How the Prius shifter stll emulates the outdated mechanical shifters of yesteryear...

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by Georgina Rudkus, Dec 20, 2019.

  1. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    riding lawnmower control panel 3.JPG riding lawnmower control panel.JPG Gen 4 shifter.jpg While my new Ryobi electric riding lawn mower has developed a simple, effective, low-cost, and lightweight shifter control panel, Toyota and other vehicles are tied to heavy, complicated and expensive control panels that weigh up to two pounds and take up large volumes of dashboard and/or interior space.

    Since shifters have become electrical or electronic, no large knobs are still needed with high leverage shifter arms.

    The shifter switch on the lawn mower weighs less than an ounce and a push button could be used for the "B" mode, when the car is in drive.
     
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  2. Pripearl

    Pripearl New Member

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    Probably for familiarity and expectation reasons. The Prius shifter is already out of the comfort zone for many people so I think people are less accepting of a key press shifter. Coming from 2 gas cars to a hybrid I, in my personal preference, still like large shifters and I actually don't like the Prius's push button park set up and would rather do that via the knob (I still instinctively reach for the knob for parking). I don't really mind the knob shifter on the Prius when the salesman was telling me how people are generally put off by the knob so I do believe that something that's a bit too different, even if its more utilitarian and economical, will put people off. People are more accepting of a ride mower having that set up because the expectation for it have the controls of a car is not there. Give it a generation or two, when people start growing up with the smaller shifters and push buttons and the older generation dies off. That or we go full self driving cars.
     
  3. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Some of us like big shifters. When we went shopping, my wife expressed a preference for a traditional floor-mounted shifter, or perhaps better expressed as a strong aversion to a rotary, pushbutton or monostable joystick shifter.

    Even with the big clunky selector taking up space on the center floor of our c, it's a heck of a lot less intrusive than the polystyrene battlement console featured in the liftback Prius lately.

    In the end, the best part is being able to confirm gear selection non-visually.

    Separately, I'm anxious to hear more about your lawnmower. That one is on my shortlist. I noticed it was in the consumer reports book that dropped last week. They said it was good apart from bagging ability and noise. The latter comment was surprising; interested to hear your take.

    My lawn is huge but I refuse to burn gas maintaining it.

    It's been a struggle with the electrics I've used so far, but I'm not giving up yet.
     
    #3 Leadfoot J. McCoalroller, Dec 20, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2019
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  4. RRxing

    RRxing Senior Member

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    Cruise control on a riding mower? Hmm...
     
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  5. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Why not? It would save battery power and muscle fatigue and give you a more even cut.
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    couldn't agree more.
    idk about federal safety codes, but other than that, i'd be happy with a couple buttons on the dash or steering wheel. i agree on real estate. i'd rather have another cup holder or a phone mount
     
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  7. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I kind of disagree with the premise as a whole.
    I don't think the Prius "selector knob" does emulate the outdated shifter knobs of yesteryear.
    I think our "thinking" in regards to the selector knob is what is outdated.

    Before I bought my Prius (2013), I thought I would I hate the knob. I grew up driving manual transmissions with clutches, necessary shifters of substantial feel. My experience with automatics were with various layouts that actually shifted in similarly labeled such as D, P, N, ..I thought the Prius knob was embarrassingly impotent looking and feeling in comparison.

    But after I became an owner, I realized pretty quickly that I actually liked the SELECTOR knob. When I realized is wasn't a shift knob in any real sense of the word. When I stopped thinking of it as a traditional "shifter" and as what I believe it is, which is a transmission or operational mode selector switch.

    Some owners have installed push buttons and could someday, Toyota totally abandon the knob approach? Certainly. It very well could be the future.
    But in the meantime, there is a innate familiarity with the layout, the concept of a knob.
    And I found peace, acceptance, and even learned to like the Prius knob, when I stopped comparing it to traditional shift knobs, and started thinking of it as a selector knob/switch.
     
  8. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    Prius shifter switching.JPG This schematic diagram shows how two mechanically linked all effect magnet and sensor units control the 0-5 volt controls for each of the shift positions. The switching can readily be done by push buttons like on the OGS and Tom's aftermarket shifters. Basically those are an array of push buttons with a basic logic board.

    The same can be done with an intermittent rocker switch and a "push on - push off" button for the "B" or brake mode. The intermittent rocker switch can easily be wired in the forward R position and the backward D position.

    What more is there?
     
  9. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    As I said in my post, I realize some people have installed aftermarket push button assemblies.
    My commentary isn't based on schematic comparisons between "shifters" and the Prius selection knob, which I would not argue do not share common similarities. I'm sure they do.

    But IMO, it's how people think about the Prius "knob" that is the difference.
    Even in the Prius there are generational and model differences. The Gen 2 Prius had the selection knob placed vertically on the dash, while the Gen 3 Prius reverted somewhat more comparatively conventionally, to the selector being placed in a horizontal mid-console position.

    From a non-intrusive, space saving point of view, I feel the Gen 2 Prius actually had the more efficient placement.
    Again even though I actually got to the point where I liked the flying buttress design of the Gen 3, it was a lot of plastic and build, to pretty much do little more than elevate the selector knob to a higher position in the middle of the vehicle.

    Perhaps my viewpoint within this thread is just wrong.
    I'm not arguing the technical similarities in design. I'm promoting the actual approach and difference IMO between what a Prius selection knob actually is, in practice, vs. a Shift Knob in a regular ICE vehicle.
     
  10. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    Until the Gen 4, the Gen2 2 and Gen 3 shifters, including the Prius v, each used two separate Hall effect sensors. The Gen 4 shifter combined the two into one unit at the end of the control shaft.

    How do I know? I've acquitted all three and dissembled and inspected all three.

    I've attached a couple of photos of the Prius v shifter and dash. Like the Gen 2, as you stated, it makes the most efficient use of interior real estate. It does, however weigh about two pounds and takes up a lot of cubic inches. right.jpg
     
  11. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    The Hall Effect unit on the Gen 4 shifter weighs no more than 3.6 ounces. It's 3x5x1 inches in volume.
    As viewed, the slider moves left-right and up-down in relation to the shift position.
    It wouldn't take much redesign to add springs and a shift gate to this unit. A micro knob would allow the user to shift the car using the same method as in the Gen 4 and totally comply with all regulatory authorities. Gen 4 Hall Effect sensors.JPG back oblique view.jpg
     
  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    even worse is the hycam which has a huge 'automaic transmission' shifter taking up half the console
     
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  13. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    I quite like the PRIUS shifter - works well, easy, becomes 2nd nature after a few days of familiarisation. And - anyone who looks at it is instantly aware (once they realise they need a foot on the brake) of how it works.

    Remember Chrysler's attempt at push-button (and others) - they weren't popular, and not as easy to use as a column shift.
    upload_2019-12-21_11-27-31.png
     
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  14. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    A momentary rocker switch would be even more intuitive. A button could b a simple way to activate the "B" mode,
     
  15. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    @alanclarkeau I had the use of a 1958 Windsor for a month or so. The door locks were broken, but I was never worried about anyone taking it because the shift buttons would confuse most would-be thieves. Also the neutral key got always trapped behind the shiny trim, requiring a deft tease to get it into any other gear again.

    Would it have killed them to put a mechanical detent in there so the knob stayed where you left it?
     
  16. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Had friends when I was a teenager who had a FORD Fairlane like this
    upload_2019-12-21_13-14-26.png
    The N & P starter sensor was out of whack - and it would only start in "R". Thieves once did roll it out of their yard and down the street - but couldn't get it started - last thing they'd have thought of was to put it in "R". My mate's father never got it fixed after that.
     
  17. RRxing

    RRxing Senior Member

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    But it only engages above 25 mph. :p:LOL::whistle:
     
  18. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    I've only taken it out once and mulched the leaves in my yard. For that, it has done a fine job. A also purchased a complete Ryobi 40v refurbished 20 inch walk behind lawn mower that was on clearance and display at the entrance at one of the Home Depots in my area, It was a great deal for about $125 including sales tax. The 5Ah 40v battery itself sells for $149 before taxes.

    I've been very happy. also with the walk behind. It gets to the places where I cannot with the rider.

    The accelerator does take getting used to, because it does not kick in until it goes down about over an inch. First time I used it, it ran away from me. The learning curve, however, is very low. I quickly got used to it.

    I don't think I will ever go back to a ICE lawn mower.
     
  19. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Right on. We really like our Greenworks 40V walk-behind mower but there's just so much walking-behind to do. It's a 1.3 acre property and 0.8 acre is lawn.

    I've got a robot mower that is set to handle 0.4 acre of that total at present, but usually the first mow or two of the season needs to be done by hand and then it can take over.

    Other factor: I want a roller to flatten out uneven spots, and probably a cart for hauling soil and mulch. I've looked into man-draggable ones but it's slim pickings; the manufacturers have assumed that everyone has a garden tractor.
     
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  20. Diemaster

    Diemaster Active Member

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    Based off of this, could you use a 3rd gen push button shiftier in a 4th gen?
     
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