Crates are wonderful puppy training tools and IMO necessary for transporting a dog in a car. Once the dog sees that as it's little sanctuary, they will go in on their own for road trips or naps.It's easy to judge when you're someone who has the luxury of staying home with the dog all day. IMO what's abusive is letting a dog injure or poison itself, or escape, when left unattended. Crates are sometimes the safest option.
Puppies sleep 18+ hours per day and adult dogs sleep 12+ hours per day anyway.