Tesla Navigation VS Google Maps – Best System for Your Tesla

If you are traveling in an unknown area in your Tesla, you will need to have a good method for navigating.  Is it ok to assume that the Tesla GPS system is the best for every owner? I will explore the differences between the two systems to see which one would be best for most drivers.  I will point out the features that each one is missing so that you will have a more complete picture of which system would be best for you.

The Tesla Navigation System versus Navigation via Google Maps – Tesla and Google Maps both provide great routing and they both direct you away from heavy traffic situations. You can avoid the use of ferries and tolls with both systems.  I prefer the Tesla System because it reports how far you can travel based on your current consumption due to your speed and the traffic that is ahead.  Google maps cannot provide this data. 

Even though I suggest that Tesla GPS is more suited to Tesla owners, you may want to try out Google Maps.  With google maps, you will be able to set waypoints to any place instead of being forced to use waypoints that are based on the location of superchargers.

Another situation that is tiresome is having to carry around the key FOB in order to unlock your Tesla.  I recommend that you replace it with a key ring that works like a key FOB.  Click here to view the pricing of the COLMO Smart Ring for Tesla that is available on Amazon.

Can you easily use Google Maps in a Tesla?

There is a way to use google maps directions in a Tesla.  Here are the steps for it:

  1. On your phone, go to Google Maps and start to find the location that you desire.
  2. Once you have located it, you just have to send the information to your Tesla car.
  3. Press on the share button and there will be a Tesla option if you have the Tesla app installed on your phone already.
  4. Now this information will be sent to the screen on your Tesla showing the same turns and so forth that were selected by google maps.
  5. If you have more than one tesla, you will need to select a specific tesla before you send the information from google maps.

This function is not something that is unique to Tesla.  There are other car manufacturers that allow their GPS car system to receive data from google maps.

This type of sharing of data is perfect when you desire to set-up waypoints for your trip.  The Tesla navigator does not allow you to do so, but it can be done if you set up these points beforehand in google maps.

Here is a video showing how to send the data from google maps to your GPS system on Tesla:

Now that you know how to use data from both the google maps system and the system for your Tesla, which system is providing the best and more accurate information.  We all know that GPS systems can be off and they can end up getting you lost if you are careful.

What is the most accurate navigation app for a Tesla?

I feel that the most accurate navigation app for Tesla would be one that provides the most up-to-date data.  I hate it when maps are outdated and cause me to get lost in the middle of a busy city.  Telling me to turn onto roads that no longer exist since they have been replaced by other routes.

I realize that the GPS system for a Tesla is quite accurate, but having a system that is updated by individuals on a massive scale would be more helpful.  For instance, if you were to know the speed that is currently occurring near a bridge, having that data would enable you to take a different route to save driving time.  I searched online to find a system that can be used with Tesla besides google maps and I came up with Waze.

What I like about Waze compared to google maps is that you can personally add data to the system to help other drivers.  For instance, if you were to encounter a sudden road closure, you can input it into the Waze system and others would be alerted right away of this development.  If you were to rely solely on google maps or the Tesla system, you might not be aware that you should take a different route home.

The big drawback is that Waze is not going to be able to provide directions, it is more or less a map system that can be used on the screen in Tesla.  What some have done is to run Waze on their cell phone at the same time so that they will be able to get verbal directions.  It is best to do so because it can be dangerous if you are constantly looking at your big Tesla screen while driving.

Of course, it would be nice to have the directions onscreen as you would have with the Tesla GPS, but I have heard that getting it to function is hit and miss.  You need to have a strange cell phone service signal to get the pages to load fast in a Tesla.  People have complained that the Waze does not load fast, but this is due to the amount of data that has to be received.   In other words, if all apps will have problems loading in certain cell signal low areas, would it not be better to have a system that gives complete data to you like the Waze system?

Can I use Waze in my Tesla?

Yes, you can use Waze in your Tesla and I will explain how this is done.

  1. The first step is to open the web browser on your Tesla screen.
  2. In your search bar, type in ‘tesla waze’.
  3. Click on the link to go to TeslaWaze.com.
  4. Along your browser to use your location.
  5. Now a map will appear.
  6. Click on settings that is within the bottom left-hand corner.
  7. When you are setting these settings make sure that you are parked because driving well changing the settings is next to impossible because the screen will keep resetting due to your change in location.
  8. Nevertheless, you will only have to set these settings one time only.
  9. I would turn on the weather.
  10. By having the weather overlays, you will be able to see if there are areas that you should be avoiding.  For instance, you will be warned if there is a thunderstorm nearby to your planned route.
  11. Make sure to select traffic jams and street traffic.
  12. Now within the options menu that is in the left sidebar, click on alerts.
  13. Make sure that all alerts are turned on, and study the images so that you are aware of what they symbolize.
  14. Now in the options, click on enforcement.
  15. Turn on the enforcement alerts.
  16. Click out of the options and refresh the page.
  17. Now make sure to save the link to this site to your favorites by clicking on the heart with a plus sign beside it just to the right of the location bar in the browser.

What maps does Tesla use for navigation?

Currently, the Tesla GPS system uses the google maps database to display its maps.  Tesla wants to have their own mapping system so that it can have details that other maps are missing, such as navigation within parking areas.  They feel that their one million car owners can provide the data that is needed.  I am not convinced that they will team up with a company to get that data since, in the past, they had broken ties with companies such as Nvidia and Mobileye.

I recommend that you use the Spigen Screen Protector for your touchscreen if you use it a lot for navigating.  Click here to view the current pricing on Amazon.

How well does Tesla highlight traffic incidents and other traffic information?

Tesla is using data from Google to reroute around traffic situations and traffic congestion.   You can easily notice that the overlays are coming from Google. 

Nevertheless, they are trying to get away from using data from other companies such as Inrix.  If you look into the source code, you’ll notice that there’s a difference in the amount of concentration that they’re putting on data from Inrix that gathers and analyzes information from Google maps. 

It has been reported that they’re going to use their fleet of vehicles in order to generate better traffic information for their owners. As more and more Teslas are on the road, their own data is going to be coming in which will be very useful for their onboard GPS System.

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