EV Radar is a paid app that, at the time of this writing, charges $5/month for the service. It is a web browser based app that polls your vehicle position from the in-car geolocation data and plots your position on a map. It combines this data with the direction you are heading to warn you when various hazards are in the path in front of you.
One of the most useful hazards to know about when driving a Tesla is the presence of traffic radar. This can be especially useful on many Tesla models that have the metallic windshields that stop radar signals from reaching a traditional radar detector.
How does it work in the real world? Having traveled over 1,000 miles in a Model S over the past week was a great opportunity to try it out. The big question you are asking —
Does it work?
Ultimately it does provide adequate warnings of police presence about 90% of the time. 10% of the time it will not warn you when there IS a police presence. That 10% is a pretty notable margin if you are thinking this will save you from an unwanted delay during your travels.
Lots Of False Positives
What is FAR MORE COMMON, however is an absurd number of false reports. For every actual police presence reported there are twice as many that simply no longer exists. It seems as though the timer that decides when to throw out prior reports needs some tweaking. However this is likely out of the hands of the app developer as they are almost certainly polling the only known published police presence data out there — the Waze API. Which means there is very little they can do to fix that issue.
That said it did work sometimes. Those one or two times may be worth the price of admission to this app. But keep in mind it is not flawless.
The Flashing Indicator Is A Plus
On the positive side — the flashing blue-and-red screen when you are approaching a hazard is great. It allows you to keep your eyes on the road, unlike the icons that do nothing on the Tesla Waze app and thus require you to glance AWAY from the road on occasion.
It did not take long before all notifications EXCEPT police presence had to be disabled. Slightly slow traffic. Accidents. Hazards. They are all far too common and have you glancing at the screen and dismissing alerts far too often. If you are using this like most people are expected to, as evident in the EV Radar name, you will likely do the same and only keep police presence warnings enabled.
We’re keeping the app. At $5/month it is worthwhile — at least for now.