without the Tech Package?

@ elguapo, @pacey

Telsa isn't just a business, it's also an idea about changing the way businesses work. I would argue your summation of business (outside the basics of capitol) doesn't wholly apply to this company. Tesla built a brand before they actually built a viable car for the masses. We have a car here that gets smarter as the world does. Tesla goes to great lengths to talk about over the air updates, the ability to push improvements etc. This isn't just a car in my opinion, its a smart application with wheels, and a huge leap for how we use and interact with automobiles.

For those who are a bit bummed they missed the navigation. I see a Telsa application store over the next few years. The possibility of duplicated (mirroring) a smart devices screen to the 17" monitor over blue tooth will be a reality and you may have epic navigation at that point. I use BT to mirror my smart devices all over already. Once Telsa hits a steady state I really believe 3rd party, or licensed applications will start to enhance these amazing automobiles further. Maybe instead of the Apple store model of $0.99 the prices will roll from $0.99 through $990.00

DouglasR I am going to reply half way thru reading this to correct you. I HAD navigation with the GPS marker on the 17 screen not the browser. I could search for a location with the non browser app and select it then get routed to it with the GPS, WITHOUT the tech package. I did not get turn by turn directions, I did not get on board maps, I did not get the app left of the speedo. That was the setup I had. After an update it went away. I received my car in early Feb.

That's fact and how it was.

I am not complaining to much because my 10" Tablet works better than anything Tesla ever provided as far as maps. I simpley Velcro my tablet in a good spot when needed and people who see the car laugh at the thought of buying an expensive car with a $300 tablet velcro'd on. I really don't care how silly Tesla wants to look with this.

Sudre - I think that's what a lot of folks expected, and were told by sales staff.

Even if TM's wants to stimulate option purchases going forward, it's not so cool to take it away from those who bought before.

It's the rare counter example to the maxim that car gets better after you've bought it.

Sudre, I'm not saying you're wrong. I have no first hand knowledge. I am just reporting what stevenmaifert and several others described in these forums. I have never seen anything written on the TM site to suggest that routing comes without the Tech package (unlike, for example, the fog lights or the Alcantara headliner on Performance cars). Also, I have learned not to rely on anything I'm told orally by a TM representative.

I hope you get a chance to add a navigation option. I really like it. I will say, however, that even if it's just a matter of licensing, it may not be cheap. The Tech Package comes with seven years of map upgrades. On my Ford, a single yearly map upgrade was priced at several hundred dollars as I recall.

Just a small comment on software vs hardware. Most built-in navigation systems in cars does contain additional hardware, more than just the GPS. They usually have a magnetometer, gyroscope and additional sensors to measure the direction and speed of the car with high accuracy. Some of these sensors might already be present in the TMS but probably not all of them. Also, if Tesla uses a navigation module from a third party supplier the sensors might not communicate between that module and the rest of the car, the sensors might be embedded in the navigation module.

The reasons for having all these extra sensors is that frequently the GPS coordinates are not enough when trying to figure our the location of the car on the map. In many places the roads run in parallel close to each other and it can be difficult for a navigation system to know where you are. Some roads also run on top of each other making it impossible. But the worst problem by far is that the maps are often not accurate enough, some of them can actually be more than 100 meters off. The solution to this is to make the navigation system not rely completely on the GPS; it uses the GPS to find out roughly where the car is and then it uses the magnetometer and gyroscope to track the movements and figure out more exactly where the car is on the map. Once it has located the car on the map the system follows the roads and tracks the movement of the car without much help of the GPS. This makes a system that's capable of handling bad maps and roads that run in parallel and on top of each other.

Okay, this wasn't such a small note. But my point is that I'm pretty sure that the navigation system in the tech package contains a lot more than just a software license.

Since we have the precise location on the map application which is based on google maps, I am pretty sure all HW needed is there even w/o the tech package. I am therefore pretty sure tesla can present the GPS info to the browser to allow a google mobile map application with turn by turn capability to become available. Don't see why they should not.

In Europe 3% of the buyers (that added their info to the tracking sheet) chose to not buy the tech package. Let's asume that from the American population 5% of the buyers did not purchase the tech package. From those 500 people 50% will purchase a software upgrade of $1000 when offered.

That gives Tesla a budget of 250k to develop a special software package and service that package for the next 7 years. The costs for external licenses have to come out of this same budget.

Unless Tesla has ultra low software development cost, I don't see how they could do this.

Tesla is not doing anything differently on Nav relative to other automakers. Which is precisely the problem.

In today's world, cheap smartphones have full nav, which includes GPS, magnetometers, and accelerometer hardware, and licensed turn by turn software. Whether Android or iPhone, for $0-199, you get it all.

In this context, far fewer buyers are willing to spend 3 or 4 thousand dollars just for something they already have in their pocket. They also perceive efforts to charge this much as unreaonable.

Automakers do continue to try milk margin from Nav systems, but nowadays there are fewer takers.

There will always be a segment of the market that will pay for extra tech goodies, so Tesla needn't give up this margin opportunity. But they do need to keep moving the utility higher than what is simply commodity stuff these days.

There's nav, and there's nav. Location is not nav. But people will pay for extra software that gives them turn by turn, voice interaction, and cool GUI innovations for how things are presented. Those are legitimate ways to command the money without folks feeling gouged.

Instead, what they've done here by disabling position display, (which was working), is aimed squarely at prodding folks to buy the tech package. But any form of push strategy is always weaker than creating true pull. The pull from truly differentiated features gets people excited and plenty willing to spend money. Whereas push strategies to force behavior often have negative side effects, like feeling manipulated or ripped off.

By the standards of other automakers, there's nothing wrong with Tesla's nav pricing plan. Except that Tesla is blowing past those standards now on so many levels, and doesn't have to stoop to legacy tricks. They can do much better than charge people a stiff premium for commonplace stuff. There's plenty of sexy stuff they can offer in their software if you pay extra. That's how you earn it and make people happy to spend.

Think a few moves ahead. Can Tesla really create a vibrant developer ecosystem for car apps if they shut down location access? And if they let apps get to it, (essential) how can they stop third parties from providing this functionality? This will make their native screen look dumb, and their policy even dumber. The endgame is clear, so why go through the flack from unhappy customers?

I think disabling location is not a positive vector to promote the tech package.

Not providing basic nav routing cuts the range by 5%. You only need it when you are unsure of how to best get to a new location or charger. Missed turns and getting lost can be devestating in an EV. This just seems so counter to everything Tesla is about. Not having it displayed on the instrument panel or turn by turn voice is one thing, but having a 17 inch screen than cannot display a route is an embarassment. Other than that I love my Model S.

@Mark K - your last post was the first in this thread that I can agree with end to end. Well said!

I've had my car for two weeks now, didn't order the tech package, and am still happy I didn't. The nav and Xeon lights were the only features i thought may be worth the extra, but I reasoned that the functionallity on my iPhone made this overpriced. Now that I have my car, I still believe I was right. With my iPhone blue-toothed to the car, all I have to do is reach down and push the button on my phone, ask Siri to navigate to a location (thru the car's mic), and voila, I have turn-by-turn directions spoken directly thru the car, with perfect integration with the car's sound/entertainment system. I am more than happy with this $0 work-around.

That being said, I don't blame Tesla. If there are folks willing to spend $4K for the tech package as presented, I would continue sell it as is. I don't fell Tesla owes me anything. The market will determine the future of this bundle and what Tesla offers a la carte.

I do agree that removing features after the fact is kind of sketchy from an ethical standpoint, I chalk most of this up to early adopter costs.

Bottom line....I have no complaints - yet.

+1 Mark

I would add that I would not pay any upgrade cost for a basic gps position map system. Most all tablets and phones come with that for free. They also draw a path to your destination.

Turn by turn and off line maps are worthy of extra cost..... if they are well done. Tesla's is not from the reports I have read. Hopefully 4.5 fixes that.

I also agree with Mark K in particular the point about not blocking the ability of 3rd parties to develop applications such as Turn by Turn as available on smartphones at zero cost...

Too many people are getting hung up on thinking non-tech buyers want this feature for free. We would be more than happy to purchase a Nav-Upgrade software pack for our non-tech cars. For many of us, the $3750 price tag of the tech package was just too steep, when the only feature we wanted from it was Navigation. I would be first in line to pay $100 to add the Nav software to my non-tech Model S.

I have already heard rumours of an App Store functionality for the Model S. So, it is very possible that this option will become a reality. That day can't come soon enough for me.

@Mark K

I'm a little confused by your comment that TM disabled position display. Sudre stated that they disabled ROUTE display (which other non-tech purchasers said they never had in the first place). But if TM disabled the position (location) icon on its Maps app, then I have misunderstood several of the posts here. Is that what you mean?

For people without the tech package, all Tesla has to do is enable the web browser to know the location that the car already has. Then the many many many free web based routing systems can use it.

Google, waze, etc.

I'm sure they blocked it for the obvious reason to convince people to buy the tech package.

DouglasR the map position is still shown on the Tesla map. The browser however has no access to this information like every single other tablet or phone ever created. That means when I am in a new spot for a hike or stopping at a restaurant I can not post my location on Facebook with ease. Browser online apps have no way of knowing your position which eliminates a lot of things outside of mapping.

Plugshare, useless
Recargo, useless
the list goes on and on.

@Sudre_ - Yes, I absolutely agree with you on this. And it would be much cheaper for TM to do than, for example, providing full navigation, because there is no licensing involved.

We have the tech package and unless I don't understand how it works, do not think our Model S has onboard maps, at least on the 17" screen's NAV app. We live in a sketchy wireless phone service area, and often have large blocks of the map go blank because the system cannot download the maps on a real time basis.

There does not appear to be anything onboard to fill in the mapping gaps. I am also surprised by how old the Google maps data can be - we have a property on a four year old road that still does not exist in Google maps, including for nav search or on the graphic map and satellite views. Am I not understanding something?

I have the tech package and my navigation works fine. But I seem to have a software glitch. Prior locations nor phone numbers dialed are saved in any log like in any other car. OR is there a setting I have not turned on? I thought I checked out all settings....any suggestions? Does TESLA read these and give answers? Or is there a TESLA Question site? Just picked up car yesterday so I am a newbie!

@P_Dave - The onboard maps are just for the instrument panel display. When traveling out of cell phone range, these continue to be available (you need to be actually navigating a route for this display to appear). I'd be curious to know whether these maps are any different from the Google maps displayed on the touch screen. Perhaps you could see whether that four year old road shows up on the instrument panel display. Of course you would need to search for something close by that can actually be found on the Google map.

@Red Hot - There should be a button on the touch screen when the Nav app is active that says "History." This will give you prior locations. For phone numbers dialed, press the "speak" button on the steering wheel above the right scroll wheel, and you should see a "Recent Calls" option, or something similar. Select that.

Also, if you have a connected phone, you can use voice commands to say "Call John Smith," and if you have an address for John Smith on your phone, you will be given a choice to either call John Smith or navigate to his address. Similarly, if you use voice commands to say "Navigate to Starbucks on Front Street," you will be given a choice to either navigate to Starbucks or call them.

Someone was asking about hardware, somehow I figured out that Tesla was using these guys hardware(http://www.u-blox.com/) but i can't remember the thread/news story that led me there so consider it unconfirmed at this point.

I just picked up a Samsung Galaxy S4 phone that has screen sharing. I would be great if my Model S would share. I would think this would allow me to use the Nav,included with the phone, on the big screen.

No sour grapes here.

I did not purchase the tech package because I did not want the fancy lights and rear view camera. I also did not think the package was worth the price and after five months of driving I think I might the right decision.

I am very happy that the Google Maps application that my "striped-down" Model S came with shows traffic as that is the most useful aspect to me. Almost daily I modify my route to avoid the nasty red zones.

The directions feature might be nice but I have had no problem using my smartphone to tell me where I need to go. It is great that the verbal commands work when my smartphone is hooked up using the bluetooth connection.

David;
Where were the stripes? You should have them stripped. :p ;)

IMO Navigation should be bundled into the eventual "connection fee" that Tesla will eventually charge. Then, most people could just use their phone as a hotspot (granted the WiFi becomes enabled in the S) to gain the functionality (and 4G to boot).

Navigation really shouldn't be an extra fee bundled in when Google maps already offers it, and its just disabled...

The "extra" should only be the Navigon display that comes on in the dash screen. I think Tesla knows that no one would pay so much just for that feature...

Honestly though, the only reason I own a GPS is because I don't live in my home state (im in the military) so I need it every once in awhile when traveling to unknown areas where I am stationed, and for the inevitable trips back home when on leave.

When I am finally back to living at home, I will NEVER need GPS functionality because I have known my way around for 20 years now...


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