Take a Tesla Model S for a spin in the U.S. or Europe, and you’ll have the help of a integrated navigation system to help you find your way. In China, you’ll have to unfold a traditional ,paper map. Local drivers are learning that the country’s aversion to Google services keeps Tesla from employing its usual map solution, leaving the sedan unequipped to guide its users through the streets of Shanghai. It’s an unfortunate situation, but it won’t last forever, Tesla says that it’s working on a solution that supports Chinese voice and text recognition, and expects to update cars in the Chinese market with navigation features later this year. Check out Asysha Webb’s ChinaEV blog at the source link below for Tesla’s full statement.
There were questions about the nav system in the Tesla Model S when the vehicle launched in the US, and there are still people who don’t like it. But here’s the thing: the US version at least has a nav system. With the luxury electric vehicle now available in China, drivers are discovering that the car is shipping without a working navigation system at all. As China EV blogger Alysha Webb reports, Tesla’s explanation for the lack of a nav system is that “Google maps are not supported.” At least the company is working on an alternative map database for the land whereGoogle doesn’t work right. We’ve confirmed with Tesla PR in the US that Webb’s report contains an official Tesla response, which includes the following: “Currently there isn’t a navigation system in Chinese Model S as Google maps are not supported in the country. However, teams are currently working on a solution with Chinese text and voice recognition. We plan to introduce navigation to Chinese cars later this year (as already communicated to our customers). Once it’s available, maps will be pushed to customers’ vehicles through software updates. One interesting quirk is that Tesla can’t yet push the updated map to everyone over the air, since, “remote over-the-air software updates are not yet supported in Chinese Model S.” Instead, Tesla will have to rely on its backend system to update the EV to what most American customers would consider standard equipment in a car in this price range. You can read the whole thing here.