(5) beta testers sought for new technology

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Fuel Economy' started by Pedal Logic, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. Pedal Logic

    Pedal Logic Active Member

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    Hi The Electric Me,

    Your questions are definitely reasonable. As background, we originally designed and built Smartpedal to handle mission-critical defense and transit applications. The consumer version incorporates the same hardware and software, which means that Smartpedal:
    • Preserves all OEM safety measures. Nothing is disabled or circumvented.
    • Meets current and even proposed federal standards for automotive safety.
    • Incorporates a dozen additional hardware and software safety measures internally.
    With regard to the last bullet point, I would like Toyota to catch up with regard to pedal safety: among the safety measures Smartpedal incorporates is compliance with the SEI CERT C and MISRA C:2012 standards. Toyota has yet to implement either standard despite adopting both five years ago specifically to address the issue you mentioned.

    Another thing to keep in mind is company history. Pedal Logic formed in 2011. We engaged in four years of R&D, including closed-course and open-road testing with OEMS (including passenger cars) before offering our technology for sale. By now our technology has probably been operated over a million miles of roadway by end customers, while carrying tens of thousands of passengers -- with no safety issues ever.

    We like that track record for personal and professional reasons. And while it costs a little more to manufacture a high-quality product, I would rather make a little less money and have a lot of happy customers than the other way around.

    Marc
     
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  2. mertechperformance

    mertechperformance Active Member

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    I have a gen4 and am interested
     
  3. Pedal Logic

    Pedal Logic Active Member

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    Hi Beta Testers,
    Most of you will receive your Smartpedal beta unit today. Here's a quick summary:

    Each unit contains five built-in driving modes. The default is mode 4. Please drive in this mode for about 400 miles, then PM me with your mileage results and opinion of the driving experience. After that, shift to mode 3 and repeat. Then mode 2 and mode 1, which are more conservative versions of modes 4 and 3, respectively.

    Mode 4 is right at the edge of a noticeable change for most drivers. We've also included a mode 5 as an experiment, which makes very, very observable changes to vehicle behavior. This is included as an experiment--you can skip if not to your liking.

    Any questions? I'll respond as quickly as possible. Thanks for testing!

    Marc
     
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  4. Pedal Logic

    Pedal Logic Active Member

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    Hi Beta Testers,

    Just iPhone'd a quick install video for anyone who might like extra detail on releasing the latch on the OEM connector and otherwise physically installing Smartpedal:



    I should have made it clearer in the video, but when Smartpedal is oriented correctly the small clear plastic piece (for light transmission from the LED) faces the driver.

    Also, here's a quick video with more detail on calibration--you can also see my mug:



    Best,
    Marc
     
    #24 Pedal Logic, Dec 19, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2016
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  5. daiske99

    daiske99 Member

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    Marc,

    I installed the device before you uploaded the video. So I had a hard time to uninstall the original connector from the pedal. The connector is placed in the very corner and it's hard to reach and press the latch.

    After the installation, I tried to uninstall it just for the test. But I couldn't do it... I'm afraid if I can do it well while not damaging the device and the plastic latch to ship it back to you.

    You showed the installation video but can you make the installation video with some tips for us?

    Thank you,
    Eddie
     
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  6. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Taking the 2 bolts off that hold the pedal onto the floor board is what I did;). Repeating this at removal will probably be the easiest.
     
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  7. daiske99

    daiske99 Member

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    Man.. That was the last resort I thought... and how did you remove the device? Did you press the small latch on the side and pull it off, or just pull it with force?
     
  8. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    I found the last resort to be the easiest:). Then you can maneuver the pedal and look at the connection within reason. It was either that or remove the plastic above the pedal that has the TPMS reset on it and leave that hanging out.

    I was fearful of snapping the clip of the connection so I tried the safe route. Was bit with that type of connection on my old man's 96 GMC Sierra pickup when doing a lock replacement (snapped right off).

    Once bitten, twice shy;).
     
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  9. daiske99

    daiske99 Member

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    I'm so worried if I can remove it to return in the end of the test period...
     
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  10. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    I would take both 10 mm bolts out as that will ease the anxiety some:).

    Think of it this way, once it's done you'll have good experience when the production version arrives for installation ;).
     
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  11. daiske99

    daiske99 Member

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    I agree. I will try it tomorrow.:) Thank you for your help!
     
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  12. Pedal Logic

    Pedal Logic Active Member

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    Hi Everyone,
    I just replaced the original install video with a longer, more detailed version--see posting #24 on this page. It _should_ answer some of the questions.

    Also, please don't worry about damage on removal. First thing to know: it's made of polyamide 66 (not ABS) so it has good "memory" and is hard to damage. Second, a small flat screwdriver usually allows for the latch to be released without too much trouble. Third, it just doesn't matter: this is what beta units are for. I can easily replace a damaged unit--and will still appreciate your help testing.

    Best,
    Marc
     
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  13. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    My pleasure. Enjoy the test and here's to better mpg(y).
     
  14. Kramah313

    Kramah313 Active Member

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    Updated install video for the win - after watching that I had this thing installed in less than a minute and I am not mechanically inclined. Thanks!
     
  15. Pedal Logic

    Pedal Logic Active Member

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    Kramah313 (& Everyone),

    Glad it worked. Based on the feedback on this thread, I think it probably makes sense for us to create "professional" install and calibration videos for all makes/models and include a little card in the package that points installers to those videos. I found while making the video that I could convey much more information and nuance than I could with the written instructions.

    BTW, the packaging is temporary. We have the real stuff arriving in 2 months and will look professional. What about the text on the inserts though? Any thoughts on things we should add/change/reduce?

    For example, the license/terms of sale text is pretty small--but was it legible? Our goal there wasn't to create fine print per se, but to avoid moving from a 20 to 24-page install-guide/limited-warranty/terms-of-sale booklet for the final product.
     
  16. Kramah313

    Kramah313 Active Member

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    Thought the insert info was well enough written. I think a card pointing to the videos would be good or even just point the users to the videos on the insert itself.

    For the modes, 60 seconds of holding down the pedal seems excessive - I would shorten that to 10 or 15 unless the concern is that it may inadvertently activate while driving (it is unlikely that someone would floor it for 60 consecutive seconds). I would love to see a switch on the device itself that had off,1,2,3,4,5 as options if such a thing would be cost effective to make. It is hard to see the LED the way the Prius is set up - I had to put my phone on the floor on the camera setting to watch it while I hit the power button.

    Some initial impressions:

    I've only done two drives on mode 4 but it does seem to be helping MPG a bit. Got almost 54 on the computer this morning in the coldest weather (30F or so) that I have driven the Prius in in a long time during a drive where the hybrid battery temp never even got to 60 F (meaning the car limits regen to protect it). Also got nearly 50 on two short trips at lunch.

    One other side effect is the hybrid battery seems to be lasting longer during low speed residential areas. My theory on this is that since I drive in PWR mode the current demand isn't spiking as much.

    There is a definite effect on pedal feel in PWR mode, less so in normal mode, especially when taking off from a standing start (it seems to introduce a bit of lag) - we will see if I can get used to it by the time I have done a tank on mode 4.
     
  17. royrose

    royrose Senior Member

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    Pedal Logic,

    I don't put on enough miles to have applied to be a beta tester but I am very curious about your technology.

    Clearly, since you are posting on Priuschat, Toyota must now be aware of what you are doing if they weren't already. I would think that they would be interested in any means to increase the fuel efficiency of their vehicles. If it works well, they could incorporate it pretty easily and inexpensively into their drive by wire system. So my question is whether you have had any communication with them (or any other manufacturer) about your method. If so, have they shown any interest (or do they have any objections).

    Like I said, curious.
     
    #37 royrose, Dec 20, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
  18. Pedal Logic

    Pedal Logic Active Member

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    Will do. I think I'll add a new first page to the insert pointing to the videos and use the three remaining pages (pages are added in series of four) to increase the font size for warranty info.

    We went around on this a few times ourselves. We made a judgment call to preserve the pedal method as we were concerned that switches would increase the risk of moisture penetration. This isn't an issue for most (maybe all) Prius owners, but we were concerned about someone using a pressure hose to wash out the cabin of a service truck after a particularly rough day.

    But we do plan to increase the brightness of the LED by 3X in a future version. Plus, you'll likely find as I did that you don't even need the look at the LED anymore after you've changed modes a few times. Just wait 75 seconds using a watch and then tap away...

    A 5% improvement under those conditions is a good start. Sounds like we have room to improve when the regen is fully engaged.

    That sounds likely. The theory of operation for the Prius is so complex that I tend to think that there are also other factors at play. For example, I wonder if eliminating unintentional changes in power output fractionally improves the stoichiometry. Or perhaps it slightly reduces the number of the times when dual-motor operation would otherwise kick in--just the edge cases where the demand is only just over the threshold. There may be other factors too.

    That's pretty interesting to read. The feeling you're getting is the probabilistic system catching up to you on the acceleration profile: it's akin to the system thinking to itself over a fraction of a second: hey, he may be accelerating; he looks like he's accelerating; he's definitely accelerating. As confidence increases, the system recovers to the original acceleration profile.

    The various modes use different settings to raise or lower this probabilistic threshold. My guess is that you will likely not notice the same in mode 2. However, the MPG gains will be lower because the system will be more conservative before making any changes--even when it "should" make a change.
     
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  19. Kramah313

    Kramah313 Active Member

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    What seems interesting to me is that it feels like it is correcting from a standing start - but I would think the algorithm could ignore inputs that started with zero throttle position. But it might be doing that and my perception of it might be off. PWR mode gives a short and very big spike of power when the pedal is pressed so it might see that steep curve and assume it is unintentional. I will be interested to try all the modes and see which one matches me the best
     
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  20. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    I use eco mode and the 50 miles I have put on the Prius since install it has a similar response as what you are describing in PWR mode. I have a 120 mile round trip tonight to SFO so I will see what type of mpg I get.

    Just hoping for not a lot of construction or accidents :eek:.
     
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