Tesla Patents Navigation With Integrated State of Charge Management
Tesla is working to give owners options for managing the state of charge of their vehicles, according to a new patent. The new system includes a number of slick features that make driving a Tesla easier and make road trips more fun.
Right off the top, the new system gives drivers options for which charging station they would like to stop at. A great example of this is evident in a trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. In a combustion vehicle, drivers can opt to stop in Barstow, Baker, or Yermo. There are other options as well, but let’s not get crazy. Tesla drivers now have the same options, but the navigation as it stands today only presents one option. The new system proposed by Tesla would give drivers the option to select a different version of the route or a different charging station, including non-Tesla charging stations and the elusive battery swap stations.
Putting choice back into the hands of drivers from within the integrated Tesla Navigation system is huge, as it puts those options front and center for drivers instead of forcing them to look for alternatives manually. Maybe you’re craving a breakfast burrito and a pound of honey-roasted peanuts from Eddie World at Tesla’s Supercharger in Yermo, California, but the navigation is routing you to Barstow. Bam, the proposed improvement to Tesla’s navigation puts those options in front of you.
After the initial selection is made, drivers have other options to help them plan for and optimize the state of charge of the vehicle. The new charge-friendly navigation system asks drivers up front what speed they plan to travel, and also asks about other settings that can impact efficiency, like air conditioning use and whether or not the sunroof will be open. Based on their selections, the navigation is able to more accurately simulate the energy used over the course of the trip and adjust planned charging stops accordingly.
It is a brilliant improvement to Tesla’s existing system, which lets drivers go about their merry ways but then may well force them into driving slower when it realizes the vehicle might not have enough range to get to the next charging station. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say.
In addition to single-trip settings, the proposed system allows drivers to select preferences for what the system will prioritize when building a new navigation route. Fastest time is the obvious selection, but shortest distance, most scenic, lowest energy consumption, and least time spent charging are easy modifications to the existing navigation prioritization.
Much like in Google Maps, the new system would give owners the ability to simply drag the navigation line to change it to a different route. Want to take the coastal route back from San Francisco instead of along the Central Valley? Sure, no problem. Just want to stop by Monterey for lunch, but not interested in the rest of the route? Yep, it can do that.
Finally, the onboard navigation will constantly simulate the balance of the trip and make suggestions, much like the system does today, to improve the trip. For example, if you boosted onto the freeway a bit faster than normal and have the AC blasting due to higher than forecasted temperatures, the system will make recommendations to slow down, close windows, et cetera to save power.
These types of recommendations exist today, but the new system proposes a much more holistic look at Tesla’s navigation system that puts drivers first and lets the system do whatever juggling is needed to find a solution.
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