Any word on the Nav features?

Any word on the Nav features?

Now that there are some Model S' out there, does anyone know whats being done on the navigation front? I'm still puzzled by Tesla's "offline navigation" with the Tech package versus what comes standard. Actually, do you get anything without the Tech package? I'd hate to think that I'd need to bring my Garmin into my new baby!

Schlermie | August 5, 2012

With the tech package, you can dock the nav system next to the speedometer. You can't do that without the tech package. Of course, the tech package is supposedly the only way to get turn-by-turn navigation as well.

Manta | August 5, 2012

It would be nice if the nav system would give you an estimate of your remaining range at the end of your trip taking into consideration speed limit/traffic and weather (i.e. use of climate control). For example, if I take a 120 mile (or so) road trip (with an 85kWh battery), I'd like to know if I'll need to plan a charge before driving back.

Sudre_ | August 5, 2012

IF it gives out the kind of info that paul_ has suggested I would seriously consider getting the tech package. In my opinion it should include charge stops along the way suggesting which ones to stop at as needed. (even google is supposedly adding charge points)

In short for less than $50 I can buy a Delorme (AAA Map & Go, Street Atlas, and TOPO USA are ones I've owned over the years) product that basically creates an entire AAA style trip planner for you. You set how long you want to drive per day, vehicle MPG and it calculates everything; Hotel stops, fueling, costs, everything plus you can then customize it. With these programs you can plug a GPS in and have everything you could possibly need right at your finger tips without an internet connection. These programs have existed since the late 90's with voice recognition and speech so I would think it should be no problem to write/adapt one for the Model S. The data package is there it just needs the interface.

Right now I am not getting the Tech package because there is no real info yet on what the mapping software does. I am very spoiled since I have had full trip planning/map making software and a desktop computer built into my car for 15 years. (built it myself) When I bought my tablet I pulled it out. It's not that the tech package isn't worth it but it's just what you are used to. If you've had Home Link you would feel cheated to buy a tech package and not have something that simple right? That's how I am about mapping software.

Volker.Berlin | August 6, 2012

I am very spoiled since I have had full trip planning/map making software and a desktop computer built into my car for 15 years. (built it myself) (Sudre_)

Cool! I guess that's as close as it gets to the Model S' 17" in a conventional car. Very forward thinking. :-)

SMOP | August 7, 2012

I believe Tesla partnered with Navigon for the development of TBT directions..

I know people that have this app on their Iphone and love it

Brian H | August 7, 2012

The NAVIGON MobileNavigator is easy to use and provides information on route distance, time of arrival, motorway services, filling stations, speed limits and border crossings.

I wonder if the TM version deletes 'filling' and replaces it with charging stations!

ddruz | August 8, 2012

Regarding what navigation system you get without the tech package: After option pricing was announced at the end of December there was an outcry from a number of upset customers complaining that navigation essentially cost $3,750 if you didn't want the rest of the tech package. I seem to recall that Tesla's response was that without the tech package you would get Google maps like on the iPhone which works as a basic navigation system without turn by turn anticipatory directions. Can anyone corroborate this?

Alex K | August 8, 2012

Two things I like about the NAVIGON system on my iPhone/iPad is that it displays the current posted speed limit and also warns you when you exceed the speed limit (by about 8mph I think). It would be nice if the Tesla navigation system had those features also.

Brian H | August 8, 2012

That's correct. No AI backseat driver. It shows you where to go, but won't tell you.

Michael23 | August 8, 2012

I was told you need Internet for google maps. With nav though you don't need to pay month to month. I plan to use my 4g droid razer at hot spot for Internet and car nav for directions. Wonder why the google maps doesn't have the turn by turn voice that my android has?

BYT | August 8, 2012

Like on the iPhone, it requires Android to be running on it for the turn-by-turn Google Map directions. I assume the Model S is not running a flavor of Android as it's base OS?

Volker.Berlin | August 8, 2012

BYT, what else? I remember someone mentioning he heard that it's based on some Linux derivative which, if true, I read as meaning Android without saying it.

It is definitively not based on Windows or iOS, and I would be surprised if it were using MeeGo (also based on Linux) or something even more exotic. I'd rule out a complete in-house OS development -- it just does not make any sense in any way. Which pretty much leaves Android, even if heavily modified and customized.

Volker.Berlin | August 8, 2012

Yes I know, the "official rumor" is that Tesla's system is based on RIM's PlayBook OS. AFAIK the only basis for this rumor is the fact that the hardware is based on the Tegra chipset. Given that RIM did not make it into the post-iPhone era (yet?) and is becoming irrelevant right now, I have a hard time believing that rumor.

Sudre_ | August 8, 2012

Navigon USA cost 29.95 for my Acer Tablet. Looks like I might be velcroing my 10" Tablet over the 17" screen. :-)

It will go nicely with the Walmart cup holders and the Office Max plastic storage bin between the seats. I was also thinking about getting some bean bag chairs for the back and save a little on the kids seats too.

(that's all humor folks.)

BYT | August 8, 2012

@Volker.Berlin, I actually would guess that they ARE doing a complete in-house OS development. Playing devils advocate here, when you are building and OS for a car that almost every aspect of it depends on reliable software to function, can TM afford to just slap some Tablet or Cell Phone designed OS on there and risk a problem? It's a new car from the ground up, means a whole new OS that is very LOCKED DOWN from the ground up and lacking a lot of features for the time being.

ddruz | August 8, 2012

This is a cut and paste from the "Model S Deliveries..." thread from Rod and Barbara who are now driving their Model S. It is very germane to the discussion about non-tech package Nav on this tread. They were responding to questions I posed about the ability to use Google maps as a basic Nav system for people not getting the Tech Package:

"@ ddruz - Does Google maps on the Model S 17" display not display your location? It does not. How does Google maps reference where the car is when displaying a map? Google maps does not reference the location of the car.

With the current software, using Google maps on the touch screen is like using Google maps on a desktop computer. The initial display of the Google maps screen says “United States, Not your current location? Correct it (drop down arrow).” This is very different from using Google maps on a mobile device. My wife uses Google maps on her 4G iPad in the car very effectively, as the software integration provides constant updates of her current location on the Google map display.

I can’t speak to what Tesla plans for the future. All I can tell you is that the current software in the Model S does not support navigation via Google maps and the Ownership Experience Advocate I am dealing with does not seem to be aware of any current plan to include such integration."

From their description, non-Tech Package owners may not have a useable Nav system unless Tesla automatically includes the built-in Nav [without 7 years of map updates] in the standard car as some people have speculated or unless Tesla changes the way Google maps works.

Volker.Berlin | August 9, 2012

ddruz, I agree that this is interesting information and that it is not unlikely to be actually true. However, since Rod and Barbara have a Signature which includes the Tech Pkg, there is still a small possibility that the Google maps application in cars without the Tech pkg may be beefed up a little. To offer Google maps navigation in a car with the Tech Pkg installed would be redundant of not confusing. Therefore I think there may be two versions of the Google maps app for Tesla, although this is pure speculation.

Volker.Berlin | August 9, 2012

when you are building and OS for a car that almost every aspect of it depends on reliable software to function (BYT)

Exactly. Reliability takes time and exposure to users. Building software from the ground up does not mean there are fewer bugs. It just means it takes longer to find them, and that's one reason why I think reinventing the wheel is not the way to go.

Another reason is this: Who has been porting Google maps to that ominous "XY Tesla OS"? And who is going to port all upcoming versions of it? Will Google maps in the Tesla be consistently outdated compared to Google maps on devices that use a more widespread OS? Not to mention any other 3rd party apps...

I'm not saying they are using Android to drive the car. Obviously, that would be stupid. However I can well imagine they use a sandboxed version of some customized Android version to run the 17" screen. Disclaimer: That's all speculation.

FlasherZ | August 9, 2012

It was reported om TMC that coming out of developer mode caused the telltale X cursor for the Xwindows system to show on the display, which would indicate it is not Android.

Volker.Berlin | August 9, 2012

FlasherZ, thank you! Interesting tidbit.

Timo | August 9, 2012

Almost all "homemade" reliability-required systems are some sort of Linux-boxes. I bet XY Tesla OS is one of those.

Norbert.Vienna | August 9, 2012

@ Volker.Berlin hows about if they run 2 different OS -one from the machine tool industry just to run the car functionallity
and one for generel available applications internet etc and
which is more secure against hackers if not you would need also some kind of anti virus software

this would be a nice disussion point too

ChristianG | August 9, 2012

A Navigation system that doesn't show your location? that's just crap.

at it's also discussed that the whole poi functions will be from google maps even with the tech package. Wich means you'll NEED an internet connection.

For me that's crap too. I live in Europe and in 30 range I can reach 4 countries. 2 of the will have roaming and 1 MB will cost me around 7$. Internet stuff is nice, but all this navigation and cloud stuff only works as long as you stay in your country. At least I'm not aware of a payable all europe dataplan for my cellphone in switzerland.

Vawlkus | August 9, 2012

Google maps can't track where you are because it's designed with a stationary point (computer terminal) in mind. While it can't track you, it can give a layout of directions to go from one place to another, in order with times an distances noted. It's not perfect, but it'll do the job IMHO.

Volker.Berlin | August 9, 2012

Vawlkus, that's so pre-iPhone era! I can't believe it will stay like this for long in the Tesla. This must be a half-baked, temporary solution that, I hope, will only be seen in the first few cars delivered.

jerry3 | August 9, 2012

My guess is that you have to pay for a license from Google to get the the tracking functionality and Tesla hasn't done this yet.

Vawlkus | August 9, 2012

Just until the apps start bro. Then you'll get what yer cravin'.

Michael23 | August 9, 2012

Why can't they work with google to get android maps though? That one shows me where I am and has voice nav. That's all I want. iPhone google map style is so last gen!

ChristianG | August 9, 2012

google in pretty all their things is pretty opensource and free to use. Iphone and android apps show it can be done. The information about all things on the software and the touchscreen till now are very disappointing. Own Music didn't work for all on the test drives. This navigation situation seems to be really bad too. What else is it for but for playing Music and navigate? Is there any Smartphone app yet?

mklcolvin | August 9, 2012

If the part about not showing the location of the vehicle is true, then how can they call this navigation? It's just a route map - nothing to show status. I really hope that we get at least something that shows the car's location on the map.

MandL | August 9, 2012

I can't imagine this has to do with licensing with Google. You could always (back to the very first versions) point to a location in Google Maps by entering lat/lon coordinates. It simply requires integration with a GPS, which the car obviously has. If the app doesn't show your location on the basic Google Maps app now, it certainly is something I would expect to be fixed in an update.

Rod and Barbara | August 9, 2012

mklcolvin seems to summarize what many are saying on this thread with the statement, “If the part about not showing the location of the vehicle is true, then how can they call this navigation?”

Let me clarify what I did in the Model S and the purpose of my post about the current state of Google maps integration. My research was done in response to the Punch List thread item #14, Google maps navigation for those not getting tech package. I selected the Web icon at the top of the touch screen, which takes you to a web browser. I searched for Google maps, navigated to that web page and discovered that Google maps treated the Model S like a fixed position desktop computer. I expect I would find the same thing if I looked at MapQuest or any of the other mapping sites available on the Internet.

To my knowledge, Tesla has never claimed that navigation via Google maps would be provided in the Model S. It might be a valid position to complain that Tesla is not providing a navigation system without purchasing the tech package. However, until Tesla states that it is providing navigation via Internet accessed Google maps, it doesn’t seem relevant to complain that the car’s position is not displayed on Google maps.

Volker.Berlin | August 9, 2012

I selected the Web icon at the top of the touch screen, which takes you to a web browser. I searched for Google maps, navigated to that web page [...] (Rod and Barbara)

Thank you very much for the clarification! So we have been talking about slightly different things without noticing. I am not surprised that the website behaves as you described.

However, most of us (myself including) were referring to a native application, not a website. It is my (our) understanding, that this has been promised to provide a sat nav stand-in for cars without the Tech Pkg. That would be a separate icon, presumably on the same level as your navigation icon and your web browser icon. Obviously, you don't have that because if you had you'd probably come across that by now.

To me that seems to indicate either of the following, or both:

- The Google maps app is not yet ready for prime time. It will probably/hopefully be ready when the P series models are delivered.

- The Google maps app is considered redundant on cars with the Tech Pkg/built-in offline nav. It will be part of the non-Tech Pkg models only.

I am pretty sure that the punch list item is meant to refer to the app, not the website.

Schlermie | August 9, 2012

I remember viewing/reading an interview with a Tesla representative toward the end (November?) of 2011 where he stated the Model S would come with a web-based navigation system or you could purchase an optional DVD-based turn-by-turn navigation system. Of course, end of 2011 was a long time ago. Anything stated that long ago may have expired by now.

bredell | August 9, 2012

I'm not saying they are using Android to drive the car. Obviously, that would be stupid. However I can well imagine they use a sandboxed version of some customized Android version to run the 17" screen. Disclaimer: That's all speculation.

A Tesla rep said that there are at least two different computers in the Model S, one is controlling the touch screen and the other is controlling the dashboard. There's an Ethernet connection between the two allowing them to communicate. From a safety and security point it would make sense if the computer controlling the dashboard were also responsible for controlling the important functions of the car, while the computer controlling the touchscreen was available for other things such as web browsing and running customized applications.

Michael23 | August 9, 2012

Tesla told me this about nav without tech package:

"If you were to opt for the technology package, turn by turn navigation with 7 years of free updates would be included as part of the functions on the touchscreen. The alternative would be to select the connectivity package, which would allow you 3G connectivity to access Google maps via the internet. The downside would be another data plan, and also no turn by turn voice prompts. I do believe that all Model S will have Wi-Fi connectivity, so you could tether the car anywhere a Wi-Fi signal is available to access the internet."

bredell | August 9, 2012

You can get turn-by-turn navigation in a web browser using the GPS support of HTML 5. There seems to be a few services available that uses this but I don't know how good it works.

SMOP | August 9, 2012

I believe you are talking Google Earth not Maps. Maps is only available via cloud where as Earth is the application that streams data etc. I recall that during an earnings call it was announced that Google Earth would be included on all Tesla Vehicles.

Sudre_ | August 9, 2012

This whole topic reminds me of the lighted mirrors topic where everything got blown way out of proportion before getting the facts. I posted my humorous post because I strongly believe that R&B do not have google maps because they already have Navigon installed. Why would they double up mapping software. It would confuse the customer. We P holders have plenty of time to wait this one out.

kidheme | August 9, 2012

Thanks to all for the discussion. I have my car -- P2636-- pretty much configured in my mind except for the tech package. Seems like the perfect topic to have discussed on the next "Inside Tesla" update by GB.

Volker.Berlin | August 10, 2012

I believe you are talking Google Earth not Maps. Maps is only available via cloud where as Earth is the application that streams data etc. (SMOP)

As far as I'm concerned, the icon title on my mobile phone reads "Maps", and that's what I'm talking about.

Epley | September 17, 2012

Just noticed on Bill, Steve and Jessie's blog ( that the navigation is Navigon, and it displays in the in dash display to the left of the speed gauge. This is very cool!

Tomas | September 22, 2012

I'm screwed.... So screwed. I am a total tech Neandrathal, and this thread scares hell out of me. Do I need a PhD in electrical engineering to work this thing? Or are all you guys technophiles that love playing around with the stuff?... Glad you are though, so I can at least start to learn something about the car.
Im going from a Prius (which i adore) to a Signagure Performance next week and i'm worried I'll be totally dumbfounded... And frustrated. All I want to do is play music from my iPhone using Bluetooth or whatever and get turn by turn verbal navigation and google maps with traffic. It sounds like my hope that traffic and navigation would be integrated into one program is not happening but I can split screen and get both run ing at the same time?
And if I want to load songs into the system I have to transfer them using one if those little memory stick things? Seriously? How come I just can't synch it like I do with my computer? That seems lame.
I'm worried, please tell me I'll survive :)

prash.saka | September 23, 2012

@Tomas, you can have both - music and navigation (Note: For navigation, you will need the Tech package; which is standard with Signature series). If you see the image for Tech package here, you can see that the upper half has navigation and the lower half has music playing.

To play songs, you can either download them to the car's hard drive and play from there or stream them from your iPhone using bluetooth. You can, I suspect, also connect your iphone to your car using one of the USB slots and play it from there. You have multiple options. :)

By the way, when your Model S is delivered, ask the Tesla specialists that will be present during the delivery. Make note of ALL the questions you have and ask them how to go about it. The best way to learn, in my opinion, is by doing it. So, when you ask the specialists, make sure you are the one playing with the center console. Let them guide you and you do the touching, swiping, pinching, etc.

~ Prash.

DouglasR | September 23, 2012

@Prash, I think it was mentioned in another thread that you can NOT stream music from your iPhone over USB. Something about the licensing. Bluetooth should work fine, however.

Vawlkus | September 24, 2012

The only way to stream an iPhone via USB is with iTunes installed. It isn't yet, but it could be down the road.

jkirkebo | September 25, 2012

The Leaf streams over USB from iPhone just fine.

prash.saka | September 25, 2012

The USB port is, I thought, similar to the auxiliary port on other cars. Or, for that matter, similar to all the external ipod speakers similar to this.

I am not sure why there are any license or incompatibility issues.

~ Prash.

DouglasR | September 25, 2012

I cannot stream my iPhone via USB to my Ford Sync system. With speaker systems, you are not really streaming; you are simply outputting an audio signal. Streaming entails opening the file in a player that can start, pause, skip, and otherwise manage the track. In my Ford, I can do this via Bluetooth but not via USB.

prash.saka | September 25, 2012

@DouglasR, that explains.

So 'streaming' from the iphone may not be possible via the USB. But, you can still 'play' your iphone songs via USB?

Essentially, this sets up an iphone audio-out/Model S audio-in pair. So, in order to control the songs, you need to use your iphone and not the Model S's touchscreen.

~ Prash.