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Feature Request: Volume "Modes"

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by Todd Burch, May 14, 2015.

  1. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    With the weather getting nicer and my windows and/or pano roof open most of the time when I'm driving, I'm finding that every time I come to a stoplight I turn my music down (so my music's not obnoxiously loud). Then as I speed up, I have to increase the volume to overcome the wind noise. On the other hand, when the windows/roof are closed, the volume in the cabin is relatively constant, so I don't change the volume often.

    So here's the idea:

    There should be two volume modes. When the cabin is "sealed" (the pano roof and windows are all closed), the media player volume should match the current behavior. However, if I even slightly open just one window (so that the cabin is no longer "sealed", the volume should switch to a different mode. In this mode, there are two volume settings--one which is the volume while stopped (perhaps below 5 mph), and the other while moving (maybe 35 mph or more).

    So in this mode, when you're stopped at a stoplight if you adjust the volume you're setting the "stopped" volume. As you accelerate, the volume ramps up linearly to the "moving" volume at 35 mph or greater. If you manually adjust the volume while moving, you are basically setting the "steepness" of this ramp and, indirectly, the max volume at 35mph or greater.

    This mode switch can be completely automatic, and requires virtually no UI or thought by the driver. When the windows are closed at a stoplight, you set your volume. (This becomes the "sealed" volume). If you open the windows, the volume smoothly adjusts to the stopped level in the other mode. Then, as you accelerate, it smoothly increases toward the moving level. So you not only get compensation for wind noise, but can also set the stopped volume to avoid (or become?) that obnoxiously loud car at the light.

    It sounds complicated to describe, but should be fairly simple for the driver to use. Just set the volume when needed as normal, and the car determines what thresholds to adjust.

    Background: I am a UI/User experience guy at the software company I work at, so UI and human interfaces are not foreign to me :).
     
  2. Korben

    Korben Member

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    The car has built in microphones. How about sampling noise level and using that to adjust?
     
  3. pgiralt

    pgiralt Active Member

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    I like the idea although I don't know how well it would work in practice. I've driven rental cars that had automatic volume settings that are supposed to compensate for engine / road noise and I've found that they are more annoying than helpful. Maybe Tesla could do better.
     
  4. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    The music I'm listening to might interfere with that idea :).

    - - - Updated - - -

    Not sure. I'd like to see them try though!
     
  5. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    Some cars have speed-sensitive volume and it can be adjusted. That would likely fix the issue for you if it were available.
     
  6. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    I've long wanted speed-sensitive volume as I've found it very useful on our other cars. Listening to audiobooks (or even music) is sort of awkward when you pull to a light and blast the story to everyone in the vicinity -- but it needed to be that volume when in motion.
     
  7. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    I also support the suggestion of speed/noise-adaptive volume...
     
  8. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

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    I think this would work well. I don't have the pano roof, and never drive with my windows open, but I can definitely see the utility for others.



    No offense, but Todd's solution is better. For one, how would your solution deal with people trying to talk over the sound system? The system would keep turning the volume up, and the people would keep speaking louder, etc.



    That wouldn't take into account whether or not the cabin is open. There's not much need for increased volume when the cabin is sealed.
     
  9. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    My 4Runner's audio system has different "modes" for each input source. It remembers last volume and EQ settings. It also has an overall speed-sensitive volume control with Off, Low, Med, High settings. When I had a VW Eos, it has non-adjustable speed volume control and in while it didn't have different "mods" for each input, it did have modes for the convertible top open vs. closed. This maintained volume and HVAC settings across those two states. I liked both systems and think the natural progression would be as Todd suggested.
     
  10. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    That makes a good additional point...fan speed settings ought to also affect volume.
     
  11. Korben

    Korben Member

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    No offense taken. However, the irregular noise of people talking is very different than the regular noise of wind and road. You also, quite conveniently, have the waveforms of the music you are playing at your disposal.
     
  12. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

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    I'll defer to your technical knowledge of this, and assume it could be made to work. But one big negative of your system over Todd's would be that ultimate control over the volume would rely on whatever logic is built into the system. The user would not have complete control in the way he or she would with Todd's proposed system.

    We've already seen what happens when Tesla attempts to guess at what we want with the "Smart Preconditioning." For the most part it doesn't work. Far and away the most common complaint / request with respect to the Smart Preconditioning system is that everyone wants to be able to control the feature themselves. Todd's proposed system allows for very precise control of the volume at all points. The one you're proposing does not.
     
  13. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    I think it'd be way more complicated to develop and implement and consume far more computing cycles to try to subtract the audio waveform from the microphone input. Far easier to just determine if the windows/pano roof are shut or not, and switch to the two-tiered volume mode if they are not.
     
  14. kenkamm

    kenkamm Member

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    I would agree with you if I hadn't owned about ten cars now that have had adaptive audio volume that works great. The more noise from road and windows, the louder the system gets. In fact with some systems, the spectrum of the audio is adjusted as well, not just the volume. Heck, my Chevy Volt even turns the A/C fan down when a call comes in so you can hear it clearly. These systems are trivial to implement these days because everything is driven by software and the required sensors are cheap. For some reason that's one of the "easy" things that Tesla chose not to implement. Like hooks for your dry cleaning!
     
  15. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    I'm just saying you don't need an array of sensors, waveform subtraction, and all that junk to have effective volume modulation. The state of the windows and your current speed should be sufficient information to adjust the volume properly.
     

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