OakLeaf
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:00 pm
Delivery Date: 21 Nov 2012
Location: Telford, PA

Re: pre-release testers wanted - range-extending technology for Leaf

Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:27 pm

Hi Marc,

OK, will switch to Mode 3 soon and give it a try.

Switched to Mode 1 to see how it behaves on the other end of the dial. Still some perceptable lag between pedal input and vehicle response, but much more tolerable.

Is there a reason for this lag being necessary at all? One thing I noticed myself doing was overcompensating for the response lag by pressing down further, eventually engaging the bypass mode and lurching forward unintentionally.

I also agree that part of the perception problem is that you get used to the instant response of a EV and going back to the ICE type lag is difficult. I'm also wondering if being used to driving in a "one pedal" style is not somewhat at odds with the control strategy.

Thought the new video is good and will certainly be helpful!

Would also like to report on the positive as well - its only been a few miles with the device in place, so its still early, but I think it is improving the overall milage efficiency and I'm looking forward to seeing how good it can get!

RockyNv
Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:35 am
Delivery Date: 17 Sep 2016

Re: pre-release testers wanted - range-extending technology for Leaf

Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:03 pm

PedalLogic wrote:
RockyNv wrote:I asked as there is a company in England that is installing an after market system for Leafs that did not come with cruise control as a factory option that appears to connect to both the pedal and OBDII socket. Would prefer to get it from someone in the family so to speak rather than a stranger overseas.

http://www.conrad-anderson.co.uk/products/view/cc174932103/wizard:cruise-control


Good to know. I appreciate the thought about buying local too.

I'm trying to do something similar with our suppliers. So far, it has meant a little more leg work in sourcing and sourcing negotiations. From my perspective, it's been a good investment though: it helps the local economy and gives us more control over quality.


I do miss my goto local resources. My dad was on top of the list, Born in 1906 and had a Masters in Electrical Engineering from MIT although he worked mainly in Chemical Engineering developing rubber products for extreme environments (tires, safety suits, deep sea salvage/exploration, fire fighting, electrical line gear, flight masks, etc). We thought he was going to make it past 100 however at 98 he overdid it doing yard work and we lost him. Number 2 and 3 were a Honeywell Test Engineer (big C got him) and a Texas Instruments Design Engineer (watched him just about breath his last as Pulmonary Fibrosis wore him down).

When we all got together there was enough resource at the table to do just about anything and I truly miss those round tables. The Test Engineer could point out flaws and weaknesses in a design and pretty much tell you what would fail and when it would before you even started while the TI Engineer could come up with some pretty interesting solutions while Dad could roll back the clock and come up with a more simple and reliable approach from the earlier days that satisfied everyone. It wasn't until he turned 96 that he showed me his 1925 white paper on how a modern computer would work down to the bits, bytes and parity checking that we use today. Mom when she cleaned up his desk discarded it all unfortunately.

OakLeaf
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:00 pm
Delivery Date: 21 Nov 2012
Location: Telford, PA

Re: pre-release testers wanted - range-extending technology for Leaf

Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:51 pm

PedalLogic wrote:I think we may have made Mode 5 too aggressive. I'm thinking it makes sense already to ship another unit to you with a revised Mode 5. Please switch to Mode 3 first though and let me know how it goes.


It's possible I'm just an outlier in the group and others will come back and say they think it's just fine, so I wouldn't want to think I'm driving you (pardon the pun!) in the wrong direction with Mode 5.

I'll switch to Mode 3 tonight.

Today I've been trying Mode 1 on an extended drive I took to a regular off-site work location this morning and it's much less objectionable than Mode 5 was. The drive is about a 50/50 mix of highway and local roads. Normally on this trip (mostly in Eco) I average around 4.2 miles/kWh on the highway out and I wound up with 5.0 on that portion this time. Normally I am around 4.6 on the local roads out on this trip and wound up with 5.8 - a really good improvement. Back in was a similar relative improvement.

I'm curious to hear what others experience has been with this device...

PedalLogic
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:52 am
Delivery Date: 09 Aug 2011
Leaf Number: 007889

Re: pre-release testers wanted - range-extending technology for Leaf

Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:02 pm

RockyNv wrote:I do miss my goto local resources. My dad was on top of the list... Number 2 and 3 were a Honeywell Test Engineer (big C got him) and a Texas Instruments Design Engineer... When we all got together there was enough resource at the table to do just about anything and I truly miss those round tables.


Hi RockyNv,
Having a parent like that is a great beginning in life. I hear how much you miss him.

Only twice in my career have I been lucky enough to be surrounded by people who, as a group, could build almost anything. I'm lucky to be in that situation now. It's especially sweet because we're developing technology that makes the planet greener.

This job hits on all cylinders for me--if you'll forgive the monumentally inappropriate metaphor.

Best,
Marc

RockyNv
Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:35 am
Delivery Date: 17 Sep 2016

Re: pre-release testers wanted - range-extending technology for Leaf

Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:42 pm

PedalLogic wrote:
Hi RockyNv,
Having a parent like that is a great beginning in life. I hear how much you miss him.

Only twice in my career have I been lucky enough to be surrounded by people who, as a group, could build almost anything. I'm lucky to be in that situation now. It's especially sweet because we're developing technology that makes the planet greener.

This job hits on all cylinders for me--if you'll forgive the monumentally inappropriate metaphor.

Best,
Marc


Marc,

Metaphor forgiven.

One of the engineers before he died was talking about his regrets and I wish the moment was more appropriate to pursuing a few of the things he was speaking of however one that was intriguing was a wafer for a power chip that he was working on in his skunk lab that was defying physics as we know it and outputting more power than it was taking in. It was putting out enough to power itself once charged and also carry a small load which hits on the holy grail of perpetual motion with the added plus of not requiring highly exotic materials however that appears to have been lost when he died. He really had wished he could have figured that one out before he passed. I could not push a dying man into revealing details on that regardless of the potential and just let him talk and have his peace. Don't know the environmental impacts of making the wafer but how many battery cells does that concept hit upon?


Regards,

Rocky

GetOffYourGas
Posts: 1630
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:56 pm
Delivery Date: 09 Mar 2012
Location: Syracuse, NY

Re: pre-release testers wanted - range-extending technology for Leaf

Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:01 am

Marc,

I have started using the device as of yesterday. I have decided to stick with Mode 3 (default) for now, rather than get a taste of each mode. My initial impressions have all been said before by others, but I'll put them out there just to reaffirm.

1) The LED is impossible to see without crawling into the foot well. This makes it almost useless, except for initial setup.
2) Overall, the car feels smoother. The streets near me are battered by our harsh winters, and I can definitely notice a difference. Before the device, I could feel the bumps being exaggerated by those unintentional foot movements. This impression is confirmed by the energy management screen - the motor power jumps around noticeably less.
3) The lag in throttle response will take some getting used to. Unfortunately, I have to report that it almost caused an accident. I was pulling onto a busy street, and needed to go. Not used to the lag, I almost missed my short opening. When I did push it to the floor, the car lurched forward, chirped the tires, and became hard to steer. Given that I am not used to the new behavior, I will give it some time. However, at least the transition can create a safety hazard. It also takes away the instant torque of the Leaf, which admittedly is one of the best features of an EV.
~Brian

EV Fleet:
2011 Torqeedo Travel 1003 electric outboard on a 22' sailboat
2012 Leaf SV (traded for Bolt)
2015 C-Max Energi (302A package)
2017 Bolt Premier

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DuncanCunningham
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Re: pre-release testers wanted - range-extending technology for Leaf

Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:21 am

I'm trying to get used to the lag between touching the pedal and response to that. i think I've been spoiled by the EV instant response. Getting off the line, It's like driving a ICE car with a automatic now.

I've only driven with it for the last 3 days on Mode 4. I'll not give reports on the miles per KW yet as I need to get more data. it's hard not to drive differently when you want something to work. I'm trying to relax and pretend like nothing is different about my car so I'll have a good comparison to look at after a few weeks. I'm going to relearn that my car is not a rocket so i don't get myself into trouble nipping into little gaps in traffic I could do easily before. it's amazing what a difference that lag makes. It's probably less than 1 second but it feels like a longtime at first.
Statler: Wake up you old fool. You slept through the show.
Waldorf: Who's a fool? You watched it.

2015 Leaf S (leased until May 2018, Bought out in Jan 2017)
2012 Leaf SL (purchased May 2015)

kingofthehuns
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:30 am
Delivery Date: 17 Oct 2011

Re: pre-release testers wanted - range-extending technology for Leaf

Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:26 pm

Hi guys, I'm the engineering lead on the Smartpedal line and Marc asked me to chip in.

First of all, I really appreciate all your feedback, which, frankly, is the best I can ask for in our pre-release testing phase and your responses have already triggered a couple of software changes.

Let me address a few things I've observed:

1. @GetOffYourGas; LED.

    - I understand your frustration with the LEDs location. It was designed to indicate diagnostic parameters and not part of the UI/UX. Can you please explain how you'd use it besides the initial setup?

    - We are transitioning over to a new LED part which is more efficient (*2 mcd) and we also lowered the current limiters to increase visibility. Not sure though it addresses your difficulties. We are deliberately trying to stay away from external input (buttons) / output (displays) devices to decrease complexity.

    - Reading an earlier post on audio feedback; pretty intriguing idea. I've ordered 3 different low-current piezzo buzzers, one SMD and 2 externals for R&D. Will keep you updated, although one of the first things I do on my cars is "nuking" the buzzers...
2. @GetOffYourGas; "The lag and acceleration"

    - You are right, in its most aggressive mode, the timing effects (it is not a traditional lag filter, rather an optimized dynamic approximation curve - ODAC) can be felt. We have addressed that with a 2 stage ODAC which kicks in based on input evaluations. It sounds like the 2nd stage did not kick in in your case. I went back, replayed the possible scenario you are likely to have experienced in our lab and adjusted the parameter evaluator. The 2nd stage blending function should activate more responsively now, although it may come at the expense of energy efficiency. It is not an easy task to strike the right balance between performance and efficiency, and without going into details, our system constantly analyzes the I/O pmeters and makes small modifications (one may say it tries to learn).

3. @RockyNV; "Mode 5 issues"

    - Mode 5 was designed to approximate "ECO" responsiveness while driven in "D". Just for the record, I also drive a Leaf, since 2011. We did a fair amount of acceleration (timing and g-force) measurements, but based on your feedback, we must have missed something. I think it may have something to do with the 2nd stage ODAC activation and the associated parameters, I will look into it.

All the above SW modifications will be in the next firmware update. I will discuss the details with Marc.

Thank you,

-A

GetOffYourGas
Posts: 1630
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Location: Syracuse, NY

Re: pre-release testers wanted - range-extending technology for Leaf

Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:38 pm

It's great to hear from the lead engineer, thanks for joining the conversation!

kingofthehuns wrote:
1. @GetOffYourGas; LED.

    - I understand your frustration with the LEDs location. It was designed to indicate diagnostic parameters and not part of the UI/UX. Can you please explain how you'd use it besides the initial setup?

    - We are transitioning over to a new LED part which is more efficient (*2 mcd) and we also lowered the current limiters to increase visibility. Not sure though it addresses your difficulties. We are deliberately trying to stay away from external input (buttons) / output (displays) devices to decrease complexity.

    - Reading an earlier post on audio feedback; pretty intriguing idea. I've ordered 3 different low-current piezzo buzzers, one SMD and 2 externals for R&D. Will keep you updated, although one of the first things I do on my cars is "nuking" the buzzers...



If I were to purchase this device, I suspect that I would want to change the modes periodically, based on my needs/ desires. If I want to have some fun and don't need the range, a less aggressive mode will do nicely. If I am going on a longer trip with limited charging options, a more aggressive mode would be preferable. Whenever I change modes, it would be nice to have an easy confirmation of the current mode without climbing into the wheel well. That would get old fast, and discourage me from taking full advantage of the modes you offer.

kingofthehuns wrote:2. @GetOffYourGas; "The lag and acceleration"

    - You are right, in its most aggressive mode, the timing effects (it is not a traditional lag filter, rather an optimized dynamic approximation curve - ODAC) can be felt. We have addressed that with a 2 stage ODAC which kicks in based on input evaluations. It sounds like the 2nd stage did not kick in in your case. I went back, replayed the possible scenario you are likely to have experienced in our lab and adjusted the parameter evaluator. The 2nd stage blending function should activate more responsively now, although it may come at the expense of energy efficiency. It is not an easy task to strike the right balance between performance and efficiency, and without going into details, our system constantly analyzes the I/O pmeters and makes small modifications (one may say it tries to learn).



Thanks for the info. I understand that performance and efficiency are competing requirements. Does the delay help efficiency? I'm sure the slow ramp-up of power does.

As I'm driving more with the device, I'm getting used to it. Like I said, the issue is more the sudden unexpected change in response time. If/when you do sell these to the general public, I would make sure that is explained in your literature.
~Brian

EV Fleet:
2011 Torqeedo Travel 1003 electric outboard on a 22' sailboat
2012 Leaf SV (traded for Bolt)
2015 C-Max Energi (302A package)
2017 Bolt Premier

thimel
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:10 pm
Delivery Date: 11 Jun 2011
Location: SF bay area

Re: pre-release testers wanted - range-extending technology for Leaf

Sun Oct 23, 2016 11:06 pm

It seems to me the device could use an adaptive filter that uses the accelerometer and pedal position correlation to correct for the change in pedal position due to the drivers foot moving due to the vertical acceleration. This would have no lag at all. By making it adaptive, it would automatically adjust its filter parameters for different drivers or a driver changing his foot position.

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