I’ve originally planned on writing this a while ago. This one didn’t make it out. In December 2019, John from Silicon Valley Tesla Owners Club asked Elon about this, and his answer was no. It’s probably the most requested feature from owners that Tesla refused to develop. It’s a feature that is supported by many major products, like Google Maps. Recently, there was more pressure to add this. Elon finally responded to Trevor of Tesla Owners Online that he would develop this feature.
This post will talk about how not having waypoint navigation ended up driving an extra hour, which delayed a US Marine getting home to see his wife and daughter after being deployed for eight months. On June 5th, 2020, I drove to 29 Palms US Marines Base to pick up my best friend. He just spent eight months in Okinawa, Japan, as part of his (hopefully last) deployment. He spent two weeks in quarantine at 29 Palms US Marines Base after landing in the US.
After his quarantine was over, I decided to drive from San Diego to pick him up and then drop him off in Pasadena, where he parked his car, so that he can drive the rest of his way home. While I was out that way, I also decided to visit my friend over at Glassell Park before heading home.
As of me writing this, Tesla didn’t have waypoint navigation. I used A Better Route Planner (ABRP) instead to plot out my route as I can plug in my car, and it would tell me which chargers I should use. The great thing about this is that I can avoid all the 72 kW chargers and route me to the appropriate charger.
Here’s the route that ABRP picked for me.
My friend isn’t a Tesla owner, so I also don’t want to spend 20-30 minutes at a charger with him, especially since he needs to get home to his family. Riverside is a V3 charger, and Pasadena was a stop where we needed to make to grab a beer real quick. We would have spent 9 mins at Riverside and wouldn’t have to wait at Stone as we pick up our brews. The plan was perfect. That is until we found out that it’s National Donut Day.
My day started at 7 am as I headed towards the Cabazon Supercharger. My car was charged to 100% overnight; I was armed with a thermos of coffee, and I wasn’t going to stop until I hit that first Supercharger.
I spent about 21 minutes charging. The Supercharger was located at a mall that was currently closed. So I was trying to wander and trying to find an opening facility. By the time I got back, I had more than enough to take me to my next destination. So at 84%, I decided to drive through Joshua Tree to meet my friend.
I left at 9:15 am and headed to the base. I arrived at the base at 10:24 am and had to wait at the visitor parking lot. My drive was a bit more efficient as the temperatures started to rise. As it was triple digits that day, I decided to hang out in my car with the air conditioning on.
After about 15 mins, he arrived at the visitor center, and we promptly left. I mentioned how it’s National Donut Day, and we decided to find a Dunkin. We picked the one closest to the Riverside Supercharger. As I saw that it was close, I decided to plug in the destination to the Dunkin directly into the Tesla navigation. I didn’t realize that it was passed the Riverside Supercharger, a lot further than I imagined.
From Tesla’s perspective, our final destination was the Dunkin. It doesn’t know that I have four more stops to go. So per Tesla, my car will make it to Dunkin without the need to charge. If I had plugged in the destination to ABRP, it would have said that I need to charge my car for 5-10 mins before continuing to Dunkin.
We arrived at Dunkin with an 18% charge. We got our coffee & donuts to go. We are all ready to go to Pasadena. There’s just one small problem. I can’t make it without charging. The Riverside Supercharger was way east of us and a bit of the way. The closest Supercharger is just south of us at Corona. I needed to go north. This was my only option, and it was an Urban Supercharger.
We spent the time there eating our donuts and drinking coffee. Twenty-three minutes later, I had enough to go to Pasadena. Because of our detour, we ended up in traffic that delayed us 30 more minutes.
In the end, we were delayed about 30-40 mins, something that could have been prevented if we had waypoint navigation. It’s pretty crucial for road trips where your final destination isn’t your only stop. Whenever my wife and I travel a long distance, we just don’t set the final destination and go. We plot destinations along the way and explore. Until Tesla implements this, A Better Route Planner will be our primary navigation for road trips.
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