PriusChat Mileage Database - ideas and input for features needed!

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

  1. MSantos

    MSantos EcoAccelerometry

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    Bob, if there is one thing I like about CleanMPG "ego" is certainly not the one that comes to mind. Many here at PC are also CleanMPG members and these fine folks are anything but ego driven. :mad::mad::mad::mad:

    If anything, they are the least single minded and some of the nicest and most generous people I've had the pleasure to deal with.

    Frankly, if you are an honest person, then you absolutely need to disclose something important to the PriusChat community:
    That you have a long standing disdain and contempt for CleanMPG, its mission and accomplishments. That much is evident to many of us.

    Of course their practices have a whole lot to do with vehicle performance baselines. If fact, these practices account for the proverbial missing half that every true career engineer knows and appreciates. If that was not the case then why even have a hybrid specific human interface in the form of information displays? Decorative stuff added to justify the hybrid premium?? And if these are built into the cars then what problem do you have when some in the community work on maximizing the man-machine combination?

    That, heavily promoting hybrids and also extending the concept to the other 95% of the driving public regardless of what they drive, is what CleanMPG is all about.

    Also hard to deny, is that you and other moderators actively hunted and purged GH out of people who were even remotely sympathetic to CleanMPG's mission. Many excuses were given for deleting posts and suppressing community oriented information but after all was said and done, GH is now where you folks wanted it to be all along. Quite an accomplishment indeed.

    I can only hope Danny will recognize and reject the kind of fundamental and narrow minded mediocrity that sank GH, to infect PriusChat. :(

    In fact, I appreciate the apparent efforts at PriusChat to accommodate hypermiling as yet another viable facet of hybrid ownership enjoyment.

    Whether the suggestion is genuine or simply a means to sell more scangauges, It is definitely not without universal benefits for all PC members who care.

    Anyway, like others have stated, if PriusChat is to ever have a good mileage database then CleanMPG is a good template to start with. ;)


    MSantos
     
  2. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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  3. Rae Vynn

    Rae Vynn Artist In Residence

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    Thank you, Bill.

    Fortunately, i keep written records already. The online was for backup, and for bragging rights. ;)

    It's all about simplifying my life, right?
     
  4. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    I'm Bob but you're welcome anyway. But there are other uses for mileage records:
    I look at each record as another set of data points in a larger sample set that helps us understand how the Prius works in real life. The problem with a single sample or a single test protocol or even a single driving stunt is trying to map them into how the vehicle performs in real life with ordinary folks. For example, an NHW11 Prius like mine has been reported:

    • 48 Comb - original EPA rating, 52 City / 45 Hwy
    • 45 average - sample set of 105 vehicles at GreenHybrid site
    • 44 average - sample set of 21 vehicles at EPA site
    • 41 Comb - revised EPA rating, 42 City / 41 Hwy
    The original EPA test gave the Prius a higher rating than folks got in real life. For example, my first recorded highway mileage was 39 MPG and standing by the pump in Shrieveport, I briefly thought about turning around and taking it back. But instead I tested a different cruise speed and got 53 MPG on the next leg. I then shared my results on highway cruise control settings:
    60 mph -> 53 MPG
    65 mph -> 52 MPG
    70 mph -> 49 MPG
    75 mph -> 39 MPG
    This approach to Prius highway driving is as simple as choosing a given cruise control speed and getting a predictable result.
    Yours, mine and any Prius owner who may have paid half a year's income for one of these marvelous vehicles. But the ultimate goal is to gather enough data to support vehicle fleet studies. By collecting all cost of ownership data including repair actions we gain a clue, lessons learned, that can help the next Prius owner.

    NOTE: A new mileage database is available for hybrid cars.

    Bob Wilson
     
  5. JasonS

    JasonS Jason Siegel

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    This is Jason Siegel. (I'd like to change my username but…)

    I've had some trouble getting in contact with Danny lately and I have an idea I thought I might pitch to the community here to see what you all think.

    Fuel economy databases are inherently collaborative. The idea is to offer easy-to-use, useful features to members, analyze the data effectively and provide a simple visual interface for visitors. There are several hybrid sites today, some of which cater to a particular niche and others which take a more general approach. Yet, we're all a part of the same community and perhaps some partnerships are in order.

    You may note that my new site myHybridCar.com has a new fuel economy database. It has aggregated over 1 million miles in less than two weeks but there is much more room to grow.

    I'd like to offer Danny and PriusChat a satellite version of the myHybridCar.com database. What this essentially means it that key pages and statistics would be available right here at PriusChat. You could navigate to priuschat.com/fuel-economy/ for instance and see all the Priuses in the myHybridCar.com database. In the future, perhaps I could develop the capability to enter your data straight from PriusChat and the experience would be completely seamless. In the meantime, however, Danny could do what he likes with the economy page (could take all ad revenue, etc.) in return for helping to expand the amount of data available to the community.

    There are some key advantages of a partnership like this. The community would only need to concentrate on adding features to one database. Consumers could access information more easily because there would be fewer databases containing more information. PriusChat users would benefit from the added resource. Danny would be able to concentrate his efforts on the forums and store. myHybridCar.com would be able to concentrate its efforts on improving its database.

    Truth be told, we're all in the together. The hybrid movement will continue to grow and consumers will continue to demand information. Ultimately, the world will become a greener place. The only question for us, the online community, is: Can we cooperate?
     
  6. JimboK

    JimboK One owner, low mileage

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    Who would own the database? I'd be more comfortable participating if PC maintained ownership. Frankly, I and (as you've seen in the other thread here) others are a little gun shy after what's happened at GreenHybrid.
     
  7. JasonS

    JasonS Jason Siegel

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    Jim,

    I'm not sure how PC could logically own the database. I'm currently working on creating Terms of Use, however, that would clarify that users own the data they upload. I also intend to make spreadsheet downloads available for members to download their tanks. This is something that was never available at GreenHybrid.
     
  8. JasonS

    JasonS Jason Siegel

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    Any other thoughts? I still haven't hard from Danny :(
     
  9. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    I like the idea of aggregating data from different websites, but I won't contribute to a database that Jason can sell, shut down, or make the data inaccessible. I certainly will not visit Jason's website to enter data.
     
  10. EZW1

    EZW1 Active Member

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    To be accurate, the average temperature should be basked on a truely average temperature like from the USGS or Farmer's Almanac. Allowing someone to enter their average temperature may bias the results and allow for inaccuracy and ambiguity. We all know that temperature greatly affets the Prius mileage.

    So, if you decide to do it this way, you'll need another field for user's location.
     
  11. JasonS

    JasonS Jason Siegel

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    Let's be fair, now. I've already stated one of my priorities right now is allowing contributors to download their data into a spreadsheet format so that they can always have copies. This is in addition to daily automated backups.

    I don't see why I could ever want to simply shut down the website or make the data inaccessible. For the aforementioned reasons I am not interested in selling and—even if I ever was—you'd have your data downloaded and safe. That's not something ever offered by Internet Brands at GreenHybrid.
     
  12. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    I suspect that other than four or five basic pieces of information, all other possible data fields will be filled by only a minority of people, and different ones at that. I suggest that the database have a a number of empty fields that can be populated with any of a long list of pre-determined labels that are remembered for each user. I honestly do not think that useful statistical inquiry will result from any of it, but each user has their own fav data field they want to input, and anecdotal information has it's merits.

    The basics:
    Distance
    Fuel economy

    Auto populate from initial setup, web lookup (though allow editing)
    Date
    Temp
    Location (Zip Code, or long/lat)
    Percent City driving
    Typical highway driving speed
    Estimate of city congestion (E.g., range of cars ahead at stop light)
     
  13. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Hopefully without 'picking a scab,' the options are:
    1. Individual spreadsheet/database - how most folks start
    2. Government web database - aka. Fuel Economy
    3. Private web database - a growing list can easily be assembled of variable quality
    It has always been my practice to make sure I have a backup mechanism for any private database. I then look at whether having access to the mileage of others improves my understanding of my own data. If there is no 'value added engineering' in seeing and analyzing someone else's mileage data, I'm not interested. For example, analysis of temperature effects on mileage was much easier with the old Greenhybrid database. But I'm also interested in exploiting opportunity.

    Some web sites are reasonably flexible in adding functionality and others 'dance to a different tune.' So I put a lot of stock in having an open discussion of technical issues with a skilled developer, which is sad to say, often a too rare opportunity. Now if we have access to a skilled builder, someone who has already gone through 'lessons learned' and whose ears work as well as their fingers, I would recommend using that resource because soon enough this window may evaporate.

    Bob Wilson
     
  14. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    I keep a table of data too. I think it would quite nice if the PC database could be easily populated with people's historical data. KEEP IT SIMPLE for the import: just a text file with a line per data entry of three fields that include date, distance, and fuel consumed.

    I sincerely hope that people will also be able to export data, and not just personal information. Optimally once could say grab all the data from a zip code range, in keeping with the spirit of the database (from my POV, anyway) of letting people thinking of getting a Prius get a fair range estimate of future fuel economy for their local situation.
     
  15. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    In a perfect world, the table would have pull-downs for standard fields. This would make it easier for those who do want to track temperature, speed, or other variables and get consolidated results. But this would be an extremely advanced, relational database and drive the designer mad.

    Bob Wilson
     
  16. Mike Dimmick

    Mike Dimmick Active Member

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    To handle our crazy failed metric conversion, it would be very useful for UK users if you could input:

    - Distance travelled, in miles
    - Fuel consumed, in litres
    - Cost, in pence per litre (£ per litre would also be OK)

    and show results in both miles per imperial gallon (commonly-used unit) and litres per 100km (metric unit used by the rest of Europe).

    Don't necessarily assume that the last digit of the price is a 9. Usually it is, e.g. today I see petrol priced at 93.9p/litre, but during the bubble I saw some prices like 115.4p/litre.
     
  17. Nortnarg

    Nortnarg Prius~To go before

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    I use Gasbuddy.com for fuel data now, and like the simple interface. Quick and easy. One thing that I did not see mentioned, is the graphs. Nice to see the fuel cost and MPG in graph form. If PriusChat offers this I would probably change sites as I am here a lot. Of course the point system GB has is nice with the chance to win free gas.
     
  18. sfvb

    sfvb New Member

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    Not to be argumentative, but seriously, how is Jason's database any different than whatever Danny comes up with? Either one could sell, shut down, or make the data inaccessible.

    Steve
     
  19. Rxmxsh

    Rxmxsh Member

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    So, I noticed the original post from Danny is quite old. I assume this project is no longer something that's being worked on? I'll be honest and say that I didn't read the 6 pages, so I apologize if I missed it.
     
  20. JasonS

    JasonS Jason Siegel

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    Steve,

    Now that you've added your car to the myHybridCar.com database, but you didn't add your car to PriusChat's, why don't you tell us? :)
     
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