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Proposed software remedy to "remaining miles (range anxiety)"?

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by yobigd20, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

    Oct 28, 2012
    Skaneateles, NY
    Note: I don't have my Model S yet, so I don't know if some of this is already possible.

    What I was thinking, was that instead of showing just one "remaining miles" value on the dash, have more of a graph with min/max values depending on various conditions. (again I dont have my Model S yet so I'm not exactly sure what all the cool things are available to show range info).

    For example, perhaps have graph showing 'minimum range', in other words "drive like a reckless idiot and you'll definitely get at least these many miles". This would show on the left side of some sort of graph. On the right, "max side", have a maximum range based on current conditions, e.g. weather + 55mph cruise control.

    In the middle, have more of an "estimated range based on previous driving habits" which is what Tesla thinks you should get based on your driving habits. If they show you speed a lot, it will be lower. If it shows you drive like a snail, a bit more on the higher side.

    As you drive, this graph would "contract" meaning that somehow the estimated range should get more and more accurate based on your driving patterns.

    In addition to this, I would implement a new feature that would ask you where you were going when you get in the car, and it would let you know whether or not you have enough power to get you there on your current charge.

    For example, as you get in the car, a voice would ask "Where are you going, Dave?" and you answer "to work" or "going home" or "don’t worry about it" (to shut it off), or some specific address. It would respond back with "you have plenty of charge to reach your destination", or "this destination is towards the upper end of your driving range, and the current weather conditions are not ideal, so don't drive like an idiot". (or some politically correct way of saying the same thing).

    Lets say you drive like an idiot and gun it off every red light and mash the brakes every time you stop and are blasting your heat (by the way, the range should also change based on what options you have on and off e.g. heat, it should also suggest to you things you should turn off to maximize range, or to close your windows and the panoramic roof). If the software calculates that your maximum range is quickly depleteing and approaching the minimum value (idiot driving algorithm) which is no longer enough to reach your destination, the system should be integrated with a Recargo or Plugshare app and it should come on and say "we've calculated that due to your aggressive and idiotic driving patterns, you will no longer be able to reach your destination. You are not near any supercharger stations, but we have found several public charging stations nearby that you may charge at so you can continue your reckless driving." and then you would say "yes sure" and the map comes on showing clickable links to all the public charging stations, and you click one and then the gps guides to to the charger.

    Eh? How's that sound? I think it would be pretty cool, kinda like Kit talking to you.

    Also, if you park the car for a few hours towards the evening/night and leave it unplugged, if you are low on miles you could have the system text you "please remember to plug in and charge your car because I'm friggin freezing out here and need to keep myself warm".

    Eh I'm sure this can be refined a bit but this is what I thought off the top of my head in the last 5 minutes. What do you think? I think they would be cool features ;)
  2. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model 3 VIN #2942 Model S VIN #5785

    Dec 16, 2012
    SF Bay Area
    I'm also waiting for my Model S, but based on various recent reviews I agree Tesla should make some changes to the range display. I think the simplest thing would be some sort of confidence interval. Just changing from "240 miles" to "240 +/- 40 miles" would avoid most of the problems inexperienced drivers seem to be having. Exactly how you calculate the confidence interval could get a bit tricky and should take things like your past driving style and outside temperature into account. But something to indicate there is some uncertainty and having 240 miles on the display doesn't necessarily mean you can go exactly 240 miles before recharging would really help.
  3. SuperCoug

    SuperCoug Model S Res #7734

    Mar 16, 2012
    Bothell, WA
    I certainly like the sound of what you are talking about and hopefully there are enough smart guys working on this problem to make the Model S driving experience more idiot proof. I was disappointed when you could no longer have "Projected Range" as the primary display on my dash because I'm the type of lead foot driver who is NEVER going to get anywhere near the "Rated" range. I also am not very willing to turn off my climate controls on really warm and cold days. I get that kills your range so I just want the car to be straight with me about what kind of range I can expect. I believe the projected range gets me pretty close to that number but I don't want to have to display the energy use graph all the time to get at that number. I'd like the option of using that as my primary dashboard range and I can accept that those values can and will fluctuate wildly as conditions change but I'm ok with that.
  4. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

    Feb 17, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    It would be cool if they did a range calculation based on the elevation changes, traffic and weather along your planned route.
  5. Kipernicus

    Kipernicus Model S Res#P1440

    Dec 2, 2009
    Belmont, CA
    I like this
  6. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

    Apr 5, 2012
    There's a lot that Tesla could do in software to help in this situation.

    When a route is set in the navigation system, the software could detect that the distance for the route is greater than the current charge - and provide guidance for when the car should be charged - and even suggest some locations (superchargers, public chargers, RV parks, ...) - and for how long, in order to make the next hop.

    If the discharge rate is greater than the projected range rate, additional messages could be displayed providing recommendations for what the driver should consider doing to extend the range - to make it to the destination or next charger more safely.

    The idea of projecting likely discharge rates based on elevation changes, traffic, weather, speed limit, ... would also help.

    Over time, Tesla will have more opportunity to get some of these features added into the onboard software - and help drivers anticipate range problems - while there is still time to make corrections - and not run short.

    Plus, with the Internet connection - the car could be phoning home to Tesla and raising warning flags when a driver was running into trouble. Since the car has access to the smartphone phone number, Tesla could even call the car - and talk to the driver - and avoid ever getting down to 0 charge.

    While the range and time required to charge are relative disadvantages compared to ICEs - the Model S has some huge advantages in the user interface, constant Internet connectivity and onboard software - which can overcome these challenges - even before the superchargers are fully deployed.
  7. Dien Kim Nguyen

    Nov 15, 2012
    Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
    That's exactly what I'm been thinking since I came from being a navigation engineer (GPS/INS) for aircraft. What Tesla needs is a Kalman filter (optimal estimator) to predict available range based on available information including user's info on destination combined with measured states of the battery, road knowledge (elevation, altitude, temp - derived from destination info) to build a predictor and perform measurement updates to improve correction. Sorry, this is technical but estimating based on instantaneous, 5 miles, 15 miles, and 30 miles averages -- now that is REALLY bad!


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