Curiosio Beta14: Tesla Road Trips
by Vas Mylko, Roman Bilusiak
Geeky travelers and traveling geeks! Today, we are releasing the functional road trip planner for Tesla owners. You can select My Tesla as a car option for the United States, enter the starting and finishing points, desired-required waypoints between them, dates, budget, theme, and Curiosio will create interesting trip plans in the charging-safe geography with more points and proposed See & Do at each point.
This effort was implemented incrementally. Part 1 was gathering the data. Part 2 was integration with the mother site tesla.com and the ongoing UX experiments. And now, it is all working in the United States. This post could be entitled Part 3, but this is a true milestone and it deserved its own Beta14 label.
Works in Chrome and Chromium browsers. Maybe works in Safari, but we did not test it. Could you, please? Doesn’t work in Firefox, we tested and discovered some new errors for the requests that take 30 seconds or longer.
Route & Balloons
We extended the popup balloons over the points to show suggested charging. A click on the point on the route will open the balloon. A red lightning symbol means we recommend to [fast] charge there.
A click on the red lightning will bring you to the Tesla site for the raw information about the charger and the area. En route you could charge anywhere, while during planning it is useful to know what’s possible, what alternatives are, to get confidence about the area where you are traveling.
Chargers & Mapping
Ran more experiments in the Lab and decided to dispense with the original idea to start showing the chargers from certain zoom levels. Designed a way to always show the chargers and avoid visual noise on the map. We did clustering. If there is at least one Supercharger in the area then the lightning marker is solid dark. If there are only Destination Chargers in the area then the lightning marker is a hardly visible light one.
Initially, the lightnings are rendered in the default perimeter. Then, when you set your own perimeter the lightning markers will be visible everywhere you need.
Click on a single charger will navigate you to the tesla.com map with that charger information. Click on a cluster of chargers that will zoom in to show what kind of chargers are available in the vicinity. Blue polygons of the clusters are our Lab version. The Production version will have a less catchy visualization of the clusters.
We added a new section to Breakdown. If you are traveling with the My Tesla option then you will see this section. It shows where to charge [quickly], the mileage between the charging, and all chargers are linked to tesla.com.
A click on the charger name opens Tesla site, where you could click for more detailed information and actions.
Let’s dig into the first use case.
I live in Austin, Texas. I want to drive to Boca Chica and back, and see other cool points on the route. I want See & Do at each point if there is enough time. My area of interest is the southern part of Texas. We could travel for several days. I am planning the trip but it will be two of us going.
And the trip plan consisting of the itinerary and the route will be…
Here is that interactive trip plan to play with…
UNITED STATES IN 4 DAYS AT $1150 FOR 2
Austin, Texas - Laredo, Texas - Sabal Palm Sanctuary - Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge - Austin, Texas
Another use case. This is a real case by the real Tesla user-driver-traveler.
I badly need Badlands National Park as a travel-thru point on the way from New York City to San Francisco. Tesla navigator could not route via Badlands, pushing a big U detour because of safer charging distances. Below is a response from the tesla.com/trips planner. It could not navigate via Badlands.
Is it even possible to drive Tesla via Badlands only via Superchargers? Is there a better route planner capable of smarter navigation? Here is a screenshot from A Better Route Planner in that area. Unclear what the orange color coding means, both on the route and in the itinerary.
What the current version of Curiosio proposes in that area? First off, Curiosio is trying to maximize your travel experience, not station hopping. Second, this version of Curiosio is trying to navigate you only via Superchargers… and sometimes long legs are possible as the edge cases. 400+ km or 250+ miles might be too far and too long on a single charge… Sometimes the routing is charge-safe, similar to A Better Route Planner. Below is an example that is good enough for this “bad” case:
UNITED STATES IN 10 DAYS AT $3150 FOR 2
New York City - Sandy Township, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania - Pokagon State Park - Cherry Valley, Illinois - Albert…
A Better Route Planner
Curiosio is already integrated with Google Maps for turn-by-turn navigation. You can [Export] the route to Google Maps and then “Send to your phone”. Then use your phone in real-time for navigation.
What about the [Export] of the Tesla-friendly route to A Better Route Planner instead of Google Maps (or Tesla Trips)? You can prepare the route in advance from your desktop, laptop, or phone, then access your route from the Tesla browser. If your Tesla model is new enough you could fine-tune directly in the Tesla browser (older browsers are inaccessibly slow).
We already talked to Iternio. Iternio is a company behind A Better Route Planner aka ABRP. It is possible to implement multi-point integration. Curiosio will integrate with Iternio ABRP as soon as they are ready. Stay tuned and follow your curiosity!
Thank you for reading. Now it’s time to go to https://curiosio.com to drive Tesla in the United States.