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Disappointed in PiP electronics

Discussion in 'Toyota Prius Plug-in' started by longterm, May 4, 2012.

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  1. longterm

    longterm Member

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    While I do love my new PiP, I'm sorely disappointed in the mediocre implementation of electronics:

    1. In my Gen II 2007 Prius, I could get to the GPS with one click of an on-wheel button. On the 2012 PiP, I often have to click the APP button, then GPS, and confirm if it's the first use of the day.

    How it SHOULD BE: There should be a soft button on the steering wheel; the soft button could be user-configured to bring you to any of the apps, including GPS, with one tap of the button. I would set it to GPS, but others might use it for one of the other apps.

    2. Entune doesn't work with the iPhone without tethering; this is supposed be on Toyota's fix list; I hope it arrives soon.

    3. No matter what I try, I find myself using the ICE on the smallest of hills sometimes, unless I drive 15 MPH. The POWER button seems to make little or no difference at all. It's extremely annoying.

    4. The charge port should be on the DRIVER side, not the passenger side; my preference would be below the front left wheel well, where it was located on the prototype.

    5. The charge timer implementation is awful; to begin with, why did they put those 3 little buttons on the dash? Why is the timer switch not configurable in the nav display, where it SHOULD be?

    Second, why would I *ever* want to use the TIMER END option? So that I can use the circuit for something else at a specified time? I can't see ever using it; instead, I would suggest two timer ranges, both with a START and END time; I would use one at night, one in the morning after bringing my son to school.

    I should have the option to make the timers always in use; this could be in the SETTINGS area along with setting the timers' start and end times. If I wanted, I could have the timers always in use unless I were to turn one or both off--which should be doable using a single TIMER button that would display each of the two timer ranges.

    Inside the charge door, the lighted button should toggle between timers ON and timers OFF.

    Move the timer buttons into the SETTINGS area of the display. Those 3 cheesy buttons look to me like some sort of half-baked afterthought.

    6. I would love NOT to have the spoiler in the middle of the back window; I disliked it with my 07 Prius, and don't care for it on this one either. Granted, I'm used to it, but would love NOT to have to look at it.

    7. Get rid of the reverse beep altogether, or put it OUTSIDE the car! I have mine changed so that it only beeps once, but what's the point of a beep inside the car? To tell me I'm going backwards? If I need a beep to tell me which direction I'm driving, then I probably need to be in the passenger seat.

    On the other hand, if there were an exterior backup warning, that might not be such a bad idea for all vehicles.

    8. If I could choose, I'd want electric seats over seat warmers, but that's just me.

    My biggest complaint in all of this is the rather clunky implementation of the electronics package. As someone who writes software for a living, I'm more aware than most of user interfaces, and in my opinion, the Prius' electronics UI reminds me of Windows XP--and that's not a compliment. :) Engineers should have given more thought to the number of presses it takes to get somewhere in the electronics, especially since the driver is most often the person having to deal with it. GPS should be one button-click away, and no daily function should be more than 2.
    sweetie and KK6PD like this.
  2. Tracksyde

    Tracksyde Member

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    Moving the timer function into the display/head unit would prevent anyone from replacing the head unit if they wanted something better. You could of course still replace it, but the timer is an important feature I wouldnt want to go without.
  3. epoints

    epoints Junior Member

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    "2. Entune doesn't work with the iPhone without tethering; this is supposed be on Toyota's fix list; I hope it arrives soon."

    Personally, I don't think it works with iPhone at all. It might be my problem but I cannot get gps navigation to read address from my iphone "phonebook".

    I called the AskToyota team and they told me it cannot read address from your "phonebook". Then why would "phonebook" be an option from "destination" menu????

    Sorry...a bit off topic?
  4. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    By tethering, you're referring to using a USB to dock connector cable right? I take it you want to do data over wi-fi or Bluetooth. If so, do you have Personal Hotspot/tethering enabled via your carrier? (iOS: Understanding Personal Hotspot and AT&T Wireless- Turn On Personal Hotspot with iPhone 4 using iOS 4.3). It costs extra.
  5. chesleyn

    chesleyn Active Member

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  6. rogerv

    rogerv Senior Member

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    "Second, why would I *ever* want to use the TIMER END option?"
    Toyota says that ideally, you should charge the battery shortly before you drive. I use the end time function every night so that the charge is finished by 6:00 am when I leave. I do this normally seven days a week, but if I'm not heading out in the morning, I just don't push the button and don't plug in the charger.
    So, what may not make sense to you might work for others. As the old saying goes,
    "Different strokes for different folks.":D
    2 people like this.
  7. 9G-man

    9G-man Active Member

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    The voice command "show map" solves that problem. Yeah, a button would be nice, but the command works well once you try it a couple times.



    Your iPhone needs charging anyway



    Are you in EV mode? EV mode gives plenty of acceleration rate without the ICE. If you are trying to HV Stealth to speed, well sure that is slow. Carefull what you wish for, greater EV acceleration means reduced EV range




    Yeah me too



    The timer is available for use when the car is off. If the display was used you'd need a key and to power up the car. The little buttons are the same ones used to set the clock, so it makes sense.
    The "end" option keeps you from having to calculate a begin time, which would differ each time depending on battery charge level. So they made it easy and gave you an end option that lets the car calculate when it needs to start. Most people that want to delay a charge know when they want the car ready to go, so all they have to do it set that time. It makes perfect sense.. Otherwise, People charge at all different times and routines, no way would I want a default delay.




    Camback design and aerodynamic efficiency demand it. It's the top MPG car for a reason



    Toyota CYA, with all the idiots in the world that backup when they really want to go forward, vice-versa, and the unique shifter design, they are doing their best to engineer out stupidity. At least they gave us the option to switch it to a single beep. Geez, people are stacking floormats and wondering why their gas pedal is getting stuck......then whine....it's not my fault.



    Just wait until winter, when those heated seats are gonna get you better gas mileage.

    The PiP is a 1000 times better Prius than the Gen II. Its just a little different and will take some mild adjustments and time to get used to . The 950 miles I'm about to have driven on a single 10 gallon tank of gas makes it perfect to me.
  8. chesleyn

    chesleyn Active Member

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    nice!
  9. longterm

    longterm Member

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    That feature works for me with my iPhone 4S without tethering; the apps work if I plug the phone in with USB.
  10. longterm

    longterm Member

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    No, I leave an iPod in the car; I charge the iPhone in my house. The iPhone shouldn't need to EVER be tethered; Toyota said they're working on it.



    Of course I'm in EV mode; the lightest touch kicks in the ICE. I have to drive like a grandma to stay in EV. With all the hills in Nashville, I can't go 10 miles without the ICE starting at least once.



    The button should remain, but not the 3 little ones; the clock should be configured from SETTINGS.



    If that were the case they'd alert us every time we go forward too... It's just a stupid feature, just as it was in the Gen II.

    As much as I love Japanese cars and the Prius in particular, their UI design in electronics (stereos, other appliances) has always been mediocre.

    Maybe voice commands work better in the PiP than they dd in the Gen II, where they were a joke. I'd still rather have a one-touch button, or better, a user-definable button.

    Sadly, Toyota's electronics designs remind me of Sony's--great products, terrible user interfaces.
  11. longterm

    longterm Member

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    For now, that's the workaround on the iPhone; my understanding is that the Android doesn't require a tethering account to work with Bluetooth and Entune.

    I have yet to use any apps other than GPS and the stereo, mainly because I already keep an iPod in my car all the time, with 70 GB of music on it. If I want to use an app, I'd have to unplug the iPod, plug in the iphone--way too much trouble.
  12. longterm

    longterm Member

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    Here's the problem I've had with using the charger during the day: I use the timer at night, but if I make an unexpected afternoon trip and had the timer set (which often happens), I end up with no EV miles.

    I've decided I'll use the timer at night and charge immediately when I return home each morning (I work from a home office). If my battery goes bad a little sooner, so be it.
  13. delrey

    delrey Member

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    That is how I expected the charge timer end option to work. However, I found when I tried it that it does *NOT* take the battery charge level into account. If I choose 7am end time, the car started charging about 4am even if I have a mostly full battery.



  14. CharlesH

    CharlesH CA HOV Decal #00005

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    I think the consensus around here is that the "end" timer just blindly starts the charging at (set time - about 3 hours), with no other factors figured in.
    delrey likes this.
  15. pip2012

    pip2012 Junior Member

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    Just a quick correction. On the prototype, the charge port door was just above and behind the front left wheel well not below it. I had one for 6 weeks.

    But I agree - the prototype location was better than the final location. I find myself backing into parking spaces all the time now just out of habit because that's what I need to do to easily use pedestal type EVSEs.
  16. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    I use the Timer End function every day. When I pull in my driveway at night, I tap the button twice, and then plug in. Next morning, the car is freshly charged.

    True, the timer's not good if you change its setting frequently. But if you use the same time regularly, it's easy to turn on when you need it. It automatically turns off after one use.
  17. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    Must be very hilly there. In my usual 2 miles trip, there is a pretty big hill before the red light. I can keep up with traffic with 2/3 the battery power. I was worry that ICE may kick in on that hill but I was pleasantly surprised (and happy) with the EV power.

    EV power threshold is about 55hp. If you were to accelerate with ICE instead, it would have to rev about 3,000 rpm (without battery assist) to produce the same power. It redlines at 5,200 rpm.



    To extend the battery life. The longer the battery pack sits with a full charge, the faster it'll "degrade", especially sitting under the sun. It is better to charge it to full, right before you use it.

    Note that a "full" charge is actually 85% full.
  18. 3PriusMike

    3PriusMike Prius owner since 2000

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    I agree that the UI on the timer is terrible. I know how it works and can set it. But try explaining it to someone who never used it and trusting them to go set it because you forgot. A mode or time that is flashing to set or confirm is not good enough. A plain English prompt and OK to confirm is much better.

    Probably every other EV and PHEV is better. Same for the charging port location. It needs to be closer to the front so you don't have to back in to public spaces. Luckily, most cables just fit when driving in forward. But in a work-provided charger on a pole, the way the Leaf is designed, one charging cable can reach 6 parking spaces. This is important because it means someone can unplug and just move the cable to another vehicle without having to coordinate two people moving their cars.

    Mike
  19. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    I have no problem with the plug location and backing into the parking pace. I actually prefer it because of the backup camera. If I pull head in, I never know when the front lip is going to scratch (the curb or the stop).

    I appreciate the weight saving (minimum cable length) by keeping the plug closest to the PHV pack in the back.
    lensovet likes this.
  20. John H

    John H Senior Member

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    Maybe there will be an "Apple" edition of the PiP with a modern UI, the iPiP. How much extra should it cost? $20/month. :)
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