Tesla Hack: Navigate Like a Pro with Third-Party Apps

Are you tired of getting stuck in traffic on your Tesla road trips? Are you worried about running out of charge on the way to your destination? Are you looking for a way to optimize your energy usage and find the best route for your drive?

Third-party navigation apps for Tesla can enhance your driving experience and make your trips more efficient and enjoyable. Some of the best Tesla third-party navigation apps are Google Maps, Waze, and A Better Route Planner. Other apps like SentryView, TeslaFi, and TezLab can also make using your Tesla more user-friendly and seamless. 

So, let’s discuss Tesla’s GPS and some third-party navigation applications and sites that work well with Tesla. We’ll go over all the details and talk about the best navigation apps for Tesla so that you can always get to your destination the way that you want to. So buckle up, and get ready for a smooth and stress-free ride.”

What Navigation System Does Tesla Use?

Tesla has many features that you can’t find elsewhere, including its navigation system. 

Tesla Uses Google Maps and Mapbox navigation systems. To make the maps in a Tesla GPS, your Tesla uses Google Maps as the base layer for all its maps, and it uses Mapbox to display data like your energy consumption and how long your car’s charge will last. 

Generally, Tesla is always at work trying to develop a better map system that’s custom-tailored to the unique features of their vehicles. 

Pro Tip: Can you share a map link to your Tesla?

If someone texts you an address you can click on the link and it will open up in the appropriate map app. You can also share this map link to the Tesla app which in turn will open on your in-car navigation as a destination. This is a really easy way to get the destination loaded in your Tesla. Try it out!

Does Tesla Have a Route Planner?

Tesla’s GPS includes a route planner called “Go Anywhere.” With this feature, you can plan a trip between one location and another, and your Tesla will help you plan your route. 

The planner will choose a route with plenty of Tesla chargers and superchargers along the way, and it’ll help you decide which stop will get you to your destination in the right amount of time, saving you from having to search for chargers. 

You can add stops to your route using the Go Anywhere route planner, too, and your Tesla will show you consumption estimates, time estimates, and more when you plan the trip. 

For people unsatisfied with the built-in features that Teslas offer, third-party apps for navigation, like A Better Route Planner, Tesla Waze, and Google Maps, save the day. Other apps like Sentryview, TeslaFi, and Tezlab are also fantastic for Tesla owners who want to customize their driving experience.

The best third-party Tesla navigation app depends on your preferences, but some of the most popular ones include A Better Route Planner, Tesla Waze, and Google Maps. These apps provide alternative routes, charging station locations, real-time traffic updates, and energy usage estimates to enhance your driving experience. It’s worth trying a few different options to see which app works best for you.

How Accurate Is Tesla Trip Planner?

Tesla’s trip planner is almost 100% accurate, but there are some factors, such as weather, traffic, and speed limits, that may cause inaccuracies in your estimated arrival time. 

Tesla’s routes are just as good as Google Maps since they’re sourced from the same satellite terrain images. Tesla GPS will hardly ever lead you down a closed road or take you through an outdated route. 

Still, people often complain about how the ETA and consumption rate may change during the route while using the built-in GPS. 

That’s because Tesla GPS uses the standard speed limit and doesn’t consider road work, tolls, and other stops in your trip plan. It also doesn’t consider the weather, which can be problematic since Tesla consumption rates change as the weather gets colder. 

How Does Tesla GPS Work Without Internet?

You can use Tesla GPS without the internet because the car works with satellite GPS and WiFi positioning. 

When you’re out of range of an internet connection, you won’t be able to download advanced maps or search for the nearest supercharger station. However, if you have a map of your area saved to your tesla GPS or are mid-route and lose connection, you can still use the maps for navigation. 

Since Tesla uses a GPS with WiFi integration, you can still use the basic GPS in your Tesla, even without an internet connection. When you’re out of range, the maps will show as a grayscale image, and it won’t show a perfect satellite image of the terrain, but it’ll still work as a trip planner. 

So, it’s always best to keep some maps saved and running on your Tesla in case of a WiFi or cellular outage as you drive. 

Tesla Navigation Showing Speed Traps

Tesla’s navigation system doesn’t show speed traps such as road work zones, on-road police, or hazard warnings. The best you get with Tesla is a notification that alerts you on the traffic conditions, just like Google Maps does. 

Many people who use navigation apps such as Waze complain about Tesla’s lack of speed trap notifications, and Tesla will likely update the GPS soon to improve this feature. However, as of now, they won’t help you detect speed traps while you’re driving. 

How Often To Update Tesla Maps

Tesla maps are frequently updated. Since Tesla uses the Google Maps software for satellite images, you can expect the satellite to reflect everyday road changes.

However, the navigation software from Mapbox is usually updated every six months or so, which will help you get the latest routes available in your area. 

Changing the Voice on Tesla Navigation

Many Tesla owners are curious about changing the voice that their Tesla navigation system uses, but unfortunately, there’s no solution. 

You cannot change the navigation voice in your Tesla as of right now. There’s only one voice option available in all models, so you’ll have to use the default female voice that your Tesla came with. 

Use Waze With Your Tesla

While Waze has many of the features that Tesla navigation maps lack, many Tesla owners wish that Waze was available as a downloadable app. However, there isn’t a way to plan trips with Waze in your Tesla. 

Waze works with some Tesla models, such as the Model 3, Model S, and the Model X. It only works with Tesla’s web browser, and it won’t be able to give you directions to a set destination, though. It only works as a map without any waypoints. 

On a similar note; I wrote a related article called: “Can You Use Waze in a Tesla? Comparisons and Limitations“. If you’d like to find out more, check it out!

Waze-In-Car-Navigation-On-Phone

Waze isn’t entirely compatible with Teslas, and you won’t be able to download the App onto your car. The only way to access it in your Tesla is to use your web browser or use your phone. 

In addition, Waze is currently a protected app, meaning that Tesla cannot purchase a version of Waze to custom-tailor to a Tesla’s internal computer.  

Pro Tip:

This tip applies if you have a problem with your Waze and notice that the first few words always go missing whenever there is a verbal message. You can just go to another page on your iPhone instead of closing the app. You can also go into Waze and change the settings that the speaker of the phone is used instead of the speaker of the car (via Bluetooth).

How To Show Waze In Your Tesla

Tesla Waze is a web app that you can use to access the traffic reports and speed stops reported by other Waze users. Tesla Waze will only work in Teslas with internet connectivity and a web browser. 

To show Waze on Tesla: 

  1. Turn on your vehicle. 
  2. On the touchscreen, tap on the “Entertainment” icon. 
  3. Tap the “Web” icon.
  4. Once your web browser boots up, go to Tesla Waze.
  5. Tap on the gear-shaped settings icon in the bottom left corner of your touchscreen. 
  6. Customize your Waze settings to the correct zoom level and learn about the icons used to show speed traps. 
  7. Look at the map to see the speed traps in your area. 

For a helpful walkthrough of the Tesla Waze web app, check out this short video on YouTube: 

Pro Tip:

If you’re using your in-car navigation and don’t always want the navigation to have the voice on, you’ll have to dig into the menu to turn the voice navigation off or on. You can just use the voice command “Turn Off Voice Navigation” or “Turn On Voice Navigation”. That way you can turn the voice navigation on or off using your voice. This might save you a lot of effort in the long run.

Use Google Maps In Your Tesla

You can use Google Maps with Tesla since Google Maps is compatible with their navigation software. You can share a Google Map destination with your Tesla using a phone and the Tesla app to make route planning seamless. 

Tesla works very well with Google Maps since the Tesla navigation system is based on Google Map satellite images. 

The only feature of Google Maps that doesn’t work on a Tesla GPS is the waypoints. To use Google maps on your Tesla GPS, you’ll have to choose just one destination at a time. 

Google maps can directly share mapping data to your Tesla from a phone. However, to do this, you’ll need to set your vehicle up in the Tesla app. 

To use Google Maps on Tesla: 

  1. If you haven’t already, download the Tesla app and pair it with your vehicle. 
  2. Open the Tesla app and select the car that you want to share the map with. 
  3. Leave the Tesla app running and open the Google Maps app. 
  4. Plan your route with Google Maps. 
  5. Tap the “Share” button on your Google Map. 
  6. Select the red Tesla icon in the pop-up sharing menu. 

Speaking of which, I went into great detail regarding this topic. Check it out at Do Teslas Use Google Maps?

Now, your google map should appear on your Tesla’s touchscreen. 

Connecting Your Tesla to A Better Route Planner

A Better Route Planner is a favorite trip planner among Tesla owners since it allows you to customize your trip to the fullest. This web and mobile phone app, which is available on the tesla web browser, allows you to personalize your trip and ensure that your car stays perfectly charged along the way. 

To connect your Tesla to A Better Route Planner, open the A Better Route Planner web app on your vehicle’s web browser, log in using your Tesla login information, then plan your route and adjust the settings on the touchscreen. 

Because A Better Route Planner can calculate your energy consumption, arrival, and departure charge, this navigation app is perfect for Teslas. 

The routes and calculations made in-app are incredibly accurate. That’s because the app uses weather, wind speed and direction, elevation, and traffic to give you the best ETA and consumption estimates. 

Still, it’s important to note that A Better Route Planner will only work with Teslas made with a chromium-standard computer with a faster web browser than older models. Usually, that means that your car must have been made after the year 2019. 

Best Tesla Trip Planner App

Choosing the best App for Tesla isn’t easy, and preferences will differ depending on what you want in your navigation app. 

According to many Tesla users, the best Tesla trip planner app is A Better Route Planner, but you may find that another navigation app suits your needs better. Other apps that work well for Tesla drivers are Google maps, the Tesla GPS, and Waze. 

Tesla GPSGoogle MapsWazeA Better Route Planner
Requires Internet BrowserNoNoYesYes
Supports Offline NavigationYesYesNoNo
Shows Speed TrapsNoNoYesNo
Includes Charging StopsYesYesNoYes
Works with Tesla Voice ControlYesYes (when you share your destination via the app)NoNo

How To Use SentryView With Tesla

SentryView is a 3rd-party app that allows you to wirelessly view your Sentry Mode footage on your phone for easy access. 

You can use SentryView with Tesla. It allows any Tesla owner to review Sentry Mode video footage from their phone, as long as they have the appropriate flash drive and the App downloaded onto their phone. 

SentryView will only work with your Tesla if you use a specific flash drive to record your dashcam footage. You’ll need a SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick (available on Amazon.com) to use it. These flash drives allow you to connect your phone to your dashcam footage, making the footage available to your cell phone. 

Sandisk 32Gb Connect Wireless Stick Flash Drive - Sdws4-032G-G46

How To Use TeslaFi With Tesla?

TeslaFi is an app made just for Tesla owners that you can use to review all statistics and data from your driving history. 

This app works like a journal, and it’ll save all of the details of your driving history, including: 

  • Speed 
  • Miles you accrued on specific trips 
  • Your location at any point in time  

You can use TeslaFi with Teslas to keep track of your driving. When you pay for a subscription, you gain access to the App, which will record your speed, location, and miles accrued during any of your trips, keeping track of your Tesla for you. 

Anyway, I researched and compiled a full guide on how to use Tesla Dashcam, Sentry Mode, and Storage. Check it out!

Many Tesla owners find that TeslaFi is an excellent app to keep track of business trip expenses, daily charging expenses, and their kids as they start to drive. 

Use TezLab With Tesla

TezLab, like TeslaFi, is a Tesla monitoring app that can help you keep track of all the details from your previous drives and much more. 

You can use TezLab with Teslas, and it’ll keep track of all of your trips, including mileage and the cost of charging. The app will also allow you to connect with other Tesla owners in your area and find the best-rated charging stations nearby. 

TezLab is the perfect App for Tesla drivers who want to learn more about reaching maximum efficiency with their vehicles. With new features rolling out every few months, this app is an essential tool for Tesla drivers. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up Third-Party Navigation Apps on Your Tesla

Installing the App

Installing a third-party navigation app on your Tesla is easy as pie. All you need is a smartphone or tablet with the app downloaded, and a Tesla vehicle with the latest software update.

To download the app, simply search for it in the app store on your android phone or tablet or on the google play store. Once the app is downloaded, you can open it and create an account if necessary.

Connecting the App to Your Tesla

Now that the app is downloaded, it’s time to connect it to your Tesla. The first thing you’ll need to do is connect your smartphone or tablet to your Tesla via USB. Then, on your Tesla’s touch screen, go to “Settings” > “Software” > “Apps” > “Android Auto” (if you are using an android device) or “Apple Carplay” (if you are using an apple device).

Once you’ve selected the appropriate option, you should see the app pop up on the screen. Select the app and voila! You’re all set up and ready to go.

Alternate Routes and Other Cool Features

One of the main reasons people use third-party navigation apps on their Tesla is for the alternative routes. These apps can show you alternative routes that may be quicker or have less traffic, and even find third-party charger stations for you.

Another useful feature of these apps is the ability to see the energy usage for your current route, and also to plan your route according to the energy consumption. This is especially useful for Tesla drivers who may be worried about running out of charge on a road trip.

Additionally, some apps allow you to see real-time traffic incidents, and elevation changes and also provide turn-by-turn directions. These apps are a great alternative to the in-built Tesla route planner, which may not show the most optimal route depending on the market region or the current traffic situation.

Supercharger Stops and Additional Features

Another great feature of some of the best third-party navigation apps for Tesla is that they can help you find the nearest Tesla Superchargers and plan your route accordingly, so you don’t have to worry about idle fees at non-Tesla charging stations.

These apps can also help you track your charging session, and also show you the estimated time of arrival and the energy consumption for your route. This is a very useful feature for EV drivers who are planning long road trips and want to make sure they have enough charge to reach their destination.

Finally, some apps come with additional features like the ability to share your location with your friends and family or access the media player on your Tesla. These features can greatly enhance your Tesla driving experience and make your road trips even more enjoyable.

FAQs

Can I use third-party navigation apps in my Tesla Model S?

Third-party navigation apps can be used on all Tesla vehicles, including the Model S. These apps can be downloaded on a smartphone or tablet and then connected to the car’s infotainment system via USB.

Are there any costs associated with using third-party navigation apps in my Tesla?

Some third-party navigation apps may require a subscription or have in-app purchases, but many are available for free. Some of these apps might require a premium connectivity package in order to have full access to their features.


If you found this article helpful, feel free to give us a thumbs up by sharing it on your social media platform of choice. You can also check out these 15 great gift ideas for yourself or a Tesla fanboy.

Contact Us if you have any questions or queries.

Tesla-Gift-Box-Ideas
Tesla Hack: Navigate Like a Pro with Third-Party Apps 1
Erwin Meyer
Erwin Meyer

Thanks for visiting evspeedy.com. The goal of this site is to be a helpful resource for Tesla and EV owners as this is where my passion lies. I was a TSLA shareholder before the hype and still am. I also believe in Tesla’s speedy mission to accelerate the world to a sustainable future.