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Webcam's at Superchargers

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by napabill, Jun 29, 2013.

  1. napabill

    napabill Active Member

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    This would seem to be an obvious solution to those of us who would like to know the status of a Supercharger location. These little cameras are cheap, and already having power and an internet connection would seem to make it an easy application. Would think the camera could be pretty well hidden to avoid theft.
     
  2. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Doesn't have to be hidden, just enclosed.
     
  3. 7racer

    7racer Member

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    makes sense...

    but would use a lot of bandwidth. Why not an app that tells you which ones are occupied and which one are free?
     
  4. andrewket

    andrewket 2014 S P85DL, 2016 X P90DL (soon 100)

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    I have privacy concerns with the camera idea. Cameras that Tesla or a gov body are operating is one thing, but making them publicly available is another. Unless you're going to mount them sufficiently far away as to not capture license plates, etc.

    Makes more sense to me to integrate the data into the the car systems. They have a 24/7 net connection and I'm sure the superchargers do too. It's just software.
     
  5. thEnd

    thEnd New Member

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    Don't have a Tesla/ just a fan but
    Not sure if the browser can actually stream video over the net, let alone have the bandwidth over 3g to make it worth it. If someone could hack the browser to accept a flash player or even HTML5 video or hell even an App for Skyfire Browser which implements its own flash, then maybe it'll open up a new world.
     
  6. Benz

    Benz Active Member

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    I agree with andrewket.
     
  7. bob_p

    bob_p Member

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    Really don't need real-time video - a periodic snapshots (one per minute?) to show usage at each SC would be useful. This would detect the case where someone is parked in a spot but not using the charger - preventing that charging station from being used.
     
  8. napabill

    napabill Active Member

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    Have you ever done a search for available webcams on the internet? They are ubiquitous. And if mounted at a proper angle, no license plate would be visible. And lastly, I'm not suggesting a video feed, just an occasional periodic snapshot. Low-res, B&W wouldn't use much bandwidth I would think.
     
  9. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Seems like video is too much of the wrong kind of info. As mentioned, stills updated every minute are easy enough but I think simple icons based on real-time Supercharger data would be more informative:

    1) Total working SCs at this location
    2) Each space provides an icon indicating:
    Available / Connected & in use for x minutes / Connected & charge complete / Not connected space occupied (ICE'd)

    The last piece of info is especially useful to Tesla for understanding if different signage or facility use agreements need to be negotiated. For that, webcam images might be useful.
     
  10. MitchL

    MitchL S#945

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    Doesn't even have to be video. A couple of the local parking garages here now have sensors over each stall so that the counter displays on each floor are accurate.

    You'd have all the info you need:

    - Car not present, charger inactive: open for use
    - Car present, charger not connected to a car: Someone's using the space without charging (ICE or EV, doesn't matter, still wrong)
    - Car present, charger connected, not charging: Car is done, owner should be returning soon
    - Car present, charger connected, charging: In use.

    No privacy issues. You still might want a camera somewhere for a security video, but that's a whole different question.

    /Mitch.
     
  11. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    I agree on icons available on the display for supercharging availability.

    We no longer have any privacy in public. We are recorded everywhere we go: Highway, mall, street, stores, restaurants, etc. A camera on the charging locations would help provide security for people charging at odd hours/alone.
     
  12. ZBB

    ZBB Emperor

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    Here's an example site that combines a wait time notification with webcam stills that are updated about once a minute.

    Ironic in that it's the AZ emissions inspection station status page. Since the stations are closed as of this posting (Sunday morning), the cams are offline - check it during the week.

    It's not a beautiful site -- but just an example...
    View Station Cams
     
  13. napabill

    napabill Active Member

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    +1 Exactly what I was talking about.
     
  14. deonb

    deonb Active Member

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    I can see a bunch of folks who constantly monitor these webcams from home and instantly call a tow truck when a spot is getting ICE'd.
     
  15. jomo25

    jomo25 P4398

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    Personally, I think video or photos are overkill. It would work for the most part, but not sure if its necessary. Blink/Chargepoint can tell you which stations are in use or are down for any other reason. This is the functionality that's needed. E.g. video/photos wont tell you if the station is in fact operational (like the recent issue at Harris Ranch).
     
  16. PRJIM

    PRJIM Member

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    Most IP cameras have a "trigger" function that will transmit data once motion is detected- or a physical sensor is tripped.
     
  17. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    Video or even images updated once per minute is incredibly wasteful - about a million times more data being sent than necessary just to tell you if a car is there or not.

    Even though you are wasting all those bits you don't get the much more useful information: how long has the car been there? How long has it been plugged in? Is it finished charging? How long has it been finished?
     
  18. DrComputer

    DrComputer Member

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    That's what the original "phallus" SuperCharger sign was supposed to show. There were lights running down the side of it that were supposed to change color depending on how many bays were being used so you could see it from a distance before you pulled in. I think they abandoned that idea once everyone at the unveiling event turned to each other and said "does that thing look like what I think it does?"
     
  19. PopSmith

    PopSmith Saving for a Model 3

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    If I remember correctly there are wheel stops for each station. Why not just incorporate sensors in those? If a car is on them (so, the spot is occupied) then the SC will transmit saying that x number of spaces are occupied. They could even go further and have the station transmit if the vehicles are charging/plugged in or not and how long they have been there. The data could be picked up by the car when you tap the lightning bolt to direct you to a Supercharger.

    This prevents the need for cameras but still lets Model S (and, eventually, Model X) owners know if a Supercharger is fully occupied (or not).
     
  20. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    That would be a fun app to write. Image recognition autoreporter.
     

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