Join The Community

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?

The tech package includes other items such as an HD rearview camera, xenon headlights, LED cornering lights, ground lighting under door handles, electrochromatic side mirrors, rear power liftgate, homelink, etc. So by purchasing the tech package, you need additional hardware that is bundled with the navigation system.

I don't think it is a hardware issue, just a software licensing issue with Navigon. I wish there was a way for those of us without the Tech package to buy the software upgrade to get navigation capability added.


+1 on just the Nav update. I am sure its just a matter of time.

You could load up a maps app on a smartphone and have turn-by-turn directions played through the speakers via Bluetooth.

@datsteve, I already do that with Waze, but it is a (criminal) waste to not have navigation on a car with such a large, prominent map display. Yes, I know that today's navigation is only displayed on the instrument cluster panel, but one can hope for some deal with Google Maps to have it be part of the 17" panel in the future.

Besides, it is awkward to keep glancing at the phone display to see how many miles are left to the next turn or the destination, especially if you are trying to reach a supercharging station with very little headroom on rated range ... but that is a story for another thread :-).


This is the biggest failure that the GPS interface is not available on the web-browser without the tech package. Tesla is a phenomenal company and build a fantastic product - do you really need to follow the bad example of other car companies to charge excessive amounts for a cheap feature to boost your profit on a car that already cost $89,000?
By all means, I love my Model S and spending this much money for a car was a long stretch since I'm an enthusiast and not rich. But being punished by holding a cell phone in your hand while navigating just because I did not get the tech package and try to save some money. Shameless - since all the parts are there.
I discussed this with Jason from the Customer Experience Team and he pretty much told me that the GPS-webbrowser interface is not a priority and if I'd like to upgrade to the GPS system after I took delivery of the car, it will cost $5,000. Elon, as much as I look up to you as one of the greatest business man in our time, this is giving me stomach cramps...

I am with buggy on this. I felt the same. Same old trick that other car dealers use to upsell. I believe and hope that its just a matter of time before the Nav package is made available for purchase all by itself.

have you tried to just use Google map from the browser?

I have to say I don't really understand the issue here. You knew that without the Tech Package, you wouldn't get navigation and the package isn't that different from what other car companies bundle. If they were to offer a software update for just navigation in the future, then it wouldn't be fair to those of us who paid for the Tech Package. Having said all of that, Tesla's still new and still trying to figure out what belongs in packages (e.g. the new door handle addition to tech package).

I always find it odd that people are surprised to find out that Tesla is a business and a business's main goal is to make money.

One way to make mone is called price pointing. It is a simple economic philosophy that a company tries to charge for a product exactly what the buyer is willing to pay.

This occurs in airfare where two almost identical seats can have a huge difference in price due to when the seat was bought.

This also occurs in consumer electronics. Frequently, a entry level device has been found to be exactly the same hardware wise (and thus the same cost to build) as its full features brother but it is limited by software. Obviously the entry level devce provides less profit for the company, but the company decideds that recieving less profit is better than none at all.

The point I am trying to make is that Tesla is trying to do what is best for Tesla. They could have increased the car's base price and made the Tech pachage all standard features, but they are worried that this might price some people out of the car.

They also could have allowed all of the options in the Tech package to be available a la carte but they likely feel that people would not be willing to pay much for many of the options in the package and thus this would also cause them to lose money.

@elguapo and @PaceyWhitter, in my case the fault lay with the lack of knowledge of the sales folk at the Menlo Park dealership. They thought and said that the 17" display would show the turns but wouldn't call out the directions verbally. I am not going to beat up on them because there was such confusion about options in 2012, when I finalized the order on the car.

Now, since it seems like the navigation capability is just a software option that can be pushed remotely, it seems reasonable to hope for an upgrade at a reasonable cost ... especially for those of us who were unintentionally misinformed by the Tesla showroom folk.

Some options involve expensive hardware, like the xenon lamps and motors for the power liftgate. The navigation one seems like a fairly simple software licensing cost to Navigon.

Let's try to keep the excessive business school morals out of the rational discussions on this forum.


I don't see the problem either. If you didn't pay for the feature you don't get it, very simple. Do you complain at Baskin Robbins when you don't get sprinkles on your ice cream? I mean, they're just right there in the bucket, and that kid over there has them.

I own a bagel shop and it's amazing how often a customer will complain about an extra charge for lettuce and tomato. "Why don't you just include it in the price?" My answer is, "Why should the people who don't want lettuce and tomato have to pay for it." Others say,"I can't believe you charge for lettuce and tomato!" My answer to that is, "I was looking at my produce bill and I couldn't believe my supplier charge me for lettuce and tomato!

Agree with Viranjit, the Tesla dealer also told me that the only thing the Tech Package gave you for navigation was "turn-by-turn directions." This made sense because at the time there was the battle going on with the iPhone not being able to do voice turn-by-turn and the Android could. I did not (and still don't) care about that feature.

My thoughts on the Tech Package: motorized hatch - just another mechanical thing that will break, HD rear camera - I don't plan to watch a drive-in movie parked backwards, different lights - I don't see them so don't care, car can be a garage door opener - I have a spare garage door opener from my other car, etc. In short, I just did not want the Tech Package as a personal choice.

Except for an additional software license, I did not see any technical reason the trip route could not be shown without the Tech Package. Hopefully they will add it later for free or allow you to pay for the additional software license because it does not make sense for such an advanced car not to show a trip route. I trust that all of you that bought the Tech Package wanted something in there more than just a trip route.

When I first got my 60 without the tech package I had mapping on the 17" screen. It did not call out the turns and it did not give turn by turn directions. Just a route on the map with GPS. I was happy. After an update it went away and now I just have a map.
The tech package was on board maps with turn by turn and directions on the dash.

Knowing what I know now and reading the reports of the horrible Nav and lack of real options I am still glad I did not waste my money on the tech package. Since the only thing on the tech package I wanted was mapping. I would have been pissed to get the tech package and have worse navigation options than my 3 year old Android tablet.... which still works great for when I need navigation.

When Tesla finally gets around to updating the nav app I will probably have another update for my Android making it even better. (it has the almost exact same map program which you can buy on the app market for something like $50) Tesla is behind in the APP world... way behind.

Without the tech package you don't get navigation. Fine. But what irks me is that Tesla went out off their way to disable location based services on the browser to promote their own nav package. There are many useful non-navigation web applications that make use of location. Like charging.

Not exactly the Tesla culture that I see everywhere else.

That said, the Model S is a great car. Except for the floor mats :)

What's problematic here is that many people committed to the sans-tech configuration after seeing how the delivered cars worked. Without the tech package, you'd get route maps but no turn by turn. Not now.

To pull that back after folks signed contracts is not too cool.

I don't believe it's correct that the non-Tech cars ever had both GPS location and routes maps on the same touch screen display. I would need to search the threads, but as I recall, you could (and still can) get route maps by using the Google maps site on the touch screen browser, but this map never had the GPS icon showing your location. Similarly, you could get a different Google map by using the Tesla Maps app. This had the GPS location icon, but would not display the route. I don't think anything has changed.

There are 2 types of NAV solutions: full blown like TomTom or Navigon where the maps are loaded locally and therefore it works even w/o cellular coverage. These cost real money even on smarphones. This is the solution included with the Tech package and involves fees to the map provider... The other is like the Google Maps app on iphone or android where maps are loaded thru cellular connection and are free on mobile devices. When I bought the car I assumed the Google Maps app will be eventually available on the Tesla. The Tesla guy I asked about it said that Tesla will release the interface for developers to make it available in future. If Tesla decides later to offer NAV only uograde for less than the Tech Package I will consider it but can see why those that had no way to buy NAV only would be unhappy. However, I am totally happy to be able to get the google app and hope it will be enabled (I have a sneaky suspicion that Tesla may stall it to sell more. tech packages)

@amirm - I think the issue is whether TM will expose the GPS output to the touchscreen browser. At present, the GPS info is available to the Nav App, but not to the browser. If it were available to the browser, the regular Google map site would work just fine.

Don't think so. You can't get the turn by turn option on your PC browser. It only works with special mobile app. Someone has to develop the app for Tesla and tesla needs to expose the GPS to such app.

It appears that some significant number of owners who chose to NOT order the Tech Package with its navigation feature somehow feel that Tesla now owes them this capability for little or nothing?

In all fairness, if this were to occur, perhaps there would be a significant numbers of owners who DID order the Tech Package who would thus feel entitled to a partial refund?

Fairness works both ways.

Max-sea. The question is a bit more subtle. Originally Tesla bundled several features under tech package. You could estimate what was he value of the NAV out of the total ($2k out of $4.5?). As the company expands offerings its totally reasonable for them to offer unbundled features as long as they are reasonably priced ($2.5k for NAV only?). What I would like is to be able to run turn by turn on an app like google's mobile app possibly from a third party and am willing to pay for it.

Max-sea. The question is a bit more subtle. Originally Tesla bundled several features under tech package. You could estimate what was he value of the NAV out of the total ($2k out of $4.5?). As the company expands offerings its totally reasonable for them to offer unbundled features as long as they are reasonably priced ($2.5k for NAV only?). What I would like is to be able to run turn by turn on an app like google's mobile app possibly from a third party and am willing to pay for it.

The issue is that many of us who didn't need/want any of the hardware involved in the tech package but were interested in the navigation decided not to get tech specifically because we were told that although the voice turn-by-turn was only available with tech, maps showing the route were available without it. Those who already had non-tech reported that this functionality worked, and based on that we chose not to get tech.

Tesla created this problem by initially having the functionality, and then taking it away. This occurred in January, and I think it would not be unreasonable for Tesla to give those who configured during that time period the route functionality. This would not be a large expense for Tesla, and I think it would go a long way to helping the handful of us who were affected feel good about Tesla again.

Considering some of the over-the-top things Tesla is doing for some people in terms of service (they must be losing money hand over fist on the $100 Ranger visits), they can do this little thing for us.

@amirm - I thought I remembered Google Maps offering turn-by-turn directions with location, but I was mistaken. However, you do not need a special app for this if the GPS is exposed to the browser; you just need the appropriate website.

For example, my laptop has a built-in GPS. Google Maps has a button for "My Location" that makes use of data from the GPS (the button is right above the little man over the zoom controls). If I click that button, I get a pulsing blue dot showing my location. It does not automatically update as I move, but if I manually update the turn-by-turn directions as I move, with "My Location" in the Start field, the result is largely the same as what you would see on the Nav app: turn-by-turn directions with a dynamic location icon. This functionality would be relatively trivial for a website to implement, provided the GPS is exposed to the browser for use with the Google Maps API. For another example, see

I went out and checked my car, and unfortunately, the Google Maps site on the touch screen does not display the "My Location" button that I see on my laptop's browser. I could see this kind of a change being offered by TM at little or no cost, since there would be no licensing or development expenses involved.

@Jill S - I think you are mistaken. The Maps app never showed a route. Here is the thread where the first non-tech car's features are described:

I guess the problem is that some people DESCRIBED it on this site as having everything except the voice commands, but it sounds like they were incorrect. In which case it's certainly not Tesla's fault.

As mentioned above, the license isn't enabled for those without the tech package so you won't have GPS location etc for the maps or the browser.

Its a matter of willingness to pay for certain features. If you didn't pay for it, you shouldn't be upset that you don't have it. If you had it for two months and then it went away, you are ahead by two months of service.

You can clip your smart phone to one of the vent and have turn by turn if you'd like. It might seem a bit cheesy for a $90k car but you didn't pay for the Tech package so...

@Jill S. Thank you for capturing the nub of the argument we were making in your earlier post. Regarding the next post, I feel that Tesla bears some responsibility for what its sales people say to customers. The only cars those sales people (in the Menlo Park dealership) had seen were tech package equipped and they misunderstood what the non-tech package cars could do. For those of us who configured the car in October, we had to rely on the sales people to make the decision on not putting down $4K for other hardware and capabilities that we didn't feel important. The (silent) navigation was enough for us.

The discussion @DouglasR refers to started on December 21, by which time our early cars were almost ready for pick up. (I received mine on December 23).

Now, the navigation capability seems to rely solely on software, so for those of us who were unintentionally misinformed last year, we are hoping that Tesla will let us have a software upgrade for close to the price of its licensing cost. It seems like an easy solution to an early training hiccup that would satisfy most of us on this discussion forum. (You are reading this, right Tesla :-)?).

There are many other benefits included in the Tech package that appeal to most people who opt for it and the cost of that hardware justifies its price.


X Deutschland Site Besuchen