PriusChat Mileage Database - ideas and input for features needed!

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Fuel Economy' started by Danny, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. Danny

    Danny Admin/Founder
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    This fall will be PriusChat's 5th birthday, and there has always been one feature that has been glaringly absent on this site - a mileage database like the ones you see on GreenHybrid or CleanMPG.

    Both of those systems are great for tracking your mileage, but I think it's time for PriusChat to work on perfecting a mileage database that PriusChatters can call their own. I already have a developer lined up to do all the fancy coding for us, now all I need is your input on what you think the features of this upcoming mileage database need to be.

    We can start with my ideas and work from there. Soon this thread will hopefully turn into a full spec/list of requirements for the project and then we'll be on our way to having this project realized.

    I have a few ideas to get us started:

    Mileage Database Project

    Features should include:

    Ability to submit data via online form.

    Data fields should include:

    • Make/Model/Year (required)
    • # miles/Kilometres on tank (required)
    • # gallons/Litres/Imperial Gallons of gas (required)
    • kWh Used
    • Cost of gas (USD, GBP, Euro, AUD,NZD, CAD)
    • Type of gas (Regular, E10, E85)
    • Date of fill-up (automatically populate with today's date, but allow for other choices)
    • Average temperature (F or C)
    • Time Per Drive
    • Zip/Post Code of main driving area
    • MFD MPG / L/100 km
    • Free Notes section
    System auto-calculated MPG (computed once you enter in required info above) in MPG or L/100 km based on distance input above
    Ability to handle measurement conversions (MPG to L/100 km, USD to GBP, etc)
    Import/Export data via excel/csv with import wizard
    View MPGs of people near you using Zip Code data (table & Google Map)
    Create graphs per user, per car model, perhaps even by state or municipality
    Signature-sized image with mpg data
     
  2. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
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    Date of fill-up (automatically populate with today's date)
    I don't always get the chance to enter my data the very day of the refill especially when I refill in the evening.

    Of course, I like the "average temperature" idea. But it'll need to either be easy or optional. Not everyone will want to do the hand calculations like I do.

    As for the signature-sized image with MPG data: I want mine to have a background of Obama wearing a turban and McCain biting the head off a kitten.
     
  3. priusuk2008

    priusuk2008 New Member

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    I think you should also cater for inputs in measures other than US ones, for example :

    Litres
    Kilometres
    Imperial Gallons

    Also the cost of gas is useful so include costs in mainstream currencies used by Prius chatters e.g.:
    US Dollars (DERR)
    GB Pounds
    Euro
    Australian $
    N Z $
    Canadian $

    For example of the utility of these measures in an input sheet, see the link in my signature below. It works very well for me and others I believe, so the stats it generates could be useful in your online version

    Good idea too - and I'd like a signature background of Gordon Brown with his head in stocks please :rockon:
     
  4. doubleg2005

    doubleg2005 Member

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    second on Tony's

    i HATE how, at greenhybrid, i HAVE to put in avg temp and length of ride. sometimes i'd want to, but there are times (especially here in texas) when one day is 100, the next is 80, the next is 90, and then 100, and so on... putting an average temp of 90 would be misleading... also, can you do 5's in the avg temps? like 85, 90, 95, etc?
     
  5. TheForce

    TheForce Ron Paul 2012

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    Just copy everything cleanmpg.com has.

    I would like to see an option for MFD mpg reading along with actual calculated mpg. This way I wont have to keep track of two databases or two different cars.

    I know I have more ideas but I don't remember what they were. I'll probably think of it when I update my MPG in the next day or two.
     
  6. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    I'm with Jay on wanting a way to graph/display both calculated mpg AND MFD mpg and a running delta b/w the two if possible.

    As Tony said, it's fine if the date is automatically populated, but you need to be able to change it...on a trip you may save up multiple tanks and enter them all at once.

    Also, it will be important to anticipate a need for PHEV data...kWH used?
     
  7. JRMurray

    JRMurray Magnetic Gray is the only way!

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    Great idea!

    Agreed with all said so far. A couple of observations/requests, though:

    Could you please add fuel consumption in litres/100 km for us Canadians, eh? :canada:

    Also, someone mentioned copying cleanmpg.com. Okay, but working in metric, I can see that cleanmpg.com allows entry in metric but then converts to US measurements for its database. When I view my past entries, cleanmpg then converts from US to metric ... leaving me with inaccurate results. Could you please NOT go that route? :)
     
  8. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    I would like to see free-form "notes" available in "CSV" format, possibly as an optional display field, user selectable.

    I would also like to see "cost of ownership" for each vehicle, possibly a sub-table, being two parts:

    • monetary value ($ or other)
    • selected description - purchase and sale price, repair, tires, lubricants, filters, insurance, taxes, license, special stickers, e.t.c.
    • duration if a license or other fee
    What this will do is let us calculate the "total cost of ownership," especially if the calculated index is derived based upon distance (miles or km) divided into the sum of the cost fields. Given some folks are sensitive about specific items, they may choose to keep the individual items 'private' but the total cost of ownership per unit distance should be available to all.

    I would also like a minimum of 5 entries required before any vehicle summary is used in a 'fleet' summary number. At GreenHybrid we've had a number of 'out-liars' that seem to be less than 5 entries, usually 2-3, and never show up again. By entries, I mean entry sessions. I don't mind if someone wants to load up a great spreadsheet one day but I want to see at least 4 other unique data entry sessions before the potential 'out-liar' data is accepted. This shows a commitment to the database.

    I like the idea that 'retired' entries, those that have not had an update in say 4-6 months, stick but show up at the bottom of any listing. I'm more interested in current listings than those that seem to have aged out.

    Did I mention gallons come in two sizes? Also there are various 'distance/fuel' and 'fuel/distance' ways of looking at the data. Please let the user preference dictate what is displayed. The same is true with currency: $(USA), $(Canadian), $(AU), Yen, and Euro. So if someone wants to use some other scale, fine by me, but let me see their data in something that makes sense to me. You might put their favorite units in "()" so I'll know.

    Please include provisions for all three Prius generations: NHW10, NHW11 and NHW20. I'm not sure about whether the "touring" is really a variation of the NHW20.

    One last thing, let the owner rate their Prius: (1) most incredible vehicle ever owned to (10) what a horrible piece of salvage, take it off my hands. This scale matches the Japanese: Ichi-ban (the very best) and Ju-ban (a 'lump of coal' to someone you really don't like.)

    1. Absolutely the best vehicle ever invented by human mind
    2. She can have everything but I keep the Prius (I can live in it)
    3. What a great and sensible vehicle
    4. Nice car, better than my others
    5. The right tool for the right job, another choice
    6. It is OK but I like to drive something else
    7. Gosh this sure is expensive and lack luster
    8. She can have the Prius
    9. What a mistake, I look forward to getting rid of this lemon
    10. Hi Brother-in-Law, I hope you'll like this great gas saving car
    Bob Wilson
     
  9. jammin012

    jammin012 The man behind The Man

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    The ability to upload/download MPG data from a variety of formats as long as the data fields are named the same. That way I don't have to reformat my database just to upload it.

    The ability to "pull" data as for research, i.e. what's the average for LA or Oregon, average miles driven/fill up for a range of MPG's, 30-40, 40-50, 50-60, 60+. I know it's sounds silly but some of the conversations we get into over here..

    I like the map idea.

    Is this going to be linked to our user name and availible as part of our profile information?

    Any colors and graphics or just straight data?
     
  10. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    Indeed, it would be nice to be able to export in an Excel or google spreadsheet.
     
  11. diamondlarry

    diamondlarry EPA MPG #'s killer

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    I would agree and especially about the length of ride part. The ride length varies so much depending on the number and nature of errands I have to do. That info should be definitely optional.
     
  12. SureValla

    SureValla Member

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    Sounds like an awesome idea.

    One cool thing I do is calculate mpg based on what station I filled up at. I know this is highly variable based on time of year but with more fillups of everyone it would even out no?
     
  13. orenf

    orenf New Member

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    Heh... I love this thread. I've been doing software product management for over a decade now - always nice to see s simple feature spin out of control... (in a positive way of course)

    My 2 cents:

    - Keep required input to a minimum. Make as much of it optional. I want to enter date, mpg, distance. The more options/features added, the less appealing it will be for the masses. If you incorporate all the requests made so far, you'll end up with a service useful only for Prius-enthusiasts (who already have their Excel files, graphs, etc.).

    - graceful handling of various measurements, including conversions. How do I compare my 56MPG to your 4.1L/100km? 70F to 23C, etc.

    - ability to enter data in the past, for those of us who may take notes while at the gas station, but update ever-so-often.

    - ability to edit any item once submitted.

    - when showing a summary (table) of tanks, please show the date. GreenHybrid does not, you have to hover over each tank to figure out whether this was a winter tank, etc.

    - the summary info provided on GreenHybrid is very nice (the stuff showing on the left-hand side of the table).

    - summary stats across users/models are great. as is information showing where one is relative to the crowd.

    Is there a REAL need for yet another mileage database? GreenHybris has almost 1,700 Prii - and gets nice exposure, etc. Why re-invent the wheel? Let's face it, most of us will end up updating two sites instead of one.

    One last request - kindly consider the 80% of features that would benefit 90% of Prius owners out there... most of us won't use Excel, won't map this-that-or-the-other, etc. Then again the crowd on PC is not your typical Prius owner :)
     
  14. dwreed3rd

    dwreed3rd New Member

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    How about grade of gas regular, E10, Etc.
     
  15. Prius 07

    Prius 07 Member

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    Import / export to/from Excel this would save us who have our data in Excel to upload historical data. In addition it would allow manipulation of data in Excel at any time. I second the idea of allowing the entry of MFD MPG which is more real on an individual tank basis.
    Thanks for the initiative :)
     
  16. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    For some of us testing experimental tires, how about a parameter for tire circumference adjustment, a percentage up or down. This would let us enter the raw miles and have a corrected value saved. The default would be "0%" but once set, it would stick until changed.

    Bob Wilson
     
  17. dwreed3rd

    dwreed3rd New Member

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    Type fuel, regular, E10, ect., would be helpful for comparing mpg.
     
  18. samiam

    samiam Antipodean Prius Poster

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    Not just for the Canadians, for the whole civilised world.;)

    Also, Temp in C please

    Also, the zipcode isn't particularly useful as some of us don't have one.

    Also, and even more important, an entry for which MFD screen you were using during the majority of the tank.
    Maybe we can finally answer whether the histogram or SOC display produces more efficient driving.
     
  19. Danny

    Danny Admin/Founder
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    Thanks for all of the feedback so far! It sounds like we need to have a huge conference call with the developer so that we can all get what we want :)

    Here's the updated list of specs:

    Tony - Regarding the date population... I meant to say that it could be changed, but that it would be auto-populated with today's date to make it easy for those who input it on the same day as their fill-up.

    Temperature - my intention is to make those fields optional. What would be really cool is if you could put in how long your tank lasted, then the system could go backwards from your fill-up date and use the Zip Code to pull in average temperature data. I'm not sure if there are any APIs out there for weather data, though.... hmmm.

    bwilson4web, it sounds like you are wanting a more full-fledged Garage system, which I have thought about. I've thought it would be cool to have everyone's VIN so that we could send out notices when there are TSBs or other VIN-related information. I don't think adding on a system like that would be hard and then having it connect in with the mileage database would be easy, so we can sit down and work on that after this project, or we can work on putting together that project now and have it be kind of a "portal" into the mileage database so you would create your car in the system first, then once you create your car you can start entering mileage data.... hmmm... just thinking out loud here.

    jammin012 - the idea for the excel/csv upload is for you to upload your file, then you map the fields yourself in the system. The data field labels would be there and then you just tell the import system where your columns are that correspond to the data field labels.

    The system would have charts and graphs created along with the data. Hopefully those charts/graphs will be easily exportable into Excel.

    You can ask Tony & Evan - I've been floating around the idea of doing this for years, but as PriusChat continues to grow and will (hopefully) really explode with the release of the Gen III Prius next year, there are a lot of "normal" Prius owners who just come here and don't want to deal with joining another site just to have the added feature of the mileage database. To be frank, GreenHybrid really hasn't done anything since it was acquired by Internet Brands - they have about 1/4 the members of PriusChat and seem to be just content floating along. CleanMPG is a great site and I love those guys, their mileage database is a nice system, but I think it's time for PriusChat to cater to our core demographic more effectively.
     
  20. samiam

    samiam Antipodean Prius Poster

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    Great idea & a good list; two quick points though:

    1. no such thing as an imperial litre (yet)

    2. it is important to use the correct model information. Outside of North America, the current model is known as Gen III. This is important because in NZ and the UK there are a number of "true" Gen I's sold. Because these JDM vehicles don't have any english language manuals or diagnostic equipment available, it is important to distinguish them from the Gen IIs (the classic). And of course, some of us like the fact that we've been driving Gen IIIs for several years.
    Toyota Prius Hybrid Car Model History
     
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