PriusChat Mileage Database - ideas and input for features needed!

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

  1. jammin012

    jammin012 The man behind The Man

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    An ADHOC query function so you can create reports/graphs using the data points you choose.

    And how about sending a beta test out to 10 or so people so we can break it and see what works and what doesn't before the final program hits the street. Would hopefully get away from Hypermiler v 8.6.3
     
  2. TheForce

    TheForce Ron Paul 2012

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    Database needs the option to add a gas station brand. This way when we get lots of data we might be able to see if gas brand has an effect on MPG. There will need to be an option for users to insert their own store brand for those mom and pop places or just stick to the major brands and have the option for "other".
     
  3. JimboK

    JimboK One owner, low mileage

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    This is an excellent point. I was confused when I first started learning about the Prius' model history. These days I always use the Toyota model numbers when differentiating: NHW10, NHW11, and NHW20. If there is to be a model distinction in the database, I suggest this method. This eliminates ambiguity.
     
  4. PaulHS

    PaulHS Member

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    I think a choice of general terrain conditions would be helpful. FE for mountainous is not likely to be equivalent to flat terrain.

    Paul
     
  5. dwreed3rd

    dwreed3rd New Member

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    Perhaps an inclination gauge and data logger.

    Please, I'm just joking. I hope that I did not offend anyone. A couple of my past hats were worn in Product Planning & Development. Just a reminder that if you try to please everyone you may end up with something really great but no one will use it. I suggest a core of required fields/data that are nessessary to be meaningful with optional data for extended queries. I think this is a great project and in no way want to discourage it. Just be careful, I've seen function kill projects. It's got to be user friendly, intuitively easy to use, not time consuming to enter and perhaps have file import/export capabilities to live beyond initial enthusiasm, some of which has been mentioned in previous posts.
    Good luck. I really think it is a great idea.
    BTW, I am actually thinking of getting or making an inexpensive inclination gauge, to have an idea of what the actual slope of some of these hills are in the metro Atlanta area. And I had run across data loggers while googling for a remote temperature sensor to put in the HV battery compartment so that I could monitor the temp back there. It just came together and popped out when I read your post. No dis-ing intended.
     
  6. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    If there is some desire to rank or give titles to exceptional mileage, I would caution against it. When I got my NHW11 03 Prius, I was on the verge of getting my "hypermiler" star at the minimum mileage, 3,000 miles in January 2006. But I noticed my very first tank from Ft. Worth to Shreveport LA was the problem. I had driven the car from the dealer without modifications. So I asked about taking it out and a chorus of voices said, 'Oh no, we need the mileage records for research." So I kept the first record and three weeks later, got my "star" just as Wayne left to form CleanMPG.

    Unfortunately, the "hypermiler" star was based upon USA EPA numbers and the political EPA moved the goal posts last year. Furthermore, it doesn't handle plug-in, ethanol or non-gasoline fuels very well.

    My thinking is any mileage 'ranking' should follow a statistical definition, something based upon standard deviations. Furthermore, it should be either by time or distance. If time, use the last year. If distance, use the last 6,250 miles / 10,000 km. This removes external scales, like USA EPA ratings, that can change. Either one works as a moving window to recognize a person's learning curve and changes in technology and fuel.

    To some extent, people who live in less hybrid-friendly areas are playing a 'handicap.' I don't have a good handle on how to handle handicaps except to record average trip distance, terrain and temperature. It may be possible with a large collection of records to come up with a 'handicap' formula. There is a practical use for mileage records, especially recent values.

    Often a problem with a car, a potentially expensive problem, can be detected when the mileage seems to drift down. Caught early, this can be fixed and mileage return. It can also lead to planning more extensive repair work, scheduled, to minimize down time. For me, keeping these car running in good health is good news for all.

    Bob Wilson
     
  7. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    Danny,
    This can probably be auto-populated.
    1)The start date is the day the previous tank was filled (in the database). The end date would be the date entered for the current tank.
    2)For location you've got the zip code (would start/end zips be good or the ability to enter multiple zip codes for those tanks where multiple highway trips were taken??)

    Here's the best site/recommendation I've seen, I don't see any reason the programmer couldn't get this to be part of the process or to automatically open another window during data entry that would be automatically populated with the zip and time range.

    Turns out there's a nifty little tool there that lets you put in custom dates and it will report the weather averages (including max, min, and mean for highs, lows, and daily mean) and precipitation for your city. Here's how:

    1) Go to www.wunderground.com, enter your ZIP code, and hit enter.
    2) When your city comes up, scroll down a little to the "History and Almanac" box.
    3) Enter the beginning date of your tank in the drop-downs there and click Go.
    4) The history for that date should appear. Below the date entry boxes, click "Custom."
    5) Enter the end date of your tank and click Go. (The beginning date should be retained.)
    6) There it is -- the weather almanac and history for the entire length of your tank.
     
  8. Son of Gloin

    Son of Gloin Active Member

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    i've just read through the entire thread - today's the first time i noticed it! - and i BELIEVE the following four items have not yet been mentioned or suggested:

    1 -- an optional data "box" to indicate whether a driver is using "regular" or "synthetic" oil ....

    2 -- an optional data "box" to indicate estimated percentage of "city" and "hi-way" driving for each fill-up ( especially useful, i believe, on those occasions that people happen to be making lengthy trips ).

    3 -- also, especially for the above-mentioned lengthy trips, an option for indicating average speed driven might be helpful when it comes to collecting / interpreting data ....

    4 -- an optional data "box" to indicate the air pressure of the tires ....

    if i missed seeing any of the above suggestions in an earlier post, i apologize for the redundancy.
     
  9. Dozzer

    Dozzer Prius Noob

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  10. dwreed3rd

    dwreed3rd New Member

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    O.K. I've scanned throught the thread's post several times and unless I'm missing it, I believe there is a significant variable missing. It's at least as significant as tires pressures, E10 vs regular, and oil change overfills. It's load weight! The amount of weight/load above curb weight has a significant affect on MPG. Whether it's a 100lbs of sales manuals in the back, a passenger(s) or a spare tire around your waist, it DOES have a significant affect on gas mileage. I realize this could be, well actually is, a touchy subject and some members could be reluctant to supply the data. Perhaps a generic load weight that is "weight above curb weight" that is in no way defined. This way it could be driver only, include passenger or passengers, add-ons. mods, that 100lbs of sales manuals, etc. and the driver's weight could be kept private. Well perhaps a load weight of 98lbs could be considered " driver only". The point is over 100lbs could mean anything. The point is that if the point is to compare miles per gallon, if would be self defeating to ignore one of the more significant if not major variables affecting the MPG that could be included. That said, this mpg thing has given me additional inspiration to lose some extra weight, not only for health purposes, but an improvement in mpg will be an additional benefit.
     
  11. Guy in WNY

    Guy in WNY Junior Member

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    Hello.
    OK, when you state MFD mpg, do you mean that it should be reset after each fill up? I've tried to NEVER reset mine, so it shows the lifetime mpg for the car. (Actually, I accidently reset it at about 16,000 miles or so while messing with the audio display. Oops! But that was months ago.)
    So which is it? Who else never resets the MFD mpg display?
    Maybe a box to fill in - "odometer reading when MFD was reset"?
    My "lifetime" mpg's since resetting the mfd are at 44.2mpg. As you can tell, I have a heavy right foot, but still way better than a conventional car.

    73's
    Guy
    KC2PMM
     
  12. KAR IDEA

    KAR IDEA Member

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    Once the PriusChat mileage database project gets off the ground, I would like to import my greenhybrid database into it. Is that possible?
     
  13. ruby

    ruby Member

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    Hi Danny,

    Any idea on when this may be available? I'm just starting to keep track with my new 2008 Prius and I'm already doing it in two places, but I would do it here if it's going to be better and soon :)

    Thanks for administering such a great site.
     
  14. eel

    eel New Member

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    Hi. I just got my Prius. Dealership filled the tank and I reset MPG to track my own. I have it for a week and my average in 31.2 mpg. I am really frustrated with this number. I do not step on gas, I do not use cruise control, my terraine is 85% flat (it's KS). What am I doing wrong? I was expecting at least 45 mpg in town.
     
  15. Aces

    Aces Member

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    I noticed the mention of kWh. Is that for EBH usage or PHEV mods, Or both? Should we diferentiate?
     
  16. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    I can't address how to input to a future mileage database. However, it is fairly easy to export from GreenHybrid:

    • cut-and-paste display into excel - this puts the normal display fields into separate columns. The problem is getting the 'pop-up' or hidden fields.
    • cut-and-paste HTML source into excel - this technique gets even the hidden fields such as entry date and notes. However, it is a little tricky since 80% of the text is HTML and has to be removed. I've been thinking about writing a Perl script to handle this task.
    What makes most sense is put together a set of Perl scripts that 'normalize' any given mileage database. This would allow folks to transport their data to any given target at will. The original data remains but now the user can select the host that provides "value added engineering." But let's first see the PriusChat database and then it makes sense, other than backup, to worry about export.

    Bob Wilson
     
  17. carz89

    carz89 I study nuclear science...

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    Some great ideas here!

    Here is my input (some ideas are already mentioned)

    1. database should allow for more precise input (degrees down to one degree, not 10 degrees like GreenHybrid).

    2. minimize the required input (date range, miles, & gallons), but allow for an amazing amount of optional additional data input.

    Input field should default to the previous entry, allowing the user to edit only the fields that have changed. Some may change very infrequently (such as location, EV button usage). Additional data fields I'd like to see:
    a. predominant weather conditions (% precipitation, snow, windy)
    b. terrain
    c. % city, % highway
    d. typical speed in city, typical speed on highway
    e. driving method used (normal 'don't think about it', P&G, warp stealth)
    f. EV button usage
    g. gas station brand
    h. tire air pressure
    i. weight load (includes driver)
    j. cumulative miles traveled
    k. type of oil (dino vs. synthetic)

    3. provide a great filtering tool which will allow for great scientific analysis of how any single variable affects mpg, and provide a graphing tool to chart the data. For example, mpg versus weight load (all other variables being relatively constant). We should be able to analyze collective mpg versus miles traveled (perhaps in groups: 0-5k, 5k-10k, 10k-15k, etc)

    4. I think it is a great idea to be able to geographically analyze/display data, especially in conjunction with Google Maps, and provide some basic map filtering tools, such as location by political boundary, zip code, geometric circle. When displaying the filtered data on a map, allow for user-defined levels (mpg versus color shading, for example)

    a. probably too ambitious for your first "version", but eventually it would be great to analyze the mpg data based upon specific roads traveled. Many of us travel the same roads repeatedly. I would envision this as a completely separate database where the user could enter just his/her trip information (route taken, trip mpg, and all the other variables). This would differ from your main database, in which the users enter information by the tank.

    5. I really like the idea to import historical temperature data (weighted by time of day for user-selected commutes) for the user's location.
     
  18. Rae Vynn

    Rae Vynn Artist In Residence

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    GreenHybrid no longer takes MPG information :(

    I'm sitting here, stunned, wondering what to do with my gas receipt....

    HELP!!
     
  19. TheForce

    TheForce Ron Paul 2012

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  20. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    A moderator at GreenHybrid, I can offer some facts and data:
    The owners of GreenHybrid implemented a new database called "Garage." My 03 Prius along with every other vehicle was imported and suddenly I found I had two "2003 Prius" vehicles. So I clicked on each and found two rather ugly vehicle shells and no evidence of my 3 years, 57,000 miles, 185 tank records. So I started looking for my records (and everyone else.)

    So I scrolled down and discovered a Fuel Economy Chart:

    • Prius - 39.8
    • Civic - 47.1
    • Camry Hybrid - 36.5
    • Escape - 30.6
    • Highlander - 26.1
    • Accord - 30.7
    • Insight - 65.7
    • Altima Hybrid - 34.4
    • Mariner - 29.0
    • RX 400h - 24.4
    Notice anything 'funny'? Ok, new database, there will be some integration and testing errors. So I started looking.

    The usual link is "Compare" and clicking it revealed a list:
    "Vehicle" "Median MPG" "Vehicles in Sample"
    Prius 48.19 1719
    Civic 47.07 1107
    Camry Hybrid 36.77 614
    Escape 30.84 366
    Highlander 26.29 197
    Accord 30.62 107
    Insight 68.78 98
    Altima Hybrid 34.79 59
    Mariner 29.34 55
    RX 400h 24.96 54
    Vue Green Line 27.9 39
    Toyota Prius 49.2 17
    Honda Civic 48.04 14
    Jetta TDI 45.46 12
    So what happened is all Prius models are in one table, the NHW11 and NHW20 models. Also, all Civics, CVT, manual, and the change that happened around 2004 are in a separate table. Fortunately there is not enough difference in the other hybrids (yet!) to be a problem. BTW, the GreenHybrid database was always open so you'll notice some gas "Honda Civic" and "Jetta TDI" records. But not being hybrids, there never was a vehicle summary for them.

    Ok, so I decided to look inside the "Prius" table for my "2003 Prius" and it wasn't there. So I kept looking and scrolled down to the bottom the web page and noticed in green text, "Mileage Database." Clicking on this link brought up the original database with all records. Best of all, the links to "Manage My Cars" worked

    STEPS:

    1. Login to GreenHybrid as usual.
    2. Enter this URL: Hybrid Mileage Database - GreenHybrid
    3. Click on your vehicle link.

    I found my vehicle records including 56,576 miles over 185 tanks. So the first order of business is backup:

    • Copy and paste table into spreadsheet - using Firefox browser on a Macintosh, I am able to copy all of my tank records and paste them into a spreadsheet. This saves everything but the tank date and notes.
    • Browser "view source" and save - although the HTML/Java script is pretty ugly, this file has all of your data including the tank date and notes. I normally parse it using a spreadsheet (because I'm lazy.) However, if you only have this as a backup, send me a PM and I'll hack up a Perl script to extract your data into a comma or tab delimited format that can be loaded into a spreadsheet or database.
    • Browser "Save" - most browsers allow you to save the full HTML into a folder with all of the associated files. Crude, at least you'll have all of the data including the "view source" file.
    Did I mention:
    Backup your data!

    A moderator at GreenHybrid, I'm basicly there to 'keep the lights on.' Sad to say, I'm not part of the team that handles the mileage database. However, over time I have looked at alternatives and they are slim:

    1. Fuel Economy - a US Government, EPA managed site, they allow individuals to maintain their mileage records under the model year of their vehicle.
    2. Fuel Economy, Hypermiling, EcoModding News and Forum - EcoModder.com - a private web site devoted to vehicle modifications to improve mileage, not hybrid specific but facts and data driven, not egos. However, their database appears to be individual vehicle oriented and weak in any collection of baseline vehicle performance. This makes sense because many are individual, heavily modified vehicles. IMHO, they are CleanMPG refugees.
    3. GreenHybrid.com - The Interactive Hybrid Car Resource - new 'garage' database, I am baffled.
    4. CleanMPG, An authoritative source on fuel economy and hypermiling - the last time I looked, a couple of years ago, I was appalled to find drivers received "titles". Their practices have nothing to do with baseline vehicle performance but appears to be oriented around some ego contest to see who can achieve some personal best . . . ego worship.
    Looking at the mileage database options, if I had to choose within a week or so where to put my records, I would go with:

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/

    1. STABILITY - it is a US Government web site that has a vested interest in getting an accurate sample of vehicle mileage. They can use this data to refine their mileage evaluation and make sure the vehicle stickers are somewhat accurate. Vehicle records are a key quality metric for the current EPA ratings.
    2. VEHICLE SUMMARY - currently limited to a given make, model and year, it at least contributes to our knowledge of how hybrid vehicles really work.
    3. EVIDENCE OF IMPROVEMENT - I've seen the individual mileage database interface improve, slowly over time. Because it is a USA Government web site, we can petition the EPA through our Congress critters and letters to get improvements.
    4. NO EGOS - I can't emphasize how much I find 'hero worship' alienating.
    I would apologize for the 'new' GreenHybrid database but as one member posted, 'Garage is missing a "b".'

    In about a week or so, I'll decide what I'm going to do. But for now, my recommendation is, "BACK IT UP!" If you have trouble getting your records, send me a PM and I'll see what I can do.

    Bob Wilson
     
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